With car technology moving at such a pace the latest developments can become a blur. Here’s a look at some of what’s coming up in 2017.
Affordable, 200-mile EVs arrive
We’ll be seeing more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road thanks in part to the entrance of the Chevrolet Bolt. General Motors’ vehicle is both affordable, starting from $29,995 after federal tax credits, and practical, with an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles on full charge, which promises to carry the EV closer to the car-buying mainstream.
The Bolt is already on sale in California and Oregon and a national rollout will take place in the year head. It’s expected to reach dealers in New York, Massachusetts and Virginia in early 2017, and be sold nationwide by the middle of the year.
A likely competitor, the Tesla Model 3 (with a starting price of $35,000 before incentives and a range of 215 miles), is not too far behind. The Model 3 is set to go into production mid-year, although it may not be sitting on driveways until mid-2018 or later.
Autonomous EVs get closer
A future not just with electric cars, but self-driving ones, is getting nearer, and the Bolt appears to be among the frontrunners in developments there, too.
“General Motors will tap into Michigan’s new self-driving car law and Chevy Bolt production to become the first automaker to mass-produce autonomous vehicles,” according to the GM-Volt blog.
The first self-driving Bolts will come off the assembly line in January and be tested on public roads in the Detroit area – a larger test than the one currently being carried out in San Francisco, CA, and Scottsdale, AZ, reports GM-Volt.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently rubberstamped legislation allowing automakers to develop, test and sell autonomous vehicles in the state.
Some more technology trends you might encounter this year
- Talking cars
V2V technology is taking another step forward. The system, which enables cars to talk to each other by sharing information like speed, sudden braking and accidents, will be offered on Cadillac CTS sport sedans in 2017, reports USA Today.
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay become widespread
Whereas once only luxury cars sported these capabilities, they will be in place on most cars for 2017, says iTech Post. Car owners with compatible infotainment systems in their vehicles need only an Android smart phone of version 5.0 or above to enjoy Android Auto. Apple CarPlay is available in more than 40 car makes and models to users with an iPhone 5 or later version.
Electrically powered axles, or e-axles, will become more common as they are fitted to a greater number of new models like the Mitsubishi Outlander, according to USA Today. Fitting an e-axle to the rear of a front-wheel-drive car, for example, can improve performance and handling and deliver lower fuel consumption than a four-wheel-drive system.
Like car technology news? Make it a round trip. The RoadLoans blog will be offering more auto news, tips and entertainment through the year.