Most Exciting Car Technology in 2019
Mercedes-Benz MBUX infotainment system demo at CES.
In 2019, vehicles coming off the factory floor are no longer merely machines designed for getting from A to B, but technological marvels packing in the latest innovations under the hood, in the cabin and beyond. In today’s article, we explore everything from a high performance gasoline engine with the efficiency of a diesel to key fob that’s completely waterproof.
Porsche Communication Management (PCM)
Been inside a Porsche lately? Models like the redesigned 2019 Cayenne boast the brand’s updated PCM infotainment system that largely deletes the previous myriad of buttons, replacing them with a gorgeous high definition 12.3-inch touchscreen. Even many of the climate and suspension settings switches around the shifter are now of the haptic feedback variety. Complementing PCM are two customizable digital displays flanking the analog tachometer in the instrument cluster.
Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX)
Voice control is all the rage these days, whether on a smartphone or inside a car. MBUX, rolled out on the 2019 A-Class, is like the Mercedes-Benz version of Siri — drivers can activate it by saying “Hey Mercedes,” (or pressing a dedicated button on the steering wheel) followed by a request. The feature recognizes natural speech, not just pre-programmed phrases, and is able to learn and adapt to different users.
Jaguar Land Rover Activity Key
Ever driven to the beach, parked the car and before hitting the water wondered what to do about the key fob in your pocket? Jaguar Land Rover offers customers an out-of-the-box solution with the optional Activity Key. Essentially a remote built into a robust wristband, the device is completely waterproof and unlocks the vehicle when touched to a hidden sensor on the tailgate.
In SUVs and minivans, it can be a challenge to communicate with passengers in the third row. Not if you’re in 2019 Honda Pilot or Odyssey. The driver, using a wireless headset, can talk to people in the back wearing wired units. Even if they’re enjoying the rear seat entertainment, whatever is being watched or listened to will automatically pause during conversation.
A suite of connected software and services, one of the many highlights of Hyundai BlueLink is smartphone integration via a proprietary mobile app (available for Android, Apple and BlackBerry). Once downloaded, users have a large selection of commands at their fingertips including remote start, door lock and unlock, parking location finder, temperature adjust and more. From inside, the system allows real-time diagnosis of vehicle health, maintenance tracking the ability to pinpoint the nearest dealer. Best of all, subscription for new owners is free for five years.
On the 2019 QX50, Infiniti unveiled the world’s first production variable compression ratio engine. In basic terms, the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder is capable of changing the air-fuel mixture compression ratio inside the combustion chambers on the fly, to meet the current driving demands, The result? Output is rated at 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque while fuel economy a thrifty 9.0 L/100 km in combined city and highway conditions.