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Tech Tuesday: the latest in car technology

Tech Tuesday is back with 6 more piece of technologies that’ll improve your drive.
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Car technology continues to advance forward, much like your hairline but in reverse.

From questionable developments (a built-in vacuum cleaner?) to indestructible tires (Batman?), here are 6 car technologies that are changing our automotive experience.

1. Honda Odyssey HondaVac

If you have small children or the hand eye coordination of one, having an onboard vacuum cleaner could be helpful. Created by Shop-Vac specifically for Honda, the vacuum unit features a replaceable filter and bag, a 16-foot hose and enough attachments to make Dyson lovers jealous. You’ll need to pay up to get the vacuum as only the Odyssey Touring Elite comes featured with the device. Nestled behind the driver’s seat in the side panel, the vacuum runs for 8 minutes with the engine off and goes indefinitely while running. It is standard on the top-of-the-line $45,280 Odyssey Touring Elite trim level.

Remember, don’t vacuum and drive.

Honda Odyssey VAC

2. Hydrophobic & Hydrophilic Glass

Keeping your car clean, especially your windshield, can be difficult with bugs slamming into it non-stop, much like a disgusting non-violent version of Spain’s Running of the Bulls.

Hydrophobic & hydrophilic tech uses a special coating on glass, which creates a film layer that uses rainwater to remove grime and dirt. Hydrophobic glass works by pushing the rain up the windshield, while hydrophilic glass pushes water off to clean. For a more scientific understanding, click here.

Often referred to as a self-cleaning glass, it’s no wonder squeegee boys hate it.

3. Road Shower 2

This is a must have for the camping and road-tripping crowd. The Road Shower 2 is an eco-friendly water reserve (capable of holding 5 gallons) you mount on your car’s rack. Clean your dishes, gear, smelly dogs or basically anything else. Utilizing solar energy (though not solar panels), one can use hot or cold water with a pressurized jet powerful enough to harass people at a distance. Using it is simple; all you have to do is mount it, fill it with water (non-toxic material allows you to fill up with drinking water if you desire) and let the unit heat up. It also comes with a showering tent for a more civilized clean.

Retailing for $299.95, disperse very small riots with your shower pump or turn every event into a short wet t-shirt contest. The choice is yours.

4. Intelligent Breaking Systems

30% of accidents in Japan end up as rear end collisions. 40% of drivers are involved in a crash where they’ve applied the brakes, just not successfully or on time. If that sounds like a large percentage, it’s because it is; drivers fail to brake regularly.

Intelligent Breaking Systems (I.B.S) are simply designed to slow or stop your vehicle when you fail to. Manufacturers have developed technologies that depend on radar, cameras, GPS or some combination. The technology doesn’t simply break if you’re inattentive; you’ll get other warning signs as well. Audio and visual warnings are standard, as is a vibration in the steering wheel. If these fail, the system will activate the breaks for you.

I think, as a society, we’re taking the expression taking a break to a whole new level.

Brake collision

5. Bomb & Bullet-Proof Tires

The University of Wisconsin-Madison and startup Resilient Technologies are working on an airless (non-pneumatic) tire for military-grade vehicle use. Sorry, you won’t be able to get one for your SUV anytime soon as Scarborough isn’t really a war zone.

Armoured vehicles are great and all, especially in the theatre of war (or Rexdale), but having your tires shot out makes you a sitting duck, albeit a heavily armoured one. These new, airless tires can survive IED attacks, bullets, the weight of the armoured car and still reach speeds of about 50 mph. They’re stylish too: no need for rims when you’ve got a honeycomb design.

airless tires

6. Jaguar Land Rover 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen

Say goodbye to blind spots and Hello to the 360 Urban Virtual Windscreen. It allows you to see through the Land Rover’s A, B and C pillars. It’s essentially a Heads-Up Display (HUD) on steroids as it utilizes the entire windshield and not a segment of it, like most third-party technologies do. The system also uses cameras for front-blind spots that are displayed via LCD screens built into the vehicle’s pillars; when activated the driver can observe his/her surroundings without being obscured. Like most HUDS, pedestrians will be displayed on screen with red highlighting.

360 virtual urban widescreen

RELATED: Tech Tuesday – The latest tech toys for your vehicle 

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