HONOLULU, Hawaii - (February 14, 2014) Technology continues to improve the safety and entertainment value of vehicles. Attendees visiting the 2014 First Hawaiian International Auto Show will get a first-hand look at these innovations Friday, March 14 through Sunday, March 16 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Rated as some of the most popular with consumers, these technological advancements are currently available in select new model vehicles:
• Inflatable Rear Seat Belts - When these new air bag seat belts deploy, they provide added protection for both children and adults in the back seat. (Available in several models from Ford)
• Accident Avoidance Sensors - State-of-the-art sensors monitor other vehicles around the car, as well as the driver's reactions to preemptively prepare for collisions, and in some cases, prevent them. In addition, some cars are now equipped with radar-guided cruise control to minimize rear-end accidents and chime alerts to wake sleepy drivers. (Available in select models from Acura, BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Toyota, Subaru and more)
• Smartphone Applications - With smartphones quickly overtaking the mobile market, auto manufacturers have developed Apps to integrate with their product. Many of the Apps enable owners to lock/unlock doors, check tire pressure and even remotely start the vehicle. Some electric cars, like the Nissan LEAF, enable drivers to check the car's charge through the App as well. (Available in select models from Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Nissan and more)
• Pushbutton Gear Selector - With many automatic transmissions now being electronically controlled, the old analog shift lever is quickly becoming unneeded. Shifting into gears can be accomplished with the push of a button or twist of a knob. This new spin on an old concept frees up center console space by providing buttons to engage park, neutral, reverse and forward gears. (Available in models from Ram and more)
• Parking Assist - Ideal for drivers who struggle with parallel parking, sensors maneuver the vehicle into a parking spot with the push of a button. (Available in several vehicles from Ford, Lexus, Toyota and more)
• Hands-Free Power Liftgate/Trunk - The latest twist on remote vehicle access uses neither a keyfob control nor a pushbutton. Rather, the owners burdened with baggage can engage the available power-operated liftgate or trunk via a simple kicking motion with one's foot under the rear bumper (provided the vehicle's keyfob is in a pocket or purse). The same process closes the hatch or trunk. (Available on select vehicles from Ford and Mercedes-Benz)
• Built-in WiFi - From inside a car, weather, navigation, show times, email and even gaming are just a click away. Passengers can surf the web from their laptops while the car is moving and drivers can access the Web from the navigation screen while the vehicle is parked. (Available in several BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler and Ford vehicles)
• Natural Language Voice Activation - Voice-recognition technology continues to improve, and is available in a greater variety of languages. Natural language voice activation is designed to recognize normal speech patterns, allowing the driver or vehicle occupants to issue commands outside of a pre-determined list of specific words and phrases, or to compose messages that communications systems can convert into text and send to a recipient. (Available on models from Chevrolet, Ford, Kia and more)
• Engine Start-Stop Systems - To improve fuel economy, automakers are installing start-stop systems in many hybrid models, and they are catching on for non-hybrid models as well. The system automatically shuts down and then restarts the engine to minimize idling, improving fuel economy by anywhere from 5 to 15% and reducing emissions. (Available on select models from Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota and more)
• Inductive Charging - In addition to a variety of ways to connect with mobile phones and other devices inside the passenger compartment, manufacturers are looking at ways to keep such electronics charged without having to plug them into an outlet. The new inductive wireless charging system allows drivers to simply set electronic devices in a specified charging zone to keep the juice flowing. (Available in select models from Dodge)
Many of these technology options can be found in vehicles displayed on the auto show floor. For more information on a specific vehicle or technology, please speak with a manufacturer representative at the show or visit a local new car dealer.
The First Hawaiian International Auto Show will be open to the public Friday, March 14 through Sunday, March 16, at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu. The First Hawaiian Bank continues as the auto show's title sponsor. The auto show is also sponsored by the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and produced by Motor Trend Auto Shows, LLC, the nation's largest auto show producer and part of the Source Interlink Companies, Inc.
Show hours are Friday noon to 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults (13 and older), $8 for military (with any D.O.D ID), $7 for senior citizens (62 and older) and FREE for children 12 and younger. Save time and money, purchase E-tickets in advance at www.HiAutoShow.com and receive a $1 discount off regular adult admission. Discount coupons are available while supplies last at Oahu branches of First Hawaiian Bank and participating new car dealers. Additional information can be found on the official auto show website, www.HiAutoShow.com.