Gadgets Dominate Vehicle Interiors At The 2012 New York Auto Show

Other-worldly as it may sound, a car that can bring itself to a stop in an emergency is nothing new. Volvo and Mercedes-Benz have offered such a system for several years. What is new is that you’ll soon be able to get it on an affordable everyday Subaru Legacy sedan or Outback crossover station wagon. Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driving aids, also includes cruise control that modifies your speed to maintain the same distance from the car in front of you and a warning that chimes if you start to drift out of your lane.

2013 Subaru Legacy (credit: Brady Holt)

2013 Subaru Legacy (credit: Brady Holt)

Entertainment Features Galore
High-tech connectivity options are also becoming more widely available. Two best-selling cars unveiled at the auto show — the 2013 Nissan Altima and the 2014 Chevrolet Impala — now include such options as USB ports, voice-recognition and touch screen controls, a Bluetooth connection for phones and MP3 players and streaming Pandora Internet radio. The Altima is debuting the new “NissanConnectSM” system offers those options and reads text messages aloud. The Impala will feature General Motors’ recently introduced MyLink.

Cadillac CUE System (credit: Brady Holt)

Cadillac CUE System (credit: Brady Holt)

Customizable Touch Screens
New touch screens are also featured on the updated 2013 Cadillac SRX crossover SUV and the reintroduced 2013 SRT Viper performance car. The Cadillac’s “CUE” system, first unveiled a few months ago on the 2013 XTS sedan, lets you customize which functions appear where on a large screen, and also includes a smoother dashboard with electronic touch-sensitive controls.

As yet another example of the spread of these tech features, the Viper’s system comes from Chrysler’s less-expensive cars, including the 2013 Dodge Dart economy sedan. New Fords feature a similar system called MyFordTouch, which the automaker recently upgraded, beginning with 2013 models.

Infiniti Wireless Charging System (credit: Brady Holt)

Infiniti Wireless Charging System (credit: Brady Holt)

Wireless Electric Car Charging
While there were few what’ll-they-think-of-next innovations unveiled at the New York Auto Show, the Infiniti LE concept brought the crowd to its knees — literally. Auto show attendees had to get down low to peer under the all-electric LE concept, under which was a wireless electric-car charger. A magnetic current between electric coils installed in the ground and in the car charges the battery, so drivers don’t have to unwind an electric cable and find an outlet for it.

If these features aren’t wowing you, there’s still hope. As part of the auto show, the three-day 2012 National Automotive Technology Competition is kicking off Monday, giving automakers and aftermarket suppliers alike a chance to showcase their creativity. The competition’s winners will be announced Wednesday.

For more great, firsthand coverage of the New York International Auto Show, visit  

Brady Holt, a Washington D.C. newspaper reporter, has had a lifelong interest in cars in the automotive world, and he’ll share his thoughts at every available opportunity. Brady has written for since 2008, and covered the ’08 New York International Auto Show with’s Inside Line team as a student journalist. His work can be found on


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