We’re running out of time, perhaps the single most sought-after luxury and commodity that money can actually buy. If we’re talking about technology. Auto makers are aware and milking this fact, wooing customers with newly designed, increasingly intelligent hi-tech vehicles. It’s the iPhone phenomena—you know you don’t really need it but you just want one.

We are so dependent on our smartphones nowadays that we’ve allowed it to creep into our lives to the point that technology is integrated into the way we eat, sleep, work and play. To eat, we check our smart phones for the calories we’re allowed for the day before we bite into a piece of cheesecake, or scroll down a recipe with one finger for the right oven temperature for our roast, or do a quick search for the eatery of choice at lunch. At the office the only thing we probably need to take into work meetings is our smartphone that’s our communication device, master electronic organiser, including meeting and presentation notes folder, email, fax (who uses fax these days!)and a whole host of apps for whatever it is we require at a swipe. We even sleep with our smartphones as it is a night torch, an alarm clock and a music station to play our adult lullabies.

Hi Tech Cars

In vehicles, consumers now demand the same seamless experience like the connectivity they can’t live without on their Androids or iPhones. Today, a car isn’t considered hi-tech unless it has must-have features like parking assist, Web access and bluetooth connectivity—these advances have allowed car makers to charge record premiums for their latest models and with good reason; consumers now have ‘upgrade envy’.

In Car Technology for Tech Lovers

Tech-loving drivers are now trading in their cars for new in-built car gadgetry almost as often as their iPhones. We see this trend in revamped classics like the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that has made car owners ditch their Japanese SUVs which are barely three or four years old. And why not, in exchange they get a cool space shuttle experience with the whole gamut of cool tools like an iPad-like touchscreen loaded chock-full with apps, Bluetooth, all-wheel drive and the cool push-button start like most new Continental cars have today.

No wonder mega-tech giants Google and now Apple are lured into automobile manufacturing. The world is holding its breath for more autonomous self-driving cars after Google started the technology by releasing the first test runs of its driverless Google Car. And in the news recently we now anticipate what will be Apple’s rumoured Project Titan—a likely iCar, for iPhone fans? Titan is said to resemble a minivan and would be fully electric. My guess is that it will probably be the sleekest, swankiest and most mod piece of coveted ‘concept on wheels’ ever designed.

Car design itself has entered into a radical revolution. A decade ago, not many vehicles sell themselves as the hi-tech juggernauts they are these days. Few had in-built navigation, Bluetooth handsfree systems, in-cabin infotainment capabilities or USB ports. In terms of safety assistance, even lesser had the extraordinary level of safety technology cars are likely to have been built with these days. Air bags have increased to as many nine in a car like the Mercedes-Benz C200. Many other driver assistance features for added safety and comfort are now rather commonplace like never been seen before. Safety and reversing cameras are a real norm now as with features like automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning and even collision prevention warning systems.

Now, with consumer demand for connectivity, car makers are using data connections to bring in helpful information, entertainment, audio streaming and even voice control.

Manufacturers Designing Cutting Edge Car Technology

Car manufacturers such as BMW have been tapping into macro trends with more time-saving apps that give traffic information in real time, active cruise control and even technology to remotely warm your car or clear an icy windshield before you even get into it (2015 Automotive News World Congress). The future of consumer electronics in car technology is veered towards self-parking research where laser light is possibly a future technology source to help a vehicle seek out parking spaces and then proceed to park itself.

With advancements in technology, even the dynamics of retail in the auto industry has similarly changed, from the way we shop for vehicles to the way you can finance your vehicle with increasing connectivity and a plethora of digital tools to assist us in the purchase decision. The volume of physical visits to a dealership before a typical car purchase has fallen from four (in 2003) to one in 2014.

As car manufacturers become increasingly committed to more highly automated vehicles, we can look forward to new technology that is geared towards expunging all the dreary ‘no fun’ moments of driving, such as sitting in traffic jams. We no longer drive on-road cars. Rather, I’d call our hi-tech cars today—time-saving space shuttles on land.

And as for us at 360 Finance, we’re committed to the same hi-tech time-saving mindset with our online vehicle financing services. One call and our consultants will save you the dread of dealing with multiple parties or wasted time sitting in a dealership listening to finance sales spiels, or filling in paperwork on demand.   Our one-stop comprehensive service will save you more time and hassle right away with fast pre-approvals to kickstart your vehicle shopping!