Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

March 2, 2014

Smart technology now common in cars

Smart technology making today's cars safer and more fuel efficient

GOSHEN — New cars are becoming lighter, cheaper to fill up at the pump and increasingly autonomous. Local car dealers are gearing up to sell the newest innovations from car manufacturers, from collision warning systems to electric vehicles.

Technology

Recent changes to auto technology have made cars more connected, efficient and safer. For example, many new cars come loaded with adaptive cruise control, an onboard radar that monitors the distance behind the next car. If a driver sets the vehicle’s cruise control too fast and starts to tailgate the next car, the adaptive cruise control feature automatically brakes the vehicle to maintain a safe following distance.

Another advancement is active park assist, which enables a car to park nearly by itself. All the driver has to do is apply gas or brake pressure, and the car steers itself into a parking spot.

Mike Evans, the sales manager at Lochmandy Autos, says some of these new technology and safety features are now standard across the board.

“They’ve really gone above and beyond on the safety features,” he said, “which is a good thing.”

Other new safety features commonly found in new cars include collision and lane departure warning systems, blind spot indicators, backup cameras, and navigation that warns drivers about traffic delays.

“I don’t even know how we made it so long without some of those technologies,” said Scott Flake, general manager of Eby Ford. He believes that many of the new advances in technology are an advantage to the consumer because they make driving safer and simpler.

Fuel economy

Big changes aren’t only happening to auto electronics. Many automakers are doing everything it takes to boost fuel economy.

For example, in January, Ford unveiled its 2015 F-150 at the Detroit Auto Show, featuring an aluminum body that makes the truck weigh about 700 pounds less than the 2014 model.

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Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

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