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By 27 February 2017 | Categories: news

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This article was created in collaboration with Hippo.co.za.

If you’re shopping around for a new car this year, or you’re just interested in what the manufacturing world has to offer, you’ll find that 2017 will see car manufacturers pushing the technological limits. High-tech takes on a new meaning as features become more autonomous and are aimed at improving safety, general driving experience and comfort. While there are numerous cars that could fit the bill, here are some that top the list.

1.      Volvo S90

The new Volvo S90, set to hit South African showrooms within the first quarter of this year, boasts more safety as well as entertainment technology than before. A 9" tablet-like touchscreen display on the dashboard controls the majority of the car’s functions and supports both iOS and Android devices.

These innovative new functions include a 360-degree camera for parking assistance, automatic recognition of pedestrians, cyclists or even large animals, lane keeping assistance, as well as automatic detection of road edges. A bonus feature provides curved headlights to assist the driver around blind corners at night.

2.      BMW 5 Series

This seventh generation BMW sedan is all about convenience. With the use of ParkNow, drivers can receive real-time information about available on-street parking and garage parking and booking, and receive parking assistance while standing outside of the car using a key fob for control.

Also onboard is an infotainment system that responds to voice and touch commands, support from Alexa in order to make commands from the comfort of your home such as starting the car, and a 360 degree view for parking assistance. The 5 Series is expected to arrive in South Africa in March.

3.      Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet

Understatedly described as luxurious, the new S-Class cabriolet is able to drop or raise its roof when driving at a speed of up to 60 kilometres per hour and in just 20 seconds, with a wind deflector placed on the windscreen and behind the passenger seats, which can be deployed by the driver when necessary.

The car is capable of sophisticated temperature regulation through the use of sensors and actuators, to suit the climate whether the roof is up or down. One of the car’s biggest tech features though, is its roll-over protection system that gets deployed once sensors detect danger, with roll bars extended to create a safe compartment space. The new S-class is set to arrive in South Africa towards the end of 2017.

4.      Audi Q5

The latest Audi Q5 SUV is set to hit the showroom floor in July, and offers one central hi-tech feature known as the virtual cockpit. This multifunction centre offers the ability to access different media options, choose various lighting options within the car, and to make use of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. There are also traffic notifications onboard, as well as navigation functions, Google Earth visuals and personalised information from music to popular routes the driver takes.

5.      Land Rover Discovery

The new Discovery SUV, set to launch in July, offers high-tech features aimed at the adventurer. Via an app, the driver can fold the two rear seats flat within 14 seconds, check the fuel level, make sure windows are closed, customise the aircon, and locate their car via GPS. This means that the driver can remotely operate certain functions during a busy schedule.

Last but not least a waterproof wristband can be worn during outdoor activity sessions where it's difficult to store the car key. This allows the key to be left in the car, disabled and gives the wristband the ability to lock and unlock the doors.

With 2017 set to feature a vast range of high-tech cars, these five alone reveal the exciting trends ahead. If you’re looking to buy one of 2017’s high-tech cars, we’d recommend Car Insurance so that you’re covered financially in the unfortunate event of loss or damage. You may also be interested to read about South Africa’s Safest Entry-Level Cars.

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