Top 5: Car Tech of 2015Brian Cooley offers up his top five car technology trends to watch in 2015. Are fuel cell cars on the list? Find out.
Ugh, it's one of those videos I'm gonna regret the minute I do it, because there are so many important technologies breaking out in cars in the year ahead that choosing just five is an errand only a fool would do. Here I am. I'm Brian Cooley with the top five car technologies to watch take off in 2015. Here's my hunch. Number five, fuel cell cars. Now these are not going to be big volume by any stretch. But they will be big headlines. Toyota just put their Mirage fuel cell car into limited production. And Honda's gonna by hyping up the intro of its new one in 2016. Consumers are no longer blown away by the idea of a battery electric car. Interest in owning one seems to have hit a natural and rather low plateau, at least until we get a battery breakthrough that replaces the hours with minutes. In the meantime, hydrogen fuel cell offers a tantalizing look at the future. Number four, integrated connectivity. I mean 3G or 4G built into the car. Gonna be a big story in 2015. Some car makers will do it kind of the lame way and use it primarily to create a hotspot in the vehicle, as GM largely does and is gonna do in big volume. But others will tie it more directly into the car's dashboard services and apps, the way Audi and Hyundai are doing it. And makes the car more like your phone. Who's not gonna be into that? Number three, dash cams. Now I could be wrong and this may remain famously a Russian thing, but the interest I've heard from you in the past year in dash cams along with the fact that we finally have some big names entering the game. Along with the fact that our roads only seem to be more and more of a lawless hell every year. Adds up to more than a hunch. Number two, driver assist. Things like blind spot, lane departure, and forward collision tech are nothing new, but next year we'll see two big trends around them, to help save you from your own lousy driving. One, affordable cars will get these technologies much more commonly, because keeping safety tech on just the high-end cars is kind of a bad message from carmake. And we'll see them swing to being mostly active technologies, not so much passive warnings. That's part of the march towards autonomous cars. Before I get you to number one, safer airbags may be a big innovation next year. This Takata airbag recall is a fiasco that is still blossoming as we end 2014. But Autoliv of Sweden recently won awards for a new kind of airbag inflater. But uses hydrogen instead of what is basically a little rocket motor like other airbags do. You see, problems with humidity and that kind of inflator, are what caused ;many of these Takata airbags to blow so wildly and create a recall they cannot even enough parts to repair. Our number one tech to watch next year has to be Apps. Still fairly rare in 2014, but look at Volvo which is going to start installing a suite of them in every car starting with their mid-2015s onward. By the end of next year, it'll seem like an auto mission to find a new vehicle that doesn't have some built-in services like Pandora. Yelp or Live Search for destination. Also, 2015 is the year that many car makers now say they will actually put Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in to production, making up for all those blown promises of doing it in 2014. Luckily, Pioneer and Alpine beat them to it in the aftermarket. More Top 5 lists await the car lover. Go to CNETOnCars.com click on Top 5