The automotive world has made great strides from a few decades back. With all the technologies in use today, cars are gradually evolving and becoming even more utilitarian. Even so, there are levels the automotive world is yet to unlock. While some are so far from being realised, a few are within our reach.
As we gear towards achieving those beyond our scope, we are still anticipating those that we have almost cracked. Below are some of the technologies we expect to be rolling out soon. Read on.
How cool would it be if the ute right in front of you could communicate with your sedan about lane change? Well, brace yourself because this is about to become a reality.
Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication is a system that will allow cars of the future to communicate. With V2V, drivers will be able to communicate with each other on the road. This technology is currently a work in progress at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Among the array of benefits that will come with this technology are fewer accidents and safer roads. Inconveniences such as high-beam headlights will be a thing of the past.
The technology makes use of wireless signals to relay data between autos. There are also plans in place for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure, which will allow sending of information between vehicles and traffic systems.
Augmented Reality Displays
You may have seen or heard about augmented reality or AR. Among others, German automaker BMW has already come up with a rudimentary AR dashboard in their vehicles. More advanced AR versions are projected in the coming years.
This development will allow holograms to pop-up on the windshield in front of the driver's seat. The windscreen will serve as the focal point, ensuring that the driver's eyes will be glued to the road. The virtual imagery will include maps, music, and instruments, such as the speedometer.
It will be much like racing in a virtual reality game except that, in this case, you will be actually driving on the road. AR will be particularly useful to drivers who heavily rely on GPS and other navigation systems when driving. As of the moment, giant tech company Apple and Toyota have already filed for patents for AR window displays.
You have heard of and seen the rearview camera in action. What’s even better is its opposite – the front-view camera. Upcoming technologies will make way for its development and application to production cars. It will be installed on the front end of the vehicle to deliver a 180° view of oncoming cars, traffic signs, and pedestrians.
The integrated computer systems will analyse the data collected from the camera and act accordingly. For instance, if the system detects an unexpected car coming your way, it will brake automatically. Similarly, it will deliver speed warnings if you are driving at higher speeds than those required.
Almost everyone is so pumped up about the self-driving car. The thought of having autonomous vehicles on the road is thrilling. What is even more exciting is the news that the autonomous vehicle is much closer to being a reality. Reports reveal that self-driving car prototypes have had significant success, so, it is only a matter of time now.
The car will be able to drive you to and fro your commute. Autonomous vehicles are expected to storm the market at fair prices, so don't walk away from them yet. They will have reduced maintenance costs, not to mention the insurance they will save drivers.
Currently, some cars are already equipped with semi-autonomous tech. It comes in the form of advanced driver-assistance and includes lane sensor, collision avoidance, automatic braking, mapping technology and adaptive cruise control.
The autonomous driving tech, however, faces many challenges. Some of the factors holding this tech back include the lack of enough data to teach cars of the different road situations, algorithms that will determine how the vehicle handles a situation and advanced hardware to actualise the tech.
Nonetheless, automotive engineers are still working on how to go around all these challenges.
Though not as impressive as the autonomous technology, it is still a practical one. Automakers, including Nissan, are in the process of developing a self-healing paint tech that allows a car’s body to regain its shape in the case of a collision.
This technology capitalises on the elasticity of resin bonds. Naturally, the body of a car will be deformed when it collides with an object and the bonds usually compress. The self-healing paint tech has the ability to restore and regain the shape of these bonds.
Voice Commands for Your Car
Carmakers are set to introduce personal assistants to vehicles. I know what you are thinking – you have seen this concept elsewhere. Yes! Voice commands similar to those in smartphones will be a thing in cars too.
The assistants will be much like Bixby, Alexa, or Siri. However, they will be personalised for car functionalities.
Here’s a possible scenario that demonstrates the viability of this voice command tech. When looking for that elusive parking space, all you will need to say is “Find a parking spot,” and the assistant will show you navigations to the closest space based on your pre-set preference.
If you are one who gets motion sickness, then this is for you. To solve this problem, some companies are building a fully-active suspension system. The system will be able to detect road disturbances and act accordingly in anticipation.
Driving a car will have a comfortable experience close to that of flying in an aeroplane. Rather than springs, actuators will be used for suspensions.
Almost every driver has been in that situation where an oncoming car has its headlights on and set to high beam even when it’s unnecessary. The glare makes it difficult to drive.
With the smart headlights technology, the car will be able to turn off high beams automatically when it detects oncoming vehicles. Even better, the technology will allow shading of the headlight part which illuminates glare on oncoming vehicles rather than turning off the high beam headlights.
Cars in the market today have varying types of airbags. Some have the airbags on the front, on the side, and even under the seat. Mercedes is working on yet another kind of airbag that many find pretty unusual.
The airbags from Mercedes will be active, unlike those in many vehicles today. The current airbags in use today are passive, i.e., they are deployed after a crash happens.
The new safety airbags from Mercedes will be active hence able to prevent a crash altogether. By using the front-view camera, the active airbags will come into play when the car foresees an inevitable crash.
They will be positioned under the vehicle such that when deployed, they lift the car a few centimetres up whilst generating some friction. This drag doubles the stopping power of the brake and decelerates the vehicle bringing it to a halt.
These airbags will also prevent passengers on board from sliding under their seatbelts. They will have the potential to avoid a collision and also protect the passenger.
More in the Future
We expect more ahead. For now, we have a picture of the future driving experience and how safer our roads will be then. You may bookmark our website for updates similar to this, automotive industry news, and information about cars of all makes and models. Also, keep tabs of the currently available car parts online from our buying and selling platform.