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Company car drivers' top tech

  • Our five favourite technological innovations
  • Systems make drivers' lives easier and safer
  • Some expensive, some come as standard

These days there’s a huge range of technological features available for the company car driver, and some have more than a whiff of Tomorrow’s World about them.

We've been looking at some of the different kit available on the options list, and highlighted some of our favourites.

There's a mix of equipment to make your time in the car safer while others enhance driver convenience.

1. Night vision

What is it?

Introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 2005, this is a system which uses a screen to show the driver a better view of what’s in front of them than is available using the naked eye. This means things such as pedestrians, animals and hazards on the road can be seen sooner.

How does it work?

There are two types of system. ‘Active’ systems use infrared light to illuminate the road ahead with light that humans can’t see with the naked eye. Passive systems instead capture thermal radiation which is then shown on a screen.

Available on:

Various high-spec Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Lexus and Honda.

How much does it cost?

Example price of £1,690 for Mercedes-Benz Night View Assist Plus.

2. Radar- or Laser-guided cruise control

What is it?

A cruise control system which is set to a certain speed, but then governs the speed of your car based on the distance to the car in front when in traffic. Effectively it maintains a safe distance from the driver in front when using cruise control.

How does it work?

It uses either a laser or radar system to determine the distance to the car in front of you and then adjusts your car’s speed to match, usually keeping your car at a set distance from the car in front.

Available on:

Various high spec Toyota, Lexus, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Volvo, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, BMW, and Ford.

How much does it cost?

Active Cruise Control on BMW 5 Series costs £1,330.

3. Park assist

What is it?

Takes the challenge out of parallel parking by steering your car into a space for you.

How does it work?

Drive towards a parking space with the function selected, indicating the direction you want to park. Once you’ve found a space that it deems appropriate, the car will then direct you to use the gears, throttle and brakes. The car then steers itself in the space using a number of sensors.

Available on:

Various Toyota, BMW, Lexus, Volkswagen and Ford.

How much does it cost?

As part of the ‘Convenience Pack’ on the Ford Focus, Active Park Assist and Powerfold Mirrors together cost £525.

4. Automatic Pedestrian Safety System

What is it?

A system that will brake automatically should a pedestrian walk out in front of your car while driving at low speeds.

How does it work?

At a low speed the car is able to pick up pedestrians in front of it via radar and will warn the driver first before automatically applying the brakes if no action is taken.

Available on:

All new Volvos.

How much does it cost?

It’s a standard option on all new Volvo cars.

5. Foot-activated boot opening

What is it?

A system which opens the boot when you wave your foot under a certain point at the rear of the car. This is useful if you're carrying children or shopping and can’t reach down to open the boot in the conventional manner.

How does it work?

Sensors under the car detect the driver's foot and open the boot when the owner walks up to vehicle with the keyless entry key on their person.

Available on:

Volkswagen Passat and CC models.

How much does it cost?

If available it comes on cars fitted with keyless entry.