-tail lights that are virtually invisible until they light up
-Built in navigation system
-Voice controlled stereo and blue tooth cell phone operation, (that's not that new is it?).
-Video screen in place of rear view mirror.
This video screen utilizes 5 cameras strategically placed around the vehicle to show every possible angle. No more blind spots! That is new.
-No steering wheel.
-Sidesticks for the drive-by-wire steering.
This model was shown at the 1996 Paris Motor Show as a concept car. Basically to demonstrate some of the features that were possible and might be making their way into cars soon.
So in 1996, a built in navigation system was way ahead of it's time. But now they are standard features in many cars.
So here's my favorite feature: Smart driving, using drive-by-wire sidesticks.
In your car the steering wheel is actually mechanically connected to the wheels, and if your battery is dead you can still steer.
Not the case here. The drive-by-wire term means that the steering is completely electronically controlled. Not unlike playing Need For Speed on your xbox.
Notice the second sidestick on the drivers side door, so the driver can use either hand to drive.
The steering is pretty simple. Push left or right to turn, forward to accelerate, pull back to brake, and after stopping, reverse if desired.
Oh, and if the driver needs both hands to do something, (though I don't know what since he doesn't need hands for the radio, phone, to adjust the mirrors or read the map), the passenger can take over the steering. Cool!
It does take a little practice to get used to the new steering sytem, but 20 minutes in the Lavell Edwards Stadium Parking lot would do it. (Isn't that where you learned to drive?)
The extra cool part of the steering, besides being able to drive with a joystick, is that there is a smart drive system.
This is basically the brain in your car's computer that evaluates the road you are on, the road conditions, your speed, and adjusts the headlights and mirrors to suit. Then also evaluates your controls and decides how to make the car respond in the best and safest way.
Other comfort features: Since there are no pedals and steering wheel the driver has more room and comfort.
The sun roof is designed to allow a lot of light in to the car, but the liquid crystals in the glass can be darkened by the push of a button -or by a verbal command.
It really won't be long before the cars are driving for us.
Since this car isn't actually out on the market yet there is no price. You can expect these features, like all new features, to be very expensive when they first come out, and get more affordable over time.
Super cool car with super cool features. Now if it could just run on tap water....