10 Ground-Breaking New Car Gadgets for 2015

Close up of car dashboard with navigation screen

What will be shaking up the automotive industry in 2015? Here are 10 innovative items and technologies driving the coming year, according to NYDailyNews.com and Digital Trends.

1. Portable jump start kits

New portable jump start kits offer the flexibility of multiple functions, such as charging your phone, without having to rely on the kindness of strangers – or a towing service.  Unlike traditional jump starting that can get your car going instantly, the new starters charge your battery in 5-10 minutes.

2. Lasers lighting the way

LED-lasers may be the headlights of the near-future. They’re smaller, brighter and more powerful than other options. And while they’re safe to view, laser headlights aren’t yet legal in the United States, although some luxury automakers are exploring the possibility of bringing them to the American market.

3. Scent systems

Mercedes-Benz was the first automaker to include a perfume atomizer as a built-in option. The best part: The scents complement that leathery, new car smell.

4. Lane change assist

Avoid potential accidents when switching lanes with this feature that warns you when a car is rapidly approaching from behind.

5. Tech to keep your head up

Fumbling with your phone while driving isn’t just inconvenient, it’s dangerous and often illegal. Curb your distracted driving tendencies with a heads-up display that mounts on your dashboard and projects data onto the windshield. You can more safely view and respond to messages, calls and navigational directions by voice or gesture commands.

6. Autonomous parking

Self-driving cars may be the thing of the future, but self-parking cars are a bit more today. Some newer vehicles can steer into a parking spot by way of cameras and sensors. The driver needs only to operate the transmission and foot pedals.

7. External airbags

Automakers are investigating ways to minimize external damage and better protect occupants during a collision by adding external airbags to their vehicles.

8. Hot Seat

An average of 39 children die from heatstroke each year after being trapped in a hot car. For her science fair, an 8th grader invented the Hot Seat, a pressure-sensor pad that fits under a child’s car seat and triggers an alert if the driver is more than 40 feet from the vehicle and the child is still in the car.

9. Tech detecting drowsy driving

Inattentive or sleepy drivers may soon be alerted by cockpit sensors that detect distracted driving, along with seat belts made with fabric that monitors heart rate. Learn more about innovative technology aiming to detect drowsy driving.

10. Traffic light detectors

Braking late for a red light is risky and wastes fuel. Several automakers are experimenting with on-board traffic light detectors in cars that could pave the way for braking at safer distances and saving fuel.

Not all new car safety technology is actually safe. Find out which ones are helpful and which are hype.