Russ Darrow Group explores interior automotive technologies | By Dave Amoroso

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August 12, 2019 – Menomonee Falls, WI – “It’s well established that technology has a reputation for advancing at a rapid pace and considering the vast majority of automotive technology is located in or is based in a vehicle’s interior, it’s easy to see why it may be a bit confusing to navigate all the buttons and knobs,” said Ivan Lawler, Director of Operations with the Russ Darrow Group. “With that in mind, if you’re in the market for a new vehicle, the following are the latest interior automotive technologies that are worth the value they provide.”

Parked vehicles can induce as much apprehension among cyclists as moving vehicles, especially for cyclists who ride through densely populated towns. An inattentive driver or passenger in a parked vehicle who swings open a door without warning in the presence of a cyclist is a recipe for disaster.

Not only is the cyclist at risk of being seriously injured or worse, but so too is the person operating the door. That is why it’s so important to always look for cyclists, pedestrians, other vehicles, and any other possible obstructions before opening the door and exiting the vehicle.

“Sometimes we’re in a hurry or distracted and this safety precaution is ignored. Thankfully, exit warning now exists to help keep everyone safe in these types of situations,” said Lawler.

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Comprised of internal rear-looking sensors, exit warning signals the driver and passengers via lights of approaching cyclists or vehicles from behind. “It’s activated whenever the vehicle comes to a standstill and even functions up to several minutes after the driver switches the ignition off,” he said. “More sophisticated versions will automatically lock the doors in the event the warning is disregarded in order to prevent a potential accident.”

Although placing vehicle limitations on teen drivers is not a new concept, technology continues to be refined to assist in creating a safer driving environment for newer drivers. For example, many vehicles allow parents to monitor their teenager’s speeds remotely as they’ll be notified if their unseasoned driver exceeds a specific speed. For increased safety, the technology also enables parents to control the stereo’s volume so that it cannot reach a certain level. Plus, parents can deactivate the stereo altogether if the driver or passenger(s) don’t buckle up. “Moreover, some systems inform parents if certain safety features, such as collision avoidance system or emergency brake assist, were activated while their teen was at the helm,” said Lawler.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 770,000 drivers fall victim to car theft every year. To address this staggering number, the automotive industry has developed stolen vehicle tracking technology that pairs with the vehicle’s security and assistance systems. Originally, these systems were designed to request emergency responders in the event of an accident, run diagnostics, provide directions, and serve as a personal assistant. However, this technology can now also function as a GPS tracker of sorts. “If the vehicle is stolen and upon contacting the authorities, the police can utilize this technology to track down the position of the vehicle with the highest level of precision, and hopefully the car thief in the process,” said Lawler. As this technology becomes more mainstream, it is anticipated that the number of annual car thefts will steadily decline.

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We consistently see fewer and fewer wires as technology progresses towards a wireless world. For instance, Apple, Google, and Samsung currently sell smartphones that feature wireless charging capabilities and the automotive industry has taken careful note. Wireless charging is another convenient interior vehicle feature that is offered in various makes and models. Generally, these wireless charging pads can be found on the center console. “No more losing your charging cord or fumbling with unnecessary wires,” Lawler said. “Instead, simply place your wireless compatible smartphone on the charging pad and you’re ready to go.”

With every model year that passes, motorists shopping for new vehicles will experience the evolution of technology. It’s helpful to keep in mind that more often than not, automotive technology is created to improve safety or enhance convenience. “In addition to categorizing the latest interior features, new vehicle shoppers should also weigh their needs, wants, and personal preferences in order to determine which interior technologies best align with their individual situation.”

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Russ Darrow Group, headquartered in Menomonee Falls, is Wisconsin’s all-time volume auto retailer since 1965. Russ Darrow Group owns and operates dealerships in Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, Waukesha, Wauwatosa, West Bend, and Greenfield representing Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, KIA, Mazda, and Mitsubishi. With over 1,000 employees, the company also operates a nationwide fleet and leasing business and has its own in-house financing company.

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