Keyless car

Imagine being able to open your car without keys or the push of a remote button. Instead, the car automatically unlocks when you walk up to it. The latest advances in automobiles are making this a reality. Engineers have created individually programmed key fobs which contain sensors so that the car knows when its driver is approaching the car and when he or she is inside. Even if the fob remains inside your coat or purse, the sensors transmit the signal — unlocking the door. Once inside, all the driver has to do is hit the break, press a button and he’s off and driving. That means you won’t have to fumble for keys outside in the cold or rain. It is also safer than the traditional key — while there are a thousand different ways to cut a mechanical key, the fob system involves about four billion codes that are continuously changing. That means even if a thief intercepts your code, they won’t be able to enter because the vehicle has already changed codes since the last time you entered it. If you’re sharing your car with others, the system is personalized for each driver. That means each individual driver’s personal settings — from their steering wheel height, to the radio and even the climate control — will change according to how the driver likes it.

New parking brake

Tired of tapping your brake pedal in stop and go traffic? The old parking brake could soon be a thing of the past. Enter the intelligent parking brake. It’s powered not by mechanics but electronics and can be activated with a push of the button. By simply pushing a button, the Electronic Parking Brake can act as an improved emergency brake by tapping into the car’s ABS system. With this new technology, the car will stop faster than many other conventional cars can stop. This means added safety for you and your family. Besides the safety factor, another advantage of the electronic parking brake is that when you are at a red light or in a traffic jam, you don’t have to push the brake anymore. What the system does is when the car comes to a standstill; the electronic parking break will actuate and hold the car. Imagine the convenience when parking on a hill, sitting in stop and go traffic, and even stopping at a stop sign. Parked vehicles that roll away or driving with the handbrake still engaged can now be things of the past. Siemens has developed a new Electronic Parking Brake (EPB). Right now, the electronic parking brake is available in a select variety of automobiles but by the year 2005, some four million vehicles will feature this technology.