Top 5 Tech Trends We Love and Hate: Mid-2017 Report

TFL Tech Trends Report, Summer 2017

In this episode of TFLNow, Roman and Nathan weigh in on the new technology trends in cars and trucks that’s blowing their minds or driving them absolutely insane. Watch the video to get their full opinions. Here’s how their list shakes out after a spring and summer of testing the latest vehicles.


#5 Surround view/360-degree view cameras and screen views The Gist: “A game-changer, especially on big cars and trucks. Plus the improved optics on this year’s back-up cameras compared to last year are amazing.”
#4 Apple CarPlay/Android Auto The Gist: “We’re in different cars every week and plugging our phones in and having everything sync makes the car instantly familiar. And we’re hearing more and more that people won’t buy cars without it.”
#3 Configurable Instrument Clusters/Dash The Gist: “Being able to program the instrument cluster to see the info. you want to see. It’s just cool.”
#2 Programmable Performance The Gist: “You can tailor the car to your performance driving desires like “Drift Mode” in the Ford Focus RS or Trans Brake in the Dodge Demon. And via the touchscreen, you can see what you’re programming.”
#1 Over-the-Air Automatic Software Updates The Gist: “Tesla’s being doing this for years and the new Chevy Bolt is capable of it as well. Since so much of today’s vehicles are driving by computers and are connected to either Wi-Fi or cellular networks, we’d like to see every new car follow suit.”
Seeing Apple CarPlay/Android Auto in a car brings us joy.


#5 Touchscreen Buttons & No Volume Dial The Gist: “It’s not cool to have to look at the infotainment screen in order to turn down the radio while you’re speeding down the road.”
#4 Start/Stop Function The Gist: “We get it, it saves gas. But in stop-and-go traffic, it’s a pain and we turn it off. And it resets to “on” every time you turn off the car. Annoying.”
#3 Manufacturer-Installed Navigation Systems The Gist: “When we have our phones that work 90% of the time and are often more accurate, why would we pay $2,500-$4,000 extra for navigation in a car?”
#2 Gesture Control/Voice Recognition The Gist: “We’ll make this simple: Neither is ready for prime time.”
#1 Disappearing Gear Shifters The Gist: “The move to rotary dials? Nor our favorite, but hmm, OK. The push-button set-up? No thanks, especially where the buttons are located in places where spilled coffee is not an ‘if’ question, but a ‘when’ question. The last thing we want to worry about is shorting out our gear shifter.”
2016 Honda Pilot 9-speed automatic transmission
Push-button gear shifting; we’re not fans.

Got your own love/hate list of tech you’ve found in today’s vehicles? Go ahead and share them with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you. And so would our readers.