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While the idea of fully robotic cars feels like something out of Black Mirror, a little bit of self-driving tech can be a great thing. Many new 2019 autos offer driver-assisted technology that will make your ride smoother, easier and more enjoyable. And these features aren’t just in the super-expensive rides; we’re talking mid-range automobiles (the so-called “affordable luxury” category). Here are some of the coolest features you need to know about—and many of the cars listed have more than one of these high-tech helpers.

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Lincoln MKC
Lincoln Motor Co.

Keep Away From Other Cars

The Lincoln MKC has “adaptive cruise control,” the latest in customized, safety-enhanced driving. You set the cruise control like normal, plus an extra setting that keeps you one, two or three car lengths away from the vehicle in front of you. When you get a little too close, your car slows down until the other cars clear and then picks back up to your set speed.

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Make Sure You Stay in Your Lane

The Volvo V60’s Pilot Assist will literally steer your car back into the center of the lane (which is nice, because you don’t want to skid out on a soft shoulder just because you let your attention lapse for a moment). While this isn’t completely automatic steering—you still have to guide the car through actual turns, and the car sounds an alarm if your hands leave the steering wheel—it’s as close to self-driving as we feel comfortable.

slow traffic sign
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Red Alert! You're Going to Crash

The Cadillac ATS monitors traffic ahead, and its forward collision alert system warns you if a collision is coming…and a readout tells you, in seconds, how long until you hit.

cars in traffic santa monica
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Prevent Fender Benders

Let’s say your car starts rolling forward slowly… up to 35 miles an hour. Sensors in the front of the Chevy Malibu detect when another car or a pedestrian is in front of you and halt the car like that. While there may not be time to avoid all collisions, this feature at least helps lessen the impact.

car rearview mirror


Today’s cars will let you know if someone is in that hard-to-see blind spot. For example, the Audi Q3 has a radar sensor in the rear bumper that triggers an LED light that flashes to let you know someone is in your blind spot. (Because some people think they’re the only ones on the road.)

rain on windshield

Let the Rain Turn On Your Wipers

The BMW 2 Series has rain-sensing wipers, which will turn on in the event of a shower. Because if you live in, say, a desert, you might use them so rarely that you forget how to turn the damn things on yourself.

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