The automotive industry is an ever-changing one, with more powerful and breathtaking cars appearing every day, and while for a great deal of time the ultimate goal for the industry was to push the limits of mechanics and physics to the absolute limit, there is another segment that seems to have moved into the spotlight nowadays: technology. Cars and technology are no strangers, the two industries going hand in hand pretty much since the beginning of the former, but technology started playing a more important role in the automotive industry as time passed, nowadays being a crucial element of it. Looking forward, it’s obvious that the future belongs to technology, and we’ve got some fact to back up that claim. Here are 5 game-changing automotive technologies that are on the way:
1. Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles have been around for a while, but yet they’re still far from reaching their maturity. The Tesla Model S is the first series model that truly shows what electric vehicles should look and feel like, delivering supercar-like performance under the shape of a regular day-to-day car. Even so, its autonomy and recharge times could still use some improvements, so it’s most likely that the advancement of technology and the discovery of some sort of more efficient batteries and chargers will be the factors to change this. Once this is all figured out, switching to an electric vehicle will be a no-brainer decision – you get twice the performance of a regular car at half the fuel ( or, in this case, electricity) costs. Best you can do today to improve the performance and decrease full consumption is to do an ECU remapping.
2. Biometric Systems
Biometric systems have been used in security for quite some time now, so it’s just a matter of time until they will find their way into cars. Some cars already offer fingerprint-based lock and unlock features, but there’s a whole lot more that can be done with the help of biometrics. A good example is the integration of an alcohol analyzer into the biometric scanner, thus allowing the car to determine whether the person intending to drive has been drinking, and not working if the result is positive. This would lead to a serious decrease in the amount of alcohol-based accidents.
3. Head-up Displays
Head-up display photo by Mike Petrucci. License: CC BY-SA 2.0.
If there’s one thing we all learned from sci-fi movies is that head-up displays are the definition of awesome. The great news is that such sci-fi is not very far from being reality, being already available on some high-end cars. What’s great about head-up displays is that they will move all the relevant information the driver needs to be aware of directly onto the screen, greatly reducing the amount of distraction a driver faces.
4. Smartphone Integration
Smartphones have already started making their way into the automotive industry with the help of the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it’s just a matter of time until they push it even further. The navigation systems available for smartphones are already feature-rich and sophisticated, now imagine them being projected directly on the windscreen via the head-up display – how awesome will that be? Add a touch of augmented reality to the mix and you’ve got the perfect picture of how the future of driving will look like.
5. Self-Driving Cars
Self-driving cars are no longer a futuristic dream, especially with numerous autonomous cars from Google roaming the streets already. Some forms of self-driving systems are already a standard feature of a numerous cars available nowadays, such as adaptive cruise control, lane change assistant, self-parking and so on. Some prototypes have already travelled great distances without much human interaction (such as Audi’s A7 demo car that travelled from San Francisco to Las Vegas for the 2015 CES event), but this will get a lot more popular as soon as the Internet of Things picks up in popularity and cars will be able to communicate with each other and with various other things such as traffic systems.
Some of these technologies may already available on the market in a more simplified form, and it’s just a matter of time until the fully-featured versions will be available to the general public. Until then, though, we’ll have to limit ourselves to what the current automotive market has to offer, and if you’re looking for a great example of automotive parts market, look no further than PPCGB.