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December 21, 2015

5 smart IoT cars for driving home for Christmas

List: The ultimate vehicles to drive in IoT style into 2016 – treat yourself, the cheapest is £46k.


Between now and 2020, nearly fully autonomous cars will drive off from showrooms to auto stands across the world.

Lars Reger, VP of research and development and new business for the automotive division of NXP, told CBR: "By 2020, the connected car will be an everyday reality. We will also see the roll out of V2V and V2I Communication networks, which transform the car into an intelligent transport system capable of communicating with its environment."

CBR lists the top five smart cars already available to buy ahead of this Christmas.


1. Tesla Dual Motor Model S P85D

Price: £82,280

Tesla‘s main car range is the Model S, with the P85D being the top of the range available in the UK (there is a P90 in the US). In the P85D version, the car takes 2.8 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph in Ludicrous mode (the company’s need for speed response) and 3.1 seconds to get to the same speed in normal mode. Top speed is 155 mph, around 250 kph.

The electric car has a universal mobile connector, 7.4 kW capable IEC 60309 3-pin Blue single phase adapter (230 V, 32A) and 2.3 kW capable UK 3-pin domestic adapter (230V, 10A).

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At the front of the technology embedded in the vehicle is a 17" capacitive touchscreen with a digital instrument cluster. The panel gives the driver total control of the car, with the touchscreen, digital instrument cluster, and steering wheel controls seamlessly integrating media, navigation, communications, cabin controls and vehicle data.

The vehicle also includes an autopilot that allows the Model S to steer within a lane, change lanes with the tap of a turn signal, and manage speed by using active, traffic-aware cruise control. Digital control of motors, brakes, and steering helps avoid collisions from the front and sides, as well as preventing the car from wandering off the road. The vehicle can also scan for a parking space, and alert the driver when one is available, and parallel park on command.

2. BMW i8

Price: £99,845

BMW has come out with a car design from the future with doors opening vertically and very smooth lines across the car, both inside and outside. The car has three different modes: comfort, eco and sport. It has an eDrive button embedded which when pressed adapts the BMW i8 for purely electric driving. This works for the comfort and eco modes.

The company has also deployed an intelligent energy management system that interplays between BMW eDrive and the BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine. Both elements adapt to the driving mode and situation, while energy regenerated during driving and braking increases the distance that can be driven in electric mode.

The BMW i8 boosts a technology hub with touchscreens built into the car’s cockpit. The BMW i ConnectedDrive systems pair the driver’s smartphone to the car giving him/her access to all the content on the phone. BMW’s Head-Up Display projects driving information onto the windscreen in full colour, including speed limit information, no-overtaking indicator, radio stations, telephone directories and more.

Cameras and sensors help the driver viewing blind spots. The car also has a navigation system and automatically reports the need for any type of maintenance. It also monitors the high-voltage battery – via the Battery Guard monitoring tool. BMW has also developed a mobile app – BMW i Remote App – that allows the user to know where the car is parked, its charge level, lock the car and set the right temperature before entering the car.

3. Volvo XC90

Price: starting at £46,250

Volvo’s XC90 is a five door, seven passenger SUV that brings with it Apple’s CarPlay but also delivers Sensus, a virtual assistant that helps control all features and systems in the car from temperature to navigation. Sensus combines data around information and entertainment and has a built-in wi-fi spot to stay connected to the cloud.

The car, which is powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder Drive-E engine, also has voice and steering wheel control – via Sensus – and a head up display on the front window with the vehicle’s speed and GPS information. All the information shared with Volvo’s Cloud is kept by the company to improve newer models.

The car is the closest to the company’s vision of producing a vehicle where by 2020 no one would die or be seriously injured while inside. The XC90 was the first to receive five stars and other top ratings in the 2015 Euro NCAP tests with its smart City Safety technology.

The vehicle includes a Safety Assist that helps with electronic stability control, has a seatbelt reminder for the front and rear seats, including the optional third row seats, a lane assistance system which warns the driver when the car is drifting out of lane and automatically steers the car back if needed, and other smart features.

4. Cadillac CTS-V Sedan

Price: £75,255

With 3.7 seconds separating 0 mph from 100 mph, Cadillac’s luxury CTS-V Sedan is the firms most intelligent car to date. With a top speed of 320 Km/h and 6.2L V8 supercharged engines that produce 640 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 630 lb-ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm. The vehicle also has an engine-sound enhancement system to boost the engines noise inside the car.

On the IoT side, the car manufacturer deployed a Heads-Up Display to give the driver real time data about the car and its journey. The vehicle includes a 12.3" touchscreen – Cadillac CUE2 screen – in the cockpit that communicates to a front and a rear camera. This works with the Performance Data Recorder which offers four overlays — Sport, Track, Performance or Tour — with up to 30 channels of performance data and real-time audio and video. T

The eight-speed automatic transmission car, the third of the Sedan family, also allows passengers to connect their smartphone to the CUE infotainment making the data available in the car itself. The features can also be controlled by voice through a button on the steering wheel. Cadillac will be making Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available next year.


5. Infiniti Q50 Hybrid Sport Tech

Price: £47,387

From 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, Infiniti’s Q50 Hybrid Sport Tech car has a top speed of 155mph. The 3.5 L engine vehicle includes a large touchscreen in the middle of the cockpit to control everything on-board.

Inifiniti has also deployed an intelligent cruise control (ICC) system that automatically slows the car down when traffic in front of the vehicle slows down. When the way is clear, it accelerates back to the driver’s desired speed. A smart beam assistant automatically dims the high beams as oncoming vehicles approach.

Q50 Hybrid Sport Tech features a smart safety system – Infiniti Dynamic Safety Shield (DSS) -, which layers technologies to monitor conditions and help avoid a collision, and protect passengers if one occurs. A Predictive Forward Collision Warning (FCW) also warns the driver of a possible collision, even when the cause is outside his/her field of vision.

It uses radar to continuously monitor and analyse the relative speed of not only the vehicle directly ahead of the car, but of the vehicle in front of that one as well. If the driver’s closing speed on either exceeds safe limits, it provides an alert and tightens the seat belt to help restrain passengers.

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