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1. Streaming Music. Forget traditional AM and FM radio—today's cars have access to a seemingly limitless library of music through streaming music apps. Many car manufacturers offer popular services like Pandora and Spotify integrated into the radio console or infotainment system so users can listen to their favorite music, audiobooks, or podcasts on the go.
2. Driving Assists. These features are not only convenient but also potentially life saving. Driving assists can include a variety of features, but the basic idea is anything that automatically changes in the car to make it safer, such as automatically adjusting headlines for high-beam or low-beam situations or automatic emergency braking if the car detects there is a person or car that it in the very close trajectory of your car. One of the most popular driving assists is lane-departure prevention, which automatically corrects the car if you accidentally start to veer into the neighboring lane.
3. Connected Search. In today's connected world, we're never far from our mobile devices. A growing number of cars are offering connected search integrated into the infotainment system, which allows users to access their favorite apps and mobile programs from the comfort of their car. A huge variety of apps are available, ranging from Google search to the TripAdvisor app to find resources along the road.
4. Smart keys. With intelligent key design, a driver can have the key fob in his pocket when unlocking, locking, or starting the car, and the car will sense the key is within radius and perform the task without the key actually needing to be in the ignition. Aside from being a sleek feature, smart keys are extremely convenient for busy drivers or those trying to get into the car with their hands full.
5. Parental Controls. Nervous parents of teen drivers can rest a little easier with a variety of parental controls that come standard in many newer cars. These controls can vary to include anything from reports of where a teen drove and what their speeds were to a person's driving trends and habits. Some cars can limit what time of day or night a teen can access the car, restrict certain features if seat belts aren't buckled, and even shut down certain entertainment features that could be distracting to young drivers.
6. Heated Seats. It may seem like a small feature, but heated seats can make all the difference when you get into a frigid car in the middle of winter. Heated seats used to be an upgrade, but they now come standard in many luxury and mid-level cars, like the Nissan Rogue SE and the Lexus RX-350. Some cars even offer remote control of their heated seats, which means users can turn them on and allow them to get warm before they get in the car.
7. DVD Player. Traveling families know the importance of entertainment for the kids during long road trips. Many larger family cars like minivans and SUVs are including back-seat DVD players and individual screens as standard in newer vehicles. The installed player means kids of all ages can be entertained and watch their favorite movies without having to deal with cords, volume control, or sibling squabbles.
8. Back-up Camera. Another increasingly popular feature is the back-up camera, which allows drivers to see what is directly behind the car when they are reversing and often includes guides so drivers know how close they are to various objects. The back-up camera makes it safer for drivers to back out of tight parking spaces and garages. Taking it one step further, some cars now feature the AroundView monitor, which stitches together various camera angles to provide a 360-degree view of what is happening around the car.