Cars will be much more customer-focused in the future. Consider the endless options on your typical smartphone, including the ringing tones, the background options and the adjustments you can make for app notifications. Because we are all on our way to a future without drivers, the options available to drivers are also almost endless, starting with how the car itself drives.
In a recent test of the VW Jetta GLI from 2019, a 228-horsepower racer, I noticed that I could adjust the basic settings using the Drive mode button to the right of the driver. With one click you can select options such as normal, comfort and sport. That is fairly standard in many VW models and in many other brands and models from Nissan, Mazda and others.
What is much more interesting in the Jetta GLI is the custom mode, with which you can tweak the driving functions in more detail. I was surprised by the setting for the exhaust, which you can adjust in volume. (It is noticeably louder when you set the sport mode outlet, and quite a bit quieter in normal mode.) To change settings, select Custom and then use the small pencil icon to make further adjustments. A pop-up appears for each specific option.
For example, you can also adjust the Dynamic Chassis Control or DCC to comfort, normal or sport. DCC adjusts the wheel suspension of each tire as you drive, so in sport mode you feel the road more intuitively, and in comfort mode you glide over bumps. I have tested this several times on highways and around curves on country roads, and there is a clear difference.
Sport, eco or comfort
In the adapted driving mode screen, you can also adjust the settings for steering, front differential lock (for traction and operation), propulsion system (gas response), exhaust and climate control (in eco mode the car switches the air conditioning off). I have never seen this level of control in a passenger car like this, although the settings are even more varied in a Dodge Challenger and other sporty cars. The idea is that you want to feel the road and want to keep control of the car for a smoother ride. Especially cornering reacts faster.
On a disk I forgot that I had left all the settings in sport mode and two passengers started complaining about the bumps on the road and I felt a little sick because the corners were pulled harder than they wanted. I was able to press the Drive mode button and quickly select the comfort mode, making everyone feel less on a track.
I could see someone who adjusted the settings to offer a mix of comfort and tighter control, while the suspension remained on comfort, but who chose to tighten the steering, for example.
As always, my thoughts reflected on how this might change as cars become more sophisticated. When a car drives for us, we want to do something to make us feel like we're in charge. Institutions may be whether autonomous car technology is more aggressive about passing other cars and brings us to a destination faster.
It may have more to do with making all suspension settings more comfortable during certain parts of a ride, but then we would take over on country roads when the curves and immediately are a bit more fun and challenging.
On the road TechRadar's regular look at futuristic tech in today's hottest cars. John Brandon, a journalist who has been writing about cars for 12 years, puts a new car and its advanced technology to the test every week. One goal: discover which new technologies will fully guide us unmanned cars & # 39; s.