Buying a New Car

Cars have always had different levels of comfort, performance and features, but now there's a new factor to consider - safety technologies.

These are actually the driverless technologies which will one day lead to fully autonomous cars, but they're being introduced to new cars right now - not to make the driver redundant, but to make driving safer.

Here’s an example: You're about to run into the car in front of you but don’t know it. Perhaps you’re checking your rear view mirror or - these days - perhaps you’re changing the radio on the car's touchscreen!

If this was a driverless car it would detect the situation and bring the car to a stop. But wouldn’t it be useful if every car automatically did that? 

It's a feature that's already available and there are calls to make it compulsory on all new cars because it would save lives and insurance premiums if every new car had it fitted as standard right now.

But as usual, these technologies are being implemented slowly, and they are usually optional (and expensive) extras, so most cars still don’t have them.

But now they've been invented, it seems very unwise to buy a car that doesn’t have them. And I’m looking for a new or used car right now.

This is my present situation:- 

1. I own a July 2008 Renault Laguna Initiale 2.0T which I need to replace (new or used). The replacement must be comfortable and have all the features of my present car - anything less would be a backward step.

2. I also want all the new Active Safety Systems.

3. The car that seems to offer the best of the new technologies together with comfort is the New Audi A4 (2016 onwards), but although the basic car is affordable, when you add the options it’s too expensive at £43,000.

4. The new A4s are now coming onto the used car market but they have few of the options.

5. Can you find one that matches my rather exacting requirements?

Here is my shopping list:-

What I have now:- 
 *** = a feature I have now and is essential for my new car
  ** = a feature I have now and would be desirable in my new car
 ## = a new technology that is essential in my new car
  # = a new technology that I would like but isn’t essential

  1. Automatic ***
  2. Keyless entry (unlock, start, lock) ***
  3. Comfortable ride (not sporty) ***
  4. Electric front seats ***
  5. Memory driver's seat ***
  6. Climate control (air con + separate control two sides) ***
  7. Electric windows with one touch open/close all round ***
  8. Adaptive (steering) headlights ***
  9. Electric parking brake ***
10. Folding wing mirrors ***
11. Radio tyre pressure monitor valves ***
12. Proximity sensors front and rear ***
13. ABS ***
14. ESP ***
15. Cruise control ***
16. GPS with full colour map ***
17. Petrol **
18. Power to give 0-60 in 8 seconds or less **
19. Hatchback **
20. Boot and fuel cap automatically unlocked with the car **
21. Sat Nav with full colour screen and full postcode entry **
22. No fuel cap to unscrew (probably Renault only) **
23. Leather upholstery **
24. Heated seats **
25. Fog lamps front & rear ** 
26. Automatic rain-sensing wipers * *
27. Electric opening sun roof **
28. Dimming rear view mirror **
29. Heated wing mirrors **
30. Phone connection (Bluetooth) **
31. Good quality sound/media system **

New Safety Technologies (Active Safety Systems):-
(See diagram below)

  1. Matrix LED headlights #

  2. Head up display ##

  3. Forward collision detection
      - warning only
      - auto-braking at city speeds #
      - auto-braking at highway speeds ##

  4. Lane departure detection
       - warning only ##
       - haptic feedback
       - with auto steering at low speeds
       - with auto steering at highway speeds #

  5. Adaptive Cruise Control
       - at low speeds
       - at highway speeds ##
       - plus traffic jam assist (will stop and continue in queuing traffic) #

  6. Blind-spot warning
       - warning only ##
       - with auto steer #

  7. Speed sign recognition
       - display only ##
       - with speed correction #

  8. Automatic parking (parallel and bay) #

  9. Proximity sensors:
       - rear view camera #
       - graphic birds eye view #
       - all round camera view #
       - rear cross traffic warning #
       - front cross traffic warning #

10. Driver drowsiness detection #

11. Heated front windscreen/steering wheel #

12. Dimming wing mirrors #

13. Real time traffic system #
      - Automatic map updates
      - Concierge service
      - Mobile phone remote app
      - Internet access

Safety Technologies 2

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© Brian Smith 2015