Four model years ago, Honda introduced a new feature into its 2013 Accord and Crosstour models — Lane Watch. It’s a right-side camera that assists with blind spots. When the turn signal indicator is engaged for a right-hand turn, the camera shows the lane to the right of the car on the navigation system screen. One red (closest) and two yellow lines on the screen show the distance to the next vehicle(s).

The Lane Watch feature has been added to other Honda models more recently, and it’s included in my 2016 Honda Civic (Touring), the vehicle I’m driving during the Tour of Utah bicycle race.

Since leaving Sacramento on July 30, I driven more than 1,200 miles. During the long-distance trek, the Lane Watch feature and the navigation system have become trusted technology companions.

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The 2016 Honda Civic has two practical, intuitive technology features. All images by James Raia/2016

 

The high speed, open road of the Nevada and Utah deserts can provide both relaxing driving and intense motoring because of posted speed limits of up to 80 mph. The Lane Watch feature allows a driver to see the passenger side of the road without turning their head away from the road. It’s particularly important if you’re not used to driving at increased speeds, particularly because other vehicles arrive quickly.

Honda Civic: Keen Tech Features

The Honda navigation system is among the best I’ve used. Honda work in conjunction with Garmin.

Directions are easily accessible with touchscreen icons as well as large letters and numbers. Directions appear at the top of the screen in bold letters and on with arrow displayed on a screen on the dash. Turns, mergers and more specifics are provided efficiently and with plenty of fair notice. Freeway exits, for example, are announced beginning as far away as four miles from the location and then repeated several times. Visibility is crisp on the navigation screen, too.

The navigation system also warns of heavy traffic or accidents and provide an alternate route. While driving about 60 miles from Spanish Fork to Salt Lake City, the navigation system several times offered alternative routes that would save 1 to 3 minutes. I remained with the preferred route. But when the alternative route suggested saved 14 minutes, I took it and my route advanced a course parallel to the freeway I just left, which was gridlocked.

Many carmakers have added so many tech features to their new vehicles, it’s reached saturation. Technology overload is real. Honda doesn’t go to extremes. The new Civic is well-equipped and its technology, via the Lane Change program and the navigation system, are technology advancement that make sense. I relied on two features often during the my trip, and I will continue to do with about another 1,000 miles to travel.

Additional reading:

2016 Honda Civic Touring: Hot desert, high speed, long haul

2016 Honda Civic Touring: Driving the Tour of Utah efficiently fast

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