Buying a New Car: Is that Newfangled Technology Necessary? Yes, It Is.

October 17th, 2016 by

new car safety tech

With the abundance of new cars for sale on dealership lots, you might be wondering why some people are still dumping money into them. The used car market is booming in 2016, but some people still prefer leasing or buying a new car. High-interest rates and depreciation rate don’t bother them one bit. But, why?

While used cars can save you money, and CPO (certified pre-owned) vehicles provide a perfect amount of value for your dollar — and that new car feeling — they both generally lack in one area: technology. Which begs the question; is all that newfangled technology necessary?

In a nutshell? Yes, it is. Having a vehicle that features an advanced, state-of-the-art cabin is completely worth the price. If you’re unsure why, it would behoove you to keep on reading.

New Tech Really Necessary? Yes, It Is.

I’m not just talking about grabbing a 2016 Chevy Cruze (which is a very state-of-the-art vehicle when it comes to tech) so you can hook your smartphone up and shoot “LOLs” and “OMGs” to your friends via voice command. That touchscreen helps you out more than you initially might think, and if you value safety and stress-free driving, a touchscreen with a good telematics system will do you wonders. Because, a good touchscreen-interface system is much more than just a easy way to stay connected with the latest story your “BFF” has to tell.

It’s there to help keep you safe as well. While I joke about a system that allows you to compose a text via voice command, and listen to the reply you get through car speakers, it’s actually doing the world of driving a lot of good. Take Chevy, for example, whose MyLink system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These provide those with the respective smartphones a hassle-free way to talk, compose a text, read a text, or even listen to voicemails at the push of a button located conveniently on the steering wheel. If turned on and the phone is synced properly, the system will alert you when a call, text, or voicemail is inbound. All you have to do is push a button, and you can either answer or listen.

The important thing to realize is there is absolutely no reading involved. You could have your phone in your car door, pocket, or even in the backseat. No taking your hands off the wheel to grab your phone, and no taking your eyes off the road to look down at a screen. Apart from many states implementing hands-free driving laws — which means the only way you’re able to answer your phone is with a system like this — imagine what it would be like if everyone drove a car with this technology? I’m not a mathematician, but I bet it would reduce accident rates by at least 50 percent simply because everyone would have the ability to keep their attention focused on driving.

State-of-the-Art Technological Safety Features and Telematics Systems

Why do you think parents prefer putting their young and first-time-drivers into new cars with updated technology? Because safety features and telematics systems also fall into that category of technology.

I’m not just talking about the strides automotive engineers have made with airbags, crumple zones, and safety cages. Instead, I’m talking about safety features like forward collision alert, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and any other type of (updated) collision warning and avoidance safety features you can find on 2016 models.

Even with hands-free technology for our phones, music, and navigation, distractions still happen. I know I’m going to sound like a parent when I say this, but all it takes for a collision to occur is taking your eyes off the road for a second. Whether that’s because of a distraction, drowsiness, or any other reason. These advanced safety features are designed to either alert the driver to a potential collision so he or she can make an emergency maneuver, or even avoid an impact entirely.

New car models are able to do even more than that, and the telematics system is there to provide immediate and automatic response in the event of a collision. Take Chevy’s OnStar telematics system, for example. When this is subscribed to — and OnStar Advisor is equipped — it has the ability to instantly relay emergency services to the location of the collision. This is done via high-GPS tracking, so there is no room for error. When the sensors go off and you’re connected to an advisor, it will do one of two things: first, the Advisor will ask if you need assistance. If you respond with “yes,” you will hear sirens responding to your location shortly. If you are unconscious or unable to respond for some other reason, the Advisor won’t wait before sending out an SOS to emergency personnel.

While some newer-used models — 2010, 2011, 2012, etc. — might have technology like this, you won’t be getting the most up-to-date safety features available. Not to mention, the telematics system typically comes free for a certain amount of months when you purchase a new car. I know OnStar does for Chevy.

Older Cars Have Neither

Older cars have neither. I’m talking about early 2000 versions, or models from the 1990s. If you’re like me, you’ve been driving cars your entire life that are just as old — if not as old — as you are. Therefore, I’ve always missed out on all that newfangled technology. I love saving money by buying $1,000-$2,000 beaters every two years or so, but the advanced technology and safety features are entirely worth dealing with the interest rate on loans and suffering through the loss in value you’ll experience when buying a new car.

Like I said before: imagine a world where everyone had this technology? It would be a much safer place.

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