With every new year comes a new car buying experience. That's because every year brings with it newer technology, consumer preferences, and industry regulations. All of these things work together to influence what is and isn't included in the newest vehicle models. Since we're right at the beginning of a new model year, let's take a look at 2018's biggest vehicle trends.
Souped-Up Safety Features
The need to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during transit will never go out of style. In fact, auto manufacturers put a lot of effort into getting additional safety features into their vehicles each and every year. Some of the safety features you'll be seeing more of are backup cameras and demographic-specific safety features.
Due to a new regulation put forth by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), all new cars will come standard with backup cameras by May 2018. It's NHTSA's hope that backup cameras will prevent some of the 14,000 injuries and 200 deaths that occur annually when a person behind a vehicle is hit when it's put into reverse. The regulation specifies that all vehicles under 10,000 pounds must include a backup camera by May 2018, and the camera must show a 10x20 foot area.
New, demographic-specific safety features are also on the rise for 2018. Take for instance Nissan's new Curfew Alert feature, which is going to add an extra layer of peace of mind to the parents of young drivers. Curfew Alert allows users to:
"Establish and monitor the time and day when your Nissan is driven by setting up your preferences ... If your Nissan is driven outside the scheduled periods of time, an alert is sent to your preferred notification."
You can even choose whether you're notified via email, text, or push notification when your vehicle is used outside of the preset timeframes.
Infotainment is Everywhere
In addition to being a new safety feature, the Curfew Alert explained above also serves as an example of the growing number of Infotainment options available in 2018 vehicles. Car Apps have been on the rise, with Apple CarPlay supporting iOS users and Android Auto stepping in for Droid users, everything from music and navigation to voice messaging apps are just the beginning of Infotainment options.
WI-FI Hotspots Going Standard
Prepare to see standard makes and models with built-in WI-FI in 2018. Don't get me wrong, WI-FI hot-spotting isn't a new feature of 2018, but where you'll find it is. Before, WI-FI hotspots were typically just found in luxury brands, but consumer demand for connectivity is making WI-FI a reality for vehicle owners across the spectrum.
A Higher Learning Curve
As vehicles combine with high-tech features and capabilities, the learning curve for consumers does get a little higher. This means it might take a little more time for less tech-savvy buyers to get to know their new vehicles. Now, consumers are spending more time with their salespeople in order to learn a vehicle's high-tech features. This makes it more important than ever to work with a salesperson who isn't going to rush you - a salesperson who will take the time to help you get a grasp on all of these fancy features.
That way, you'll be able to benefit from all of this new technology that's making its way into some of today's most popular makes and models. Car buying changes each year with the new features and capabilities, but it also stays the same in a lot of ways, too. You still want to work with and buy from a salesperson and dealership you can trust, and you still want to get the best value for your dollar. That stays the same, year over year.