Many electric cars feature advanced safety technology, designed to reduce the likelihood of a crash. Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems, for example, can slow or stop the car, to reduce the risk and severity of accidents in cities or motorways. Lane support systems can warn or even help steer the car, to avoid distracted drivers wandering between lanes. While attention assist features can spot drowsy driving and give a warning. Some cars even stop if the driver doesn’t respond. Voice control has gone from the realm of sci-fi to a feature of our everyday lives. ‘Hey, Google’, ‘Alexa’ and ‘Siri’ are now part of our modern lexicon. Using Apple Carplay and Android Auto, we can use our voice to navigate, select music and check the weather while driving. Some electric cars come with their own voice control system.
Most of us take sat-nav for granted. But future electric cars are pushing the boundaries of conventional navigation systems. Already, electric cars understand how their available range might affect your destination. And many will plan a charging stop, if you need it, on your route. With better maps and traffic data, cars are becoming aware of the road ahead too. The Porsche Taycan knows about corners up to two miles away and can help you extend your battery range by coasting down to a suitable speed.
Imagine never having to parallel park your car again. Well, last September, Tesla rolled out ‘Smart Summon’ in its latest software update. With this auto-parking feature, you don’t even need to be behind the wheel of your car. A Tesla will drive itself out of a parking space and come find you. As the company made clear in its announcement: “It’s the perfect feature to use if you have an overflowing shopping cart, are dealing with a fussy child, or simply don’t want to walk to your car through the rain.” Admittedly, the technology isn’t perfect yet; but it’s certainly a taste of things to come.
This depends on the size of your car battery and the speed of the charging point.• MONIKA VALDOM
You can already buy about 50 different models of the electric car in the UK, with another 30 coming soon, according to EV Database. But take a look at some of the concept cars being showcased by manufacturers, and you get a sneaky peek of some of the features we might see on electric cars in the future. Concept cars can be outrageous, or they can hint at a soon-to-be-released new model. BMW’s Concept i4 firmly falls into the latter category. It gives a pretty strong idea of what the real i4 will be like when it launches in 2021.