Canada is big, beautiful and, in most areas, best explored by car. Giving Canadians a glimpse of the future of road travel, the top automakers in the world descended upon Toronto this week to kick off the 2016 Canadian International Auto Show.
While the usual fuel economy, safety and luxury features were on prominent display, new breeds of connected vehicles are making it easier than ever to stay “plugged in” when travelling. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come in 2016 and beyond:
Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto: Dozens of automotive brands plan to bring Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto systems to their vehicles this year. Drivers can now use voice commands to access maps, voicemail, phone contacts and music apps while keeping their eyes on the road.
Wi-Fi-equipped cars: Thanks to GM, Audi, Chrysler and Ford, your vehicle is now part of the internet of things. While Chrysler was one of the first to debut Wi-Fi-ready cars back in 2008, the latest fleet of Wi-Fi equipped vehicles offer faster download speeds and wider ranges of connectivity. The next time you’re planning a road trip, remember to queue up a long list of must-see TV shows and movies to your Netflix playlist.
Self-driving cars: While Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, predicts his company’s cars will be able to drive themselves across the United States by 2018, many automakers are racing to offer a greater number of automated features in the near future. BMW’s driverless self-parking system, for example, was recently approved for use by the United States’ Transportation Department. This past week, Martin Sander, head of sales for Audi Americas, also announced that the next generation A8 will have self-driving technology in place and ready to use.
What features are you looking for in your next car? Are you ready to take your hands off the wheel and let your car drive itself on your next road trip?