Technology » Personal Tech

Tech-Savvy Cars Rule the Road in 2012

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by Shaun Knittel

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf seems to be leading the charge (pardon the pun) for electric cars. For all of you "greens" out there who want a car that can do the same tricks as a traditional gas guzzling, resources-destroying internal combustions engine, this is your baby.

The Leaf offers both comfort and convenience: Nissan Intelligent Key and Push Button start, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and trip computer. The car boasts a USB connection port for iPod interface and other compatible devices, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a 7-inch color display Nissan Navigation System. "Carwings" allows the Leaf to monitor the state of charge/charging status, start the vehicle-charging event, and activate the heater and air-conditioner.

Just keep in mind that the Leaf is an urban car. Long weekend road trips are simply not recommended for this 100% electric vehicle.

Volvo 560

Life is not a video game - so don’t expect any bonus points for mowing down pedestrians. Keeping this in mind, the makers of the Volvo S60 Sedan have pioneered a pedestrian detection device with auto braking that monitors traffic in front of the car and brakes in advance of a low-speed collision. The feature works also great in helping to avoid bumper-to-bumper collisions at speeds of 20 mph or under. A radar behind the grille and a camera behind the windshield are the keys to this fascinating innovation.

The feature works up to 500 feet and first warns then auto-brakes if you are slow to react. The Volvo S60 is especially good for fraught driving cities like Los Angeles and New York - or for when that cutie next to you has you... um... distracted while driving.

Shaun Knittel is an openly gay journalist and public affairs specialist living in Seattle. His work as a photographer, columnist, and reporter has appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the Pacific Northwest. In addition to writing for EDGE, Knittel is the current Associate Editor for Seattle Gay News.

This article is part of our "HomoTech" series. Want to read more? Here's the full list»


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