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Top tech innovations we’re watching at NAIAS

Detroit is playing host this week to the 32nd annual North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), also known as the Detroit auto show. It’s the biggest show of its kind in the United States. Last year’s event attracted more than 750,000 people, according to Crain’s Detroit. Detroit auto show is where automakers from around the world showcase their latest models with all the bells and whistles.

Earlier this week, we told you about some of the beautiful automobiles on display. But there’s so much more going on with some of these cars than how much horsepower you’ll find under the hood.

You can find tech innovations inside these stunning vehicles. Let’s talk about some of the tech that’s caught our eye.

Tech innovations at the Detroit auto show

In-car voice recognition 

One of the biggest trends on display in Detroit this week is the incorporation of voice recognition systems. According to J.D. Power’s Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study, the number one complaint about new vehicles for six years in a row has been voice recognition for in-car multimedia systems.

Systems built by car manufacturers have been clunky, to say the least, and don’t work as well as voice-controlled systems found in the home. That’s led to a major change.

Automakers are starting to integrate virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google and Apple right into the car. Automotive component maker, Denso, is working on technology to help vehicles identify who is speaking while ignoring things like music and road noise.

This will be a big improvement from what carmakers have offered up to this point. Not only will hit make for a more entertaining ride but a safer one.

A recent AAA study sowed that a poorly functioning system can be dangerous due to the distractions that come with it. The risk of a crash doubles when a driver takes their eyes off the road for just 2 seconds.

A AAA rep told USA Today, “Automakers are good at building cars. Let Google and Apple design the systems they’re best at designing. I personally am happy … to see automakers work with tech companies.”

Imaging radar sensor

Whether you’re ready for it or not, self-driving cars are here to stay. Safety has been the biggest concern about autonomous vehicles, and we’ve already seen horrible examples of when things going wrong. One glaring case happened in Arizona last year when a self-driving Uber killed a pedestrian.

In an effort to make this technology safer, Ainstein announced this week the launch of its K-79 autonomous automotive imaging radar sensor. It’s the first commercially available sensor designed for self-driving cars to operate safely in hazardous conditions including low light and extreme dust.

The sensor produces a high-resolution, detailed point cloud of a vehicle’s surroundings for moving objects, such as other cars, bikes and pedestrians. It also looks out for stationary objects like railings, buildings and idled equipment.

5G technology 

With 5G networks right around the corner, it’s no surprise that it’ll be making its way into cars soon. Ford announced that starting in 2022, all of its new U.S. models will be outfitted with cellular vehicle-to-everything technology.

The system will be called C-V2X and will allow Ford’s vehicles to communicate with one another. Imagine your car being able to receive a warning about a nearby accident from another car. It’ll also suggest a new route to help you avoid hazards or delays.

The standardization of 5G cellular networks will provide speeds and power needed to process large amounts of data to make this work. It could really help save time and up safety.

Cadillac goes high-tech

Details were a little scarce on this but Cadillac says it’s going all-in with technology inside its vehicles. One feature that is on the way is the ability to share your driving profile to the cloud.

Once enabled, you can seamlessly swap between cars. Simply sign-in and settings will automatically adjust to your liking. Your favorite radio stations, the temperature you’re most comfortable at, and even your downloaded apps will all be preset for you.

Not only that, but it’s also teaming with Amazon for deliveries. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you will be able to have packages delivered right to the trunk of your car.

myChevrolet app for trailer enthusiasts

If you’re really into towing things, Chevrolet has an app for you. The company showcased its myChevrolet app this week at the North American International Auto Show.

The app will be included with all 2019 Silverado 1500s and offers select trailering features. For example, pre-departure step-by-step towing checklists and a glossary of towing terms for your compatible smartphone can be found on the app.

It also lets you conduct a trailer light test that uses an automatic exterior light sequence that helps you make sure the trailer is connected properly. This will eliminate the need to have a second person standing behind the truck to check the lights. Watch the following video for a brief description of what to expect.

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