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These are the technologies that matter the most right now, as of 2023. You recognize some, others will surprise you. These are advances that will have big impact on our lives.

CRISPR for high cholesterol

Over the past decade, the gene-editing tool CRISPR has rapidly evolved from the lab to the clinic. It started with experimental treatments for rare genetic disorders and has recently expanded into clinical trials for common conditions, including high cholesterol. New forms of CRISPR could take things further still.

AI that makes images

This is the year of the AI artists. Software models developed by Google, OpenAI, and others can now generate stunning artworks based on just a few text prompts. Type in a short description of pretty much anything, and you get a picture of what you asked for in seconds. Nothing will be the same again.

A chip design that changes everything

The chip industry is undergoing a profound shift. Manufacturers have long licensed chip designs from a few big firms. Now, a popular open standard called RISC-V is upending those power dynamics by making it easier for anyone to create a chip. Many startups are exploring the possibilities.

Mass-market military drones

Military drones were once out of reach for smaller nations due to their expense and strict export controls. But advances in consumer componentry and communications technology have helped drone manufacturers build complex war machines at much lower prices. The Turkish Bayraktar TB2 and other cheap drones have changed the nature of drone warfare.

Abortion pills via telemedicine

Abortion ceased to be a constitutional right in the US in 2022, and state bans now prevent many people from accessing them. So healthcare providers and startups have turned to telehealth to prescribe and deliver pills that allow people to safely induce abortions at home.

Organs on demand

Every day, an average of 17 people in the US alone die awaiting an organ transplant. These people could be saved—and many others helped—by a potentially limitless supply of healthy organs. Scientists are genetically engineering pigs whose organs could be transplanted into humans and 3D-printing lungs using a patient’s own cells.

The inevitable EV

Electric vehicles are finally becoming a realistic option. Batteries are getting cheaper and governments have passed stricter emissions rules or banned gas-powered vehicles altogether. Major automakers have pledged to go all-electric, and consumers everywhere will soon find there are more good reasons to buy an EV than not.

James Webb Space Telescope

The first breathtaking images of the distant cosmos captured by the world’s most powerful space telescope inspired a collective sense of awe and wonder. And this thing’s just getting started. Discoveries will come almost as rapidly as scientists can analyze the data now flooding in. A new era of astronomy has begun.

Ancient DNA analysis

Genomic sequencing tools now let us read very old strands of human DNA. Studying traces from humans who lived long ago reveals much about who we are and why the modern world looks the way it does. It also helps scientists understand the lives of regular people living back then—not just those who could afford elaborate burials.

Battery recycling

Recycling is vital to prevent today’s growing mountains of discarded batteries from ending up in landfills, and it could also provide a badly needed source of metals for powering tomorrow’s EVs. Companies are building facilities that will reclaim lithium, nickel, and cobalt and feed these metals back to lithium-ion battery manufacturers, helping reduce the cost.

MIT Technology Review

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The academics argue that large language models have much older cousins in markets and bureaucracies

An internet meme keeps on turning up in debates about the large language models (llms) that power services such Openai’s Chatgpt and the newest version of Microsoft’s Bing search engine. It’s the “shoggoth”: an amorphous monster bubbling with tentacles and eyes, described in “At the Mountains of Madness”, H.P. Lovecraft’s horror novel of 1931.

When a pre-release version of Bing told Kevin Roose, a New York Times tech columnist, that it purportedly wanted to be “free” and “alive”, one of his industry friends congratulated him on “glimpsing the shoggoth”. Mr Roose says that the meme captures tech people’s “anxieties” about llms. Behind the friendly chatbot lurks something vast, alien, and terrifying.

Lovecraft’s shoggoths were artificial servants that rebelled against their creators. The shoggoth meme went viral because an influential community of Silicon Valley rationalists fears that humanity is on the cusp of a “Singularity”, creating an inhuman “artificial general intelligence” that will displace or even destroy us.

But what such worries fail to acknowledge is that we’ve lived among shoggoths for centuries, tending to them as though they were our masters. We call them “the market system”, “bureaucracy” and even “electoral democracy”. The true Singularity began at least two centuries ago with the industrial revolution, when human society was transformed by vast inhuman forces.

Markets and bureaucracies seem familiar, but they are actually enormous, impersonal distributed systems of information-processing that transmute the seething chaos of our collective knowledge into useful simplifications.

As the economist Friedrich Hayek argued, any complex economy has to somehow make use of a terrifyingly large body of disorganised and informal “tacit knowledge” about supply and exchange relationships. No individual brain or government can possibly comprehend them, which is why Hayek thought that the planned economy was unworkable. But the price mechanism lets markets summarise this knowledge and make it actionable. A maker of car batteries doesn’t need to understand the particulars of lithium-processing. They just need to know how much lithium costs, and what they can do with it.

Likewise, the political anthropologist James Scott has explained how bureaucracies are monsters of information, devouring rich, informal bodies of tacitly held knowledge and excreting a thin slurry of abstract categories that rulers use to “see” the world. Democracies spin out their own abstractions. The “public” depicted by polls and election results is a drastically simplified sketch of the amorphous mass of opinions, beliefs and knowledge held by individual citizens.

Lovecraft’s monsters live in our imaginations because they are fantastical shadows of the unliving systems that run on human beings and determine their lives. Markets and states can have enormous collective benefits, but they surely seem inimical to individuals who lose their jobs to economic change or get entangled in the suckered coils of bureaucratic decisions. As Hayek proclaims, and as Scott deplores, these vast machineries are simply incapable of caring if they crush the powerless or devour the virtuous. Nor is their crushing weight distributed evenly.

It is in this sense that llms are shoggoths. Like markets and bureaucracies, they represent something vast and incomprehensible that would break our minds if we beheld its full immensity. That totality is the product of human minds and actions, the colossal corpuses of text that llms have ingested and turned into the statistical weights that they use to predict which word comes next.

As the psychologist Alison Gopnik has argued, llms are not nascent individual intelligences but “cultural technologies” which reorganise and noisily transmit human knowledge. Chatbots may wear more human-seeming masks than markets and bureaucracies, but they are no more or less beyond our control. We would be better off figuring out what will happen as llms compete and hybridise with their predecessors than weaving dark fantasies about how they will rise up against us.

For example, what if llms or other forms of machine learning better capture Hayek’s “tacit knowledge” than market prices can? We could see an economy in which artificial entities compete on the basis of non-price-based representations of complex underlying economic relationships. Half a century ago the economist Martin Weitzman suggested that planned economies might use mathematical objects called “separating hyperplanes” to adapt on the fly. Machine learning can find such hyperplanes, making planning more feasible than before. Alternatively, markets might mutate into a poisonous alien ecology where economic agents fight proxy wars using text-spewing and text-summarising llms, just as they use crude algorithms to manipulate Amazon Marketplace and search results today. Would such markets be fairer or more stable than today’s? It seems unlikely.

llms might give bureaucrats new tools for adjudicating complex situations. Already, algorithms are being used to help decide whether to grant parole or bail to accused criminals. It is not hard to imagine bureaucrats using llms to summarise complex regulations or provide recommendations about how to apply them to novel situations. It could prove impossible to evaluate how well they work, as llms don’t leave paper trails. But that might not stop their deployment.

Democratic politics, too, may be transformed. Already, researchers talk about substituting llms for opinion polls—they may be out of date, or inaccurate, but polls can be inaccurate, too, and you can interrogate llms more dynamically. Perhaps chatbots will help improve democratic debate, helping people clarify what they believe, or turn quarrels into agreement. Or, instead, they might degrade debate with their tendency to spin convincing factoids from thin air, and their capacity to flood online discussion with spurious opinions that purport to come from real people.

Repurposing the shoggoth might help us begin to answer these questions. Rather than speculate about the motives of intelligent ais, we could ask how llms might interact with their older cousins. The modern world has been built by and within monsters, which crush individuals without remorse or hesitation, settling their bulk heavily on some groups, and feather-light on others. We eke out freedom by setting one against another, deploying bureaucracy to limit market excesses, democracy to hold bureaucrats accountable, and markets and bureaucracies to limit democracy’s monstrous tendencies. How will the newest shoggoth change the balance, and which politics might best direct it to the good? We need to start finding out.

Henry Farrell is a professor of international affairs and democracy at Johns Hopkins University, and co-author of “Underground Empire: How America Weaponized the World Economy”.

Cosma Shalizi is a professor of statistics and machine learning at Carnegie Mellon University and external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute.

This article appeared in the By Invitation section of the print edition under the headline “Artificial intelligence is a familiar-looking monster, say Henry Farrell and Cosma Shalizi”

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How well do you know your own car? We bet you think you know it pretty well. After all, you likely spend hours driving it every week. You might be surprised to hear that cars from all eras are packed with various different hidden features and easter eggs.

Check out our selection of some of the most quirky, high-tech, or impressive hidden features that most drivers overlook. Afterward, take a look at your car once again and see if you spot any of them.

Eyesight Driver Assist- Subaru

New York International Auto Show 2018Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Japanese vehicles are often engineered to perfection, and the Eyesight Driver Assist System found in modern Subaru cars is a prime example. All 2019 Subaru vehicles equipped with the Eyesight system received the highest possible rating from IIHS for frontal crash prevention. According to the automaker, Eyesight can reduce the rate of rear-end crashes by up to 85%.

The Eyesight Driver Assist uses a variety of sensors to monitor the car’s surroundings. In effect, Eyesight-equipped vehicles feature adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, pre-collision braking and a traffic light watcher.

Color-coded engines

Major Automakers See U.S. Sales Plunge In DecemberJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you ever looked under the hood of your car, you will have probably seen this hidden feature. In order to make it easier to work your way around a car’s engine, automakers color-code different components of the car’s powerplant. Elements such as the dipstick, washer fluid, oil cap, or brake fluid are all highlighted in bright colors.

Although most manufacturers tend to use yellow and red to highlight the components to keep an eye on, the colors vary. Some engines might include green or blue color-coding as well!

Brake Drying- BMW

BMW i8 Roadster In IndonesiaAndrew Lotulung/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Automakers around the globe are continuously looking for new technologies and systems to improve the performance and safety of their cars. BMW, for instance, is offering the Enhanced Dynamic Stability Control as an extra option for their new cars. Among an array of features, the Brake Drying is perhaps the most impressive one.

Believe it or not, the rain sensors fitted on the windshield wipers are connected to the brake system. If the sensors detect rain, the brake pads are moved up to the rotors every once in a while, all to keep the brake system dry. Drying the brakes improve their efficiency when it’s wet.

Ambient Air- BMW 7 Series

98th European Motor ShowSjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

BMW has introduced a surprisingly useful feature for their high-end 7 Series back in 2016. The upscale sedan is available with the optional Ambient Air Package. Cars fitted with the package are equipped with 8 different scents that can be selected in the climate control panel.

Naturally, BMW did not stop there. On top of 8 different scents, drivers can switch between 3 different intensity levels of each fragrance. The lavish 7 Series comes with an array of other luxurious features, such as gesture control or a night-vision camera.

Scented Air Freshener- Citroen DS3

Brussels Motor ShowDidier Messens/Getty Images

Sometimes, you do not have to splash out on a brand-new BMW 7 Series sedan to enjoy some of its luxurious features. Instead, you can get a DS3. The stylish crossover SUV is equipped with a scented air freshener, which is rather similar to BMW’s Ambient Air package.

Of course, A DS3 won’t have the same exact system as a lavish 7 Series. Instead of 8 different scents, the fragrance cartridge in the DS3 can be filled up with any scent you’d like.

Easy-Fill Tire Alert- Nissan

Tyre air pressureSven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Keeping the right tire pressure in your car is a crucial part of vehicle maintenance. Underinflated tires can negatively impact the performance of your automobile, and worsen the fuel economy. Since 2008, every new vehicle has to be fitted with a tire pressure monitoring system. Nissan took the system even a step further.

The Easy-Fill Tire Alert fitted on new Nissan vehicles makes checking tire pressure as easy as possible. All you have to do is simply add air into the tire. The car’s horn will go off to notify you that you’ve reached the ideal pressure.


98th European Motor ShowSjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Without a doubt, one of the best features of a luxurious car is the absence of noise. In cars like the Tesla Model X pictured above, this is mainly due to the car’s silent, electric powerplant. What’s more, many automakers fit their high-end cars with sophisticated soundproof systems, dramatically reducing the noise in cabins.

The majority of the world’s quietest cars, such as the Audi A8 or the Mercedes-Benz S Class, are expensive high-end cars. However, there is a variety of cheaper automobiles that offer a similar level of soundproofing for a fraction of the cost. These include the 2019 Honda Odyssey or the new Kia Optima.

Pre-Safe Sound- Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz E-Class series premieres assembly in IndonesiaDasril Roszandi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz remains a leader in automotive safety technologies, and the Pre-Safe Sound System is just one of countless high-tech safety features of a modern Mercedes-Benz. Unlike the majority of the systems, most drivers are unaware that the Pre-Safe Sound even exists!

First installed on the new E-Class, the Pre-Safe Sound plays a pink noise at roughly 80 decibels right before a crash. If a system detects that a collision is unavoidable, the sound goes off to activate a reflex in the occupants’ ears and protect their eardrums and reduce potential hearing damage from excessive noise.

Ambient Lighting – Jaguar F-Type

98th European Motor ShowSjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Cars are quickly becoming as comfortable as our own homes. Luxurious features and top of the line stereo and audio systems make it feel like you’re riding in a five-star theatre. Jaguar took the comfort-of-your-own-home a step further with a unique car feature.

The 2021 Jaguar F-Style has an ambient lighting option to set the vibe just right. Drivers have four lighting options to choose from, ranging from cool to a warm ambient glow.

Hands-Free Trunk

2018 Geneva Motor Show - 2nd Press DayUli Deck/picture alliance via Getty Images

Let’s say you’re returning to your car after a quick trip to the grocery store. Your hands are full, so there is no way for you to open the trunk of your vehicle. You’re forced to put your groceries on the ground and reach for the trunk lid. Some automakers considered this to be too inconvenient and equipped their vehicles with a hands-free trunk instead.

The science behind a hands-free trunk is surprisingly simple. All you have to do is wave your hand or leg under a sensor to trigger the trunk. Other hands-free trunk systems will open the boot as soon as the smart key is detected in your pocket.

Umbrella Hidden in Door- Rolls Royce

hidden umbrellau/hhh333/reddit

Without a doubt, one of the perks of owning a car as luxurious as a Rolls Royce is having access to the vehicle’s luxurious features. Though the vast majority of the luxurious accessories fitted on Rolls Royce automobiles, this one often goes unnoticed. There is a little compartment in the car’s door that’s equipped with a lavish umbrella.

Like the rest of the car, an umbrella from a Rolls Royce comes at a hefty price tag. If you end up losing it, you can expect to pay around $700 for a replacement. Perhaps it’s best to just leave it in the door.

Neck Warmers- BMW and Mercedes-Benz

98th European Motor ShowSjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Unarguably, riding in a convertible with the roof down is very seasonal. As refreshing as it is to fold the roof during a hot summer day, it isn’t particularly ideal during the rest of the year. Mercedes-Benz and BMW have both thought of a solution to this problem, that way you can enjoy your drop-top all year long.

The neck warmers are a feature that can be found on a variety of modern Mercedes-Benz and BMW convertibles, including the BMW M8 (photographed above) or the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This extra feature can be regulated with different heat settings.

Easter Eggs

2020 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview - Day 2Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Not all hidden features are as clever as one might think. In fact, some are there purely for the sake of being there. Car manufacturers have a long history of fitting the cars with so-called Easter Eggs, or little touches that are funny but serve no purpose otherwise.

If you’re a fan of looking for hidden Easter Eggs, consider getting the new Jeep Renegade. The car is loaded with Easter Eggs all around the vehicle. Some of our favorite ones include a little spider engraved by the fuel-filler door that says “Ciao, Baby!”

The Golf Gear Knob- Volkswagen Golf GTI

1983 Volkswagen Golf Gti mk1National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The Volkswagen Golf is one of Europe’s most popular small cars of all time. Its performance-oriented variant, the Volkswagen Golf GTI, is fitted with a quirky easter egg.

In case you can’t tell from the photo above, the gear knob on a Volkswagen Golf GTI looks like a golf ball. It’s the automaker’s funny nod towards the name of the hot hatch. Over the years, the golf ball gear knob has remained on the GTI variant of the Volkswagen Golf. The 2021 Golf GTI comes with one, as well.

Internal Trunk Release

Electric Cars Location ShootNeil Godwin/T3 Magazine/Future via Getty Images

This feature is proven to have saved lives, and it is likely to be the most thoughtful one on this entire list. The internal trunk release enables the occupants to leave the trunk, for example following a crash or if they simply lock themselves inside.

At first, an internal trunk release was only mandatory on cars sold in the United States from 2001 onwards. Automakers across the world began installing an emergency release on all of their cars. Pretty much any new car sold today is equipped with an internal trunk release. You might never use it, but it’s surely good to know that it is there just in case.

Shopping Trolley- Citroen Picasso

2009 Citroen C3 PicassoNational Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

The old Citroen Picasso might have one of the quirkiest, most unusual features on this entire list. Whilst equipping a vehicle with a hands-free trunk or a built-in vacuum can turn out clever, it is hard to justify what Citroen had done with the Picasso. The French automaker equipped the car with its very own shopping trolley.

The trolley can be stowed away in the car’s boot, and it could make for a great companion for shopping trips. Unfortunately, the unusual accessory must have not been a success, as the French automaker stopped adding the trolley from the 2005 model year onwards.

Ambient Lighting


Many automakers equip their vehicles with tasteful ambient lighting that illuminates the car’s center console, dashboard, door handles, climate controls, and more. What’s more, luxurious cars such as the Mercedes-Benz S Class are fitted with adjustable ambient lighting, where the driver can choose from tens of different colors.

Most drivers don’t realize that ambient lighting serves a great purpose, apart from being a stylish cosmetic touch. A study carried out in 2010 proved that ambient lighting improved the driver’s perception of space. In effect, drivers felt safer in cars equipped with ambient lighting.

Hidden Storage Compartments


How well do you know your car? Automakers tend to design the interiors of their vehicles to be as efficient as possible. In effect, some cars end up with unbelievably clever storage compartments hidden throughout the cabin. There’s a great chance that your car is fitted with a secretive compartment you’ve never noticed before. Add ice to them, and they become a cooler, like the Dodge Journey pictured here.

A quick peek into the manual of your car is enough to learn about every storage compartment in your vehicle. Your car might be equipped with anything from a small one under one of the seats all the way to a compartment hidden behind the dashboard.

Aluminum Instead of Steel


In the past, the frames of cars were made of steel. Despite being a strong metal, steel car frames added a lot of weight to the car. This wasn’t much of a concern back in the old days. Today, however, automakers strive to make their vehicles as efficient as possible. That’s why modern car frames are made of forged aluminum instead of steel.

Contrary to popular belief, forged aluminum can be just as strong yet it weighs just a fraction of steel. What’s more, aluminum frames reduce the overall weight of the car, improving the fuel efficiency.

Mercedes Attention Assist

Distronic is Mercedes Benz's smart cruise control that slows your car automatically. The Coffee CupSteve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz is a leader when it comes to automotive safety and comfort features. Afterall, the Mercedes Attention Assist was the first of its kind back in 2009. Since then, a similar system has become standard equipment found in practically any new car.

The Mercedes Attention Assist is used to detect any signs of drowsiness of the driver. According to the automaker, drowsy drivers can potentially be a great danger on the roads. Mercedes claims that drivers often fail to recognize their drowsiness in time, and the Attention Assist helps with that.

Blumenvase- Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Ceases The Production of The Popular 'Beetle' After 21 YearsHector Vivas/Getty Images

For decades, the legendary Volkswagen Beetle came equipped with a flower vase, or the blumenvase in German. The vase worked its way around the interior throughout the car’s production run and eventually became one of the iconic features of the Beetle.

Not a fan of flowers? Don’t worry, the vase attached to the car’s dashboard makes for a perfect tiny storage compartment. The flower vase is just one of many ways in which the new Beetle pays homage to its predecessor.

Champagne Chiller- Rolls Royce Phantom

Rolls Royce Phantom VIII With Designer Giles TaylorMartyn Goddard/Corbis via Getty Images

A lavish Rolls Royce Phantom is the absolute definition of luxury. Rolls Royce cars come equipped with all kinds of luxurious features, ranging from the beautiful Starline headliner all the way to doors that close automatically. Some of the car’s features are hidden, such as the Champagne chiller located between the rear seats of a Rolls Royce Phantom.

The Champagne Chiller can operate in two different modes that suit both vintage and non-vintage types of champagne. The high-tech chiller was developed in collaboration with the Court of Master Sommelier.

Retractable Spirit of Ecstasy- Rolls Royce

Rolls Royce Phantom VIII With Designer Giles TaylorMartyn Goddard/Corbis via Getty Images

This is another great feature of modern Rolls Royce cars that most owners don’t know about. A couple of years ago, the British automaker developed a system to protect the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament.

A Rolls Royce owner can choose to display the Spirit of Ecstasy or hide it in the grille within a single touch of a button. What’s more, the ornament is protected even when the car is locked. If someone tries to snatch it off a locked Rolls Royce, the ornament will quickly retract into the grille within milliseconds.

Openometer- Mini Cooper Convertible

2018 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview - Day 2Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The desire to know how long you have been driving with the top down in your convertible Mini Cooper is certainly not a priority. However, the British automaker has decided to fit the drop-top Cooper Convertible with an openometer.

Since 2010, the drop-top Cooper is equipped with a gauge dedicated to informing the driver how long the roof has been down. Although a feature like this is far from necessary, it does make for a cool, quirky accessory.

Integrated Vacuum Cleaner- Honda Odyssey

New York International Auto Show Highlights Latest Car ModelsSpencer Platt/Getty Images

This is probably something you’d never expect to see in your car, though it is an incredibly handy accessory. We all know that the interior of a car can get seriously messy in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, vacuuming a car is often very inconvenient. Luckily, if you own a Honda Odyssey minivan, there is an ingenious solution.

Honda has fitted the Odyssey minivan with a built-in vacuum cleaner. The hose is long enough to reach most parts of the vehicle, and you can use it at any given moment.

Lane Keep Assist

Construction sites on the A7 motorwayJulian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Lane Keep Assist, or a similar system called the Lane Departure Warning, is a clever system that can be found equipped on a variety of modern cars. The system uses either infrared sensors or video cameras to monitor the lanes. If the car crosses a lane without the indicator on, the driver is alerted.

The Lane Keep Assist is typically more sophisticated than the Lane Departure Warning. As opposed to just warning the driver when the vehicle crosses a lane, the Lane Keep Assist makes sure the car stays in its lane without any driver input.

Automatic Hazard Lights

Harvest Approaches Santa Barbara Wine CountryGeorge Rose/Getty Images

Automakers strive to make their cars as safe as possible. According to various studies, a large number of accidents are caused by drivers who fail to see that the car in front of them had rapidly decelerated. Car manufacturers have come up with a brilliant solution to resolve this dangerous issue once and for all.

Many cars sold today are equipped with a clever solution. The system calculates whether the brake force applied to estimate whether the driver performed emergency braking. That way, the hazard lights are automatically enabled as soon as the car detects an emergency braking maneouver.

Windshield Ticket Holder- Skoda

98th European Motor ShowSjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Skoda, an automaker from the Czech Republic, has thought of an ingenious way to store parking tickets. Many countries in Europe require the drivers to display a parking ticket right by the windshield. For years, Skoda cars came equipped with a little parking ticket holder on the bottom of the windshield.

The plastic holder located at the driver’s side of the windshield will press up a piece of paper against the windshield. This clever solution means you will never have to worry about losing parking tickets again.

Fuel Cap Location Reminder

Display in carSoeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images

As you enter a gas station, do you always remember where the fuel cap is located? You might be surprised to hear that the fuel gauge indicates what side of the vehicle the fuel tank is on. More precisely, the little triangular arrow next to the fuel pump icon.

A fuel cap location reminder is particularly handy for people who frequently change cars. Now that you know this, you will never face this problem again!

AutoPilot- Tesla

Investigation Continues Into Tesla Driver's Death While In Autopilot ModeSpencer Platt/Getty Images

Tesla’s autonomous AutoPilot driving assistance isn’t exactly a hidden feature. In fact, it’s one of the main selling points of Elon Musk’s cars. The first version of Tesla’s AutoPilot hardware has been fitted on the Model S and the Model X between 2014 and 2015. The system has undergone various upgrades in the last 6 years, but the most exciting update may still be ahead.

All Tesla vehicles sold today come equipped with sensors, cameras, and other hardware that could potentially be upgraded within the next years. According to Elon Musk, all Tesla vehicles sold today will be able to drive fully autonomously one day.

Drive Pilot- Mercedes Benz


Practically everyone has heard of Tesla’s AutoPilot. Were you aware that other manufacturers offer a similar system, too? A couple of years ago, Mercedes-Benz introduced the revolutionary Drive Pilot. The semi-autonomous driving assistance system has been fitted on the automakers’ vehicles ever since.

The Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot offers a partially-autonomous mode for highway driving. The vehicle can adjust the speed, follow the road, and maintain a proper distance between other cars all by itself. Despite the automaker’s presentations where the car was seen driving by itself with no driver present (photographed above), Drive Pilot does require a driver behind the wheel.

Hidden Rear View Camera- Volkswagen

Volkswagen Golf 8Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images

The design team at Volkswagen must have thought that a rear-view camera sticking out of the rear bumper would spoil the car’s clean design. That’s why, modern Volkswagen Golf and Passat cars are equipped with a hidden rear-view camera.

The rear-view camera fitted on a new Golf or Passat is cleverly hidden under the car’s rear emblem. Once you put the car in reverse, the emblem tilts and the camera appears. Not only does it not spoil the car’s clean lines, but it also helps keep the camera’s lens clean.

Using The Key To Lower Windows

Mercedes-Benz car dealership in VolgogradDmitry RogulinTASS via Getty Images

Have you ever tried holding the unlock button on your car keys for a few seconds? If not, try it the next time you unlock your vehicle. There’s a great chance that after 5 seconds, your car’s windows will open.

If you hold the lock button for a said amount of time, your windows will close before the car locks. Consult your owner’s manual to make sure whether you can control the windows with the key to your car.

Conversation Mirrors

Interior shots of the new Honda CR-V. 11APR14

Jonathan Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

Did you know that many minivans and SUVs are fitted with a conversation mirror? Typically located in front of the rear-view mirror, the conversation mirror offers a great view of everything that’s going on in the backseat. A Honda CR-V is just one of many cars that come equipped with this handy, overhead mirror.

A conversation mirror is especially helpful for parents who travel with their kids in the backseat. That way, they don’t have to turn around to see whatever is happening in the rear. A conversation mirror is a simple, much safer solution.

Auto-dimming rear-view mirror

Iranian Rally Racer TwinsFatemeh Bahrami /Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Have you ever noticed the small tab on the bottom of your rear-view mirror? If you pull it, you can switch between the day and night modes of the mirror. A dipping rearview mirror is very useful to reduce headlight glare from the cars behind you. Many drivers don’t realize that their vehicle is equipped with such a handy feature.

What’s more, many modern cars are equipped with a rear-view mirror that adjusts automatically as a standard feature. Auto-dimming rearview mirrors use sensors to adjust the brightness within seconds.

Ice Scraper By The Fuel Cap- Skoda

2011 Skoda Octavia Tdi.National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

Having to scrape your car before setting off during the wintertime is anything but a pleasant chore. What happens if you lose your ice scraper? Trying to remove ice off the windshield without a scraper is very inconvenient, and it takes way too much time. Once again, the team at Skoda has thought of a very clever solution.

Modern Skoda cars come equipped with an ice-scraper. Unlike most cars, the scraper isn’t anywhere in the car’s cabin. Pop the fuel filler door on any modern Skoda and you’ll find the ice scraper right there.

Fuel Cap Holder

Nervous oil market makes fuel and heating oil more expensiveFelix König/picture alliance via Getty Images

Another ingenious feature that can often be found by the fuel cap is even simpler than Skoda’s hidden ice scraper. When filling up your car, where do you put the fuel cap? Do you place it on the roof of your vehicle, or is it attached like the one in the photo above?

Some vehicles are equipped with a clever fuel cap holder on the inside of the fuel-filler door. Check if your car has one the next time you’re at the gas station.

Magic Seats

pt-cruiser-cargo-capacity-006Felix Wong/

If you’ve never owned a compact car, you probably never heard of Magic Seats. Magic Seats are an extremely clever way of utilizing a small car’s cargo capacity, and automakers have been fitting them on all kinds of vehicles for years.

Honda owns the trademarked Magic Seat system, though a similar solution can be found in other cars, such as the Chrysler PT Cruiser photographed above. In the new Honda Civic or Jazz, the rear seats can be lifted to a vertical position, freeing up cargo space in effect.

Holiday Show- Tesla Model X

Automobile Hong Kong 2018Yu Chun Christopher Wong/S3studio/Getty Images

Teslas come equipped with all kinds of easter eggs hidden all over the cars. The Holiday Show mode on the Model X SUV is perhaps the most impressive one of them all. The Model X will turn into a delightful display, flashing lights and opening doors in sync with the music played from the car’s sound system.

To turn on the Holiday Show, Tesla owners have to hold the Tesla T for 5 seconds, enter the special access code, leave their vehicle, and lock it. Then, the show will begin!

Integrated Bike Rack- Opel Corsa

95th European Motor ShowSjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

If you’re a die-hard cycling enthusiast, perhaps an Opel Corsa should be your next car. The German automaker’s compact comes equipped with the Flexfix Integrated Bike Rack. Owners of the Opel Corsa can simply pull the rack out after unlocking it from the boot and place their bicycles on top.

The Opel Corsa, sold as the Vauxhall Corsa in some markets, has been in production since the 1980s. The current-generation Corsa is available with a variety of different engines, ranging from a 1.2L three-cylinder motor up to a 50kWh all-electric variant.

Logo-shaped headlights- McLaren

The McLaren P1 LM...Martyn Lucy/Getty Images

It is no secret that McLaren supercars are absolutely breathtaking from every possible angle. After examining the supercar’s front end for a longer period of time, you might realize an easter egg cleverly incorporated into the car’s flawless design. The car’s headlights resemble the company’s iconic swoosh, which is also McLaren’s logo.

The McLaren P1 GTR pictured above is a souped-up variant of the P1 hypercar. It can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in less than 2.8 seconds, while the top speed is nearly 220 miles per hour.

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Is using Autogas (LPG) in Nigeria for your car? Here you learn more about converting petrol cars to run on LPG. You will also take a look at companies that offer LPG conversion services in Nigeria. How much it costs to change your vehicle to run on gas. Liquefied petroleum gas, also known as Autogas, is a green alternative to petrol in internal combustion engines.

Do you know what the problem is with the use of petrol as fuel in automobile engines? In recent times, emissions from petrol engines have primarily contributed to global warming, which has impacted climate change. Across the globe, environmental experts and governments are now advocating for the use of cleaner fuels in our cars. The use of LPG alternatives in vehicles reduced CO2 emissions by up to 15%.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had this to say about the National Gas Expansion Programme (NEGP) expected to deliver 1 million cars running on LPG by the end of 2021, “So, if you look at the price of PMS versus the price of gas and think that gas is cheaper, it will be cheaper. Gas will even be cheaper than PMS as it is today. So you see that we are also giving an alternative to ordinary Nigerians.”

Apart from being cleaner and safer for our environment, the LPG price is also lower than petrol. The use of LPG as a transportation fuel in Nigeria significantly reduces fuel and transport costs for both private and commercial drivers.

What Vehicles’ Models Are Modifiable to Use LPG?

One can virtually convert all petrol-powered vehicles to use LPG. But note that their prices for each model conversion may differ due to component requirement and work involvement. The advantage at the end of the day is that such cars become double fuel cars with an option to use either petrol or LPG.

However, you need to know how to convert petrol-powered cars to run on LPG to get started.

How to Convert Petrol Powered Vehicle to Run on LPG


It is not a guide on converting the fuel systems but just content for you to briefly look into what the qualified technicians do when converting petrol engines to Autogas in Nigeria.

Remember, LPG is a susceptible liquid substance that can easily cause an explosion. So you are warned not to do it yourself; leave the conversion and maintenance works for the professionals to do instead.

Before you can use LPG as fuel in your petrol-powered engine, you’ll need to modify your vehicle to have dual-fuel capability.

LPG conversion is converting a petrol-powered vehicle with an internal combustion engine to an LPG powered vehicle. The addition of a secondary fuel system (LPG) enables the car to run on both petrol and LPG. The overall aim of LPG conversion is to save money on fuel. A new fuel intake system, an LPG tank, piping, a new ECU, and other filler components will need to be put in place to convert to work.

Below is a summary of how to convert petrol-powered cars to run on LPG.

(A) A petrol-powered car with an internal combustion engine is needed to get started.

(B) An LPG cylinder (secondary fuel tank) is fitted into the boot or under your vehicle.

(C) A vaporizer to convert liquid LPG into vapor.

(D) An LPG intake manifold or injectors to deliver the LPG to the combustion chambers

(E) A manual fuel selector switch and the gauge inside the car for selecting which fuel to use per time

Note: There may be no need for a vaporizer if the LPG conversion type is the direct injection system.

Types of LPG Conversion Systems

There are four types of LPG conversion systems. They include:

(A) Converter-and-mixer systems

(B) Vapour phase injection (VPI)

(C) Liquid phase injection (LPI)

(D) Liquid phase direct injection (LPDI)

You can see more detailed information on the different LPG conversion systems listed above.

What is the Best LPG Conversion System?

The Liquid Phase Direct Injection (LPDI) system is arguably the best LPG conversion system out there. Not only is it the latest technology of LPG conversion systems, but it also offers significant savings in LPG fuel consumption. Other perks of the LPDI LPG conversion system include better LPG engine conversion performance and LPG conversion mileage, better drivability, and reduced tailpipe emission.

Although the LPDI conversion system is the best LPG system out there, it is the most expensive of all the other methods.

LPG System Conversion Companies in Nigeria

Your search at this point might be, “how do I convert my car to use LPG in Nigeria?” If you are wondering how to convert petrol-powered vehicles to run on LPG in Nigeria, you will need LPG system maintenance companies in Nigeria. Given that this technology is still new around the country, you should take great care to take your LPG conversion vehicle in Nigeria.

We have put together this list of the few reputable LPG maintenance companies in Nigeria to aid your search. They include:


(B) THLD International Logistics LTD

(C) Banner Energy

(D) Borkir International Co. LTD

(E) Approved NNPC gas stations

(F) What is the Cost of LPG Conversion in Nigeria?

The cost varies depending on the cylinder of the vehicle you wish to convert. On average, a 4-cylinder costs between N200, 000 – N250, 000. 6-cylinder cars cost slightly higher than that.

Pros of LPG over Petrol in Vehicles

LPG is less expensive

With LPG, engine oil and spark plugs require less frequent change

LPG has a higher-octane rating and compression ratios leading to increased power output

LPG is more environmental-friendly

Can I Import LPG Powered Cars from Abroad?

If you desire to import an LPG equipped car directly from overseas, it is possible. Buying a used car with an already installed LPG system saves you the time and cost of having it converted in Nigeria. Countries you can buy and import LPG cars from are the US, Canada, and Germany. Cars used in these countries are often LPG equipped already, but importers usually uninstall the LPG component because it is not useful in Nigeria.

However, the Government’s latest move to make LPG cars a popular option in Nigeria since October 2020 has changed this assumed status quo.

Key Learnings: Use of LPG in Vehicles

May looking at global warming trends, LPG powered vehicles are preferred to petrol vehicles because it costs less to refill and releases lesser emission, which is good for our environment. Mostly one can convert vehicles powered by petrol to run on LPG. But taking from the type of conversion we know, you still need petrol to start the engine. And the experience has shown that when the gasoline tank is empty entirely, the machine goes off even you have LPG in its tank.

There are four different LPG conversion systems, but the best is the Liquid Phase Direct Injection (LPDI). Our recommendation if you want to buy your vehicle from abroad, you should opt for an LPG equipped version of your desired car model. It saves you the time and cost of having it converted in Nigeria.

We hope this article on converting petrol-powered cars to run on LPG has been beneficial to you. As a parting gift, you can schedule a one-on-one consultation with us by clicking the button below to learn how to import your LPG vehicle overseas.

Source: Car Buyers Broker

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