These are the most innovative cars today

These are the most innovative cars today

Feature articles |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Not all innovations in the automotive realm are based on progress in electronics and software. For instance, the Opel Adam won the first place in the minicar category for its lightweight design. And in the minicar and subcompact class, there are not many electronic innovations anyway. In the compact class (in the CAM study referred as “lower midsize category), the situation gets better. Here, the Toyota Prius was rated highest for its unique V2X capabilities, available however only for the Japanese market: The Prius can communicate with other vehicles to optimize traffic flow and keep the speed as constant as possible. The system also warns of approaching rescue vehicles, and it can display the remaining time of the red phase of traffic lights, provided the infrastructure is equipped accordingly.


The midsize segment is rather innovative in terms of innovations. In this segment, CAM assessed 125 innovations in 62 models. The clear winner in this category was the Audi A4. It has seven “world’s first” innovations, including an active intersection collision warning systems, a system that warns occupants to disembark the vehicle in the case of approaching traffic and the first avoidance assistant in this segment.


In the segment titled by CAM as “upper midsize segment” with contenders like Daimler’s E-series, the Jaguar XF was considered the most innovative vehicle. Among other innovations, CAM highlights a car-based app that can inform other persons about the time of arrival computed out of data like speed and traffic conditions along the route. The app also sends text messages if the estimated time of arrival will change.

In the SUV segment, the CAM researchers found the Tesla Model X the most innovative vehicle. What convinced the experts was the scissor doors with integrated obstacle detection and, of course, its autonomous driving functions. For instance, the Model X is the first SUV capable of automatically performing lane changes and avoiding lateral collisions. Also the software updates “over the air“ was regarded as a unique innovative feature.

The most innovative vehicles of the model year 2015/2016 finally is, according to CAM, the BMW 7 series with 27 innovations, including nine “world’s first”. Examples were gesture control for the vehicle’s infotainment system. But the thing that excited the CAM expert most was Remote Control Parking – a feature that allows drivers to hop out of the vehicle before parking it via remote control by moving it forward into, or reversing out of, a tight parking space or garage, using the display-equipped car key as the remote control.

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