Five car features you never knew you needed — until now

Dec 4, 2017

Let’s face it. A car is not just a means with which to get around: it’s a lifestyle choice.

Just like how in this day and age, you wouldn’t accept a smartphone without a camera, you shouldn’t buy a car without some basic creature comforts. And by this, we’re not just talking about leather seats or chrome inlay—we’re talking about revolutionary developments in car technology that you might not know even existed.

Here are some features you never thought you needed in a car, until now:

1. 360-degree cameras

The dashboard camera, or dashcam, is fast becoming a staple of cars today. However, even with rear-mounted dashcams, the driver only receives information on what is directly in front or behind the car. As such, the driver only has his or her vision to rely on to spot and avoid obstructions to the left and right.

Trust Audi to come up with the solution — chassis-mounted cameras capable of providing a continuous, uninterrupted view of the driver’s surroundings. The vehicle’s computer is even capable of using the feed from these 360-degree cameras to simulate a virtual, top-down view of the car, making navigating tight spaces a cinch—even those notoriously narrow carparks like in Liang Court and Peace Centre.

2. Parking assist

As fun as driving can be, parking can be a real pain. There are few things worse than having to manoeuvre your car into a space that’s barely wide enough to accommodate your car — which is too often the case in space-starved Singapore. The occasional impatient driver behind you flashing his lights and blowing his horn only makes the whole experience even worse.

So why not let your car do it for you instead? Most Audi production models come with an optional parking assist feature. Parking assist makes this tedious task a breeze—once you’ve found a parking space, the onboard computer will take over and handle the minute adjustments to the steering. All you have to do is handle the accelerator and brake pedal, and the vehicle will do the rest.

In fact, parking with the parking assist is so simple, you could even do it blindfolded. Don’t believe us? Here’s Audi ambassador Tay Ping Hui doing exactly that.

(Of course, this demonstration was done in a controlled environment, under supervision. We don’t recommend you try this on your own — you can never be too safe, after all.)

3. Active lane assist

Even the most careful of drivers makes a mistake every now and then. We’re only human, after all. But even small mistakes can be costly: one inch too far to the left or right, and the next thing you know, you’ve traded paint with the car next to you. In heavy rain or in hazy conditions, this situation can be all too real.

Don’t let this happen with Audi’s active lane assist. Active lane assist kicks in at speeds above 65km/h, and makes use of a front-mounted camera to identify lane markings and detect when the vehicle is leaving its designated lane. In the event that this occurs, the onboard computer will gently steer the vehicle back into the centre.

4. Hold assist

Rush hour traffic jams might be the only thing worse than having to park in a tiny parking space. As traffic inches forward, it’s a constant juggle between releasing the brake, stepping on the accelerator, then abruptly jerking to a halt as somebody else tries to cut into your lane—without using their turn signal. It doesn’t matter whether your commute takes you on the CTE, or the PIE, or the BKE; you know you’ve been in this situation before. It makes for a jerky ride, and it consumes gas unnecessarily.

Let Audi’s hold assist function make life just that little bit easier for you. Forget blinding the driver behind you with your brake lights by keeping your foot on the brake. Just press it once, let the car come to a halt for a few seconds, and you can safely release the brake without having your car move from its spot.

Plus, hold assist brings with it another benefit you may not have anticipated — you’ll no longer have an aching calf from having your foot always on the brake when your car is at rest. That may be worth the asking price alone.

5. Adaptive cruise control

Cruise control has been around since the 1950s, and is more or less a standard feature on all cars today. It lets you preset your car’s speed limit, and until the brake pedal is depressed, the car will maintain a constant speed — very handy for those long, late-night cruises on the expressway. But what if the car in front suddenly slams on the brakes? The last thing you’ll want to do is have your Sunday drive brought to an unpleasant halt by having to exchange insurance details.

That’s where adaptive cruise control comes in. Adaptive cruise control uses a pair of front-mounted sensors to monitor the gap between your vehicle and the car in front of you, and ensure that you’re always a safe distance away. These sensors have a range of 250 metres, meaning that they’ll be aware of any potential threats long before you can even see them. Forget about any unwelcome rear-end collisions, with a car that can react even faster than you can.

Seem too good to be true? Watch adaptive cruise control in action with Tay Ping Hui behind the wheel here.

Advancement through technology

So there you have it: five things that you should be looking for in your next car. After all, as we move into the future, we should be looking forward to things that not only make our driving experience more comfortable, but also safer for us and the people around us.

Find out more about how Audi is revolutionising the driving experience at