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From terrifying brakes to laser beams: how far car tech has come

Then – Roadside phonebox

Car Tech

Legend has it that as recently as the 1960s the UK's Prime Minister relied on the nation's phoneboxes to respond in the event of a nuclear attack.

Yes, really. Apparently radios were viewed as too expensive.

Whatever, connectivity for the average motorist used to mean finding a phonebox or just shouting into the wind - we were decades away even from those clunky carphones that were a thing fleetingly until someone realised that they were a teensy bit dangerous.

Now – Mobile broadband and cloud connectivity

Car Tech

Built-in 4G? In-car Wi-Fi? Cloud connectivity? It's all in the mix. Obvious benefits include things like traffic data and in-car Google searches.

Even better, many cars can now also automatically contact the emergency services and transmit your location in the event of an accident or phone home when there's a technical fault.

Some manufacturers, including BMW and Toyota, allow you to control features, including door locks and climate control, remotely with a smartphone app.

And Ford's even partnered with Amazon to let those with an Echo device in the house just shout to turn their car on - or remotely tell your abode to get warm when you're on your way home, later this year.