From incredible off-roading technologies to in-car cinemas, these vehicles offer innovations that set benchmarks for others to follow.
In the modern age, cars are much more than personal transportation. They're adventure companions, personal rollercoasters, and smartphones, and as more technology creeps into each newly released car, it can be difficult to keep up. Sometimes, new tech can be pointless, but it often makes the relationship with one's car all the more fulfilling. In the category of Tech Lover's Dream, the 2022 CarBuzz Awards evaluates some of the latest technological innovations in the personal mobility sector, with a particular focus on tech that makes a car more convenient, more useful, or more exciting.
Last year, the finalists were all European, with the BMW iX taking top honors. This year, only one finalist is not American, but before we get to those, there were a few who narrowly missed out. Narrowly missing out on this category for 2022 are the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Land Rover Range Rover, and the Mercedes-AMG EQS.
Note that the cars selected for the 2022 CarBuzz Awards are all vehicles we have driven this year that are new or significantly updated. Winners will be announced on December 6, 2022.
We drove the GMC Hummer EV Pickup in the first half of the year, and although its all-electric output of 1,000 horsepower is impressive, what left the greatest impression on us was the technology it showcases. The CrabWalk system is an innovation that we've seen reinvented by numerous competitors since the EV's debut, and it really helps make off-roading easier than ever. Then there's the Infinity Roof with its removable transparent Sky Panels that make the cabin feel more spacious. And don't forget about the SuperCruise semi-autonomous driving system - arguably the best of its kind on the market. Furthermore, the vehicle's infotainment system is powered by Unreal Engine gaming technology, which means gorgeous graphics and responses from the 13.4-inch touchscreen display and the 12.3-inch driver display. With all these advances and more, the Hummer EV certainly deserves its place as a finalist in the Tech Lover's Dream category.
The BMW 7 Series and its almost identical all-electric twin, the BMW i7, are the luxury sedans that the Mercedes S-Class and EQS Sedan were expected to be. What do we mean by that? These two Bimmers have changed the game regarding luxury living, as the S-Class traditionally used to. In the front of either 7, there's an interaction bar with a crystalline surface structure backlit in variable themes. This enhances style but is functional, too, with the light used to inform you of details like incoming calls or which mode the car is in. The bar also includes touch controls for the air-conditioning and the automatic doors, which open and close at the touch of a screen. There's a world-class infotainment system in the front with a 14.9-inch touchscreen connected to a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster in a BMW Curved Display, with this incorporating augmented reality and YouTube functions. You can also order a 36-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system with real diamonds, and the rear doors have their own 5.5-inch touchscreens for adjusting the Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof, the blinds, the reclining seats, or the 31-inch BMW Theater Screen that descends from the ceiling. There's more we can't fit in here, but you get the idea - the range-topping BMW luxury sedans are technological tours de force.
The Cadillac Lyriq has a base price of only $59,990, but that's no handicap. For one thing, you get a curved 33-inch advanced LED display with over one billion colors as standard, and you also get an AKG Studio 19-speaker audio setup at no added cost. This includes headrest speakers for that full surround sound experience, while an augmented reality head-up display, supervised remote parking, and advanced road noise cancellation are also presented. We particularly liked the ambient lighting system, which feels high-end without being obnoxious. The exterior shows off the EV's love of technology with a polycarbonate shield with backlit lasered patterns acting as a grille, and the abovementioned GMC Hummer's SuperCruise advanced assistance system makes hands-free driving a reality. Altogether, the Cadillac Lyriq may not be heavy with headline-grabbing innovations, but those that it does feature are inclusions that make daily driving more enjoyable and more luxurious, and for a relatively affordable price too.