Smart accessories – i.e., smart watches, networked thermostats, home automation – are growing increasingly popular with consumers, and it’s easy to see why. Devices like these not only provide unparalleled levels of control, but also adapt to users’ preferences, behaviors and schedules. Although it might be hard to think of a car in the same light, the automobile may very well be the ultimate smart accessory. In fact, there’s plenty of technology within the Chevrolet lineup that proactively works to make your drive a little easier.
-Automatic Headlamps: Ever forget to switch your headlamps on during the early hours of dusk? You’re less likely to do so in a Chevy. From the Spark to the Silverado HD, the majority of new Chevrolets feature automatic headlamp controls as standard equipment, allowing a photovoltaic cell in the dashboard to sense the level of ambient light outside, and automatically switch on exterior lights.
-Memory Keys: Tired of adjusting your seat position mirrors every time you get behind the wheel? You might have noticed many Chevrolet models offer the ability to program these settings into memory, but you might not have noticed how seamless the system truly is. After programming these memory settings into one of two memory banks, simply grab a correspondingly-numbered keyless remote fob, and click the unlock button. Voila – the car adjusts to your settings, meaning you’re ready to roll as soon as you grab the door handle. You can find this feature in everything from the Volt to the Traverse.
-Magnetic Ride: Have you ever wished your suspension could adjust to the conditions of the road surface? Chevrolet models equipped with Magnetic Ride Control can do just that. Sensors analyze the road every millisecond, and can adjust the firmness of the dampers in as little as five milliseconds.
-Adaptive Cruise: Cruise control is great for long journeys, but in dense traffic, drivers may find themselves needing to frequently adjust speed or brake. The 2015 Impala, Tahoe and Suburban can shoulder some of that burden thanks to an available adaptive cruise control system. A forward-looking radar can detect vehicles ahead and allow the vehicle to accelerate or brake in order to maintain a driver-selected “gap.” Although drivers still need to pay careful attention to road conditions and override the system when necessary, studies have indicated adaptive cruise control can safely reduce brake applications on the freeway by 25 times.
-Automatic Parking Assist: Do you repeatedly circle the block in order to avoid parallel parking? Unsure if you can back into a narrow perpendicular spot? The 2015 Chevrolet SS’ new AutoPark system takes the uncertainty out of both maneuvers. A series of ultrasonic sensors embedded in the front and rear bumper fascia begin looking for a suitable space after the driver presses a Parking Assist button. Once the system finds a suitable spot, the driver only needs to control brake, throttle and transmission while the car effortlessly steers itself.
-Tire Telepathy: The Corvette Stingray and Corvette Z06 keep close tabs on their tires. As tire temperature can alter grip and affect traction and handling, both Corvettes actively check the tire temps and adjust traction control, ABS and other settings to maximize performance.
The Corvette isn’t the only Chevy that watches over its tires – in fact, every new 2015 Chevrolet keeps watch over tire pressures, and notifies the driver in case air pressure drops to a dangerous level. On vehicles equipped with OnStar, owners can go a step further via the RemoteLink smartphone app and keep tabs on tire pressures at all times.