Future car technology will revolutionise the way you drive.
When I was younger, I remember being absolutely obsessed with TV show Knight Rider. Watch the Knight Rider intro and reminisce.
The main character in the show was a guy called Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff), and he had a car named KITT,
And KITT was… special.
KITT could do amazing things; I mean super duper, wishful thinking things like… talk!
Now I don’t mean that “turn left in 40 yards” chat that your GPS garbles out… I mean full blown in-depth conversation like –
“Hi Michael, that is a lovely jacket you have on today.”
To help all you Knight rider lovers out there reminisce, K.I.T.T, was an acronym for Knight Industries Two Thousand… yeah I said it! And K.I.T.T had the functionality to do car fantasyland feats.
For example one press of a button would give you “Turbo Boost”, giving the car the ability to jump over other cars… so cool.
And yes although I digress, the show Knight Rider was a bit of indulgent, tongue in cheek car fantasy – that offered us a glimpse into the future of car technology. I… was hooked.
Future car technology is now in a period, where just like KITT in Knight Rider, the once impossible, is swiftly becoming the norm. And it’s a time where technological evolution within the automotive industry is emerging at break neck speed.
The development into future car technology is simply relentless – and it needs to be, because with competition between manufacturers is nothing short of fierce, and the race to stay at the forefront of the industry is hot.
GIVE ME MORE…
Drivers now don’t just want four wheels and power, they want slick design, convenience, eco efficiency, more features, more gadgets, more options at a click of a button, with fewer distractions and complex components that are easier to use.
So without further ado here is my round up of the 10 tech innovations, set to revolutionise the way we drive.
1: CARS THAT COMMUNICATE
Imagine approaching an intersection as another car runs a red light. You don’t see them at first, but your car gets a signal from the other car directly in your path to warn you of a potential collision, and your car engages the capacity to hit the brakes automatically to avoid an accident.
Car manufacturers and interestingly the U.S. government, are seriously researching into two technologies that will enable future cars to communicate with each other, and with objects around them.
Right now, automotive manufacturers like Ford Motors are in the throws of developing a future car technology called Vehicle to Vehicle Communication, or V2V tested as a way to help reduce the amount of accidents on the road.
2: CONNECTED SERVICES
Many modern cars already have the capability to hook your smartphone up to your infotainment system, utilising mobile data connection to provide social media and perhaps web searches to scope out your intended destination for things to do.
Some car companies are already trialing systems that actually find empty parking spaces, identify the charge and then take you to your chosen bay.
Although primarily available in electric vehicles, with the option so to be potentially opened up to combustion-engine cars; future car technology integration with your mobile device will enable you to turn your car on in the morning – without you being in the car, complimented with additional options like, pre-heating the cabin and turning on the heated seats during those frosty winter mornings.
Future car technology will also help the dealers keep track of your car performance, alerting them to problems as they develop, thereby helping to reduce mechanical failures and repair costs.
3: DIGITAL MIRRORS
Increasingly more future car technology development is being put into on-board cameras, with the technology possibly set to replace the conventional rear-view mirror.
Although slightly more expensive than a traditional silvered piece of glass, the benefit of using cameras to see behind you is that provided a wide enough lens or multiple cameras are being used, the days of having a blind spot are over.
The introduction of this future car technology may help reduce minor car parking bumps, together with more serious accidents linked with changing lanes on the motorway.
4: SOLAR CHARGES
As long as the weather is sunny, solar panels can charge the vehicle’s battery power, the air conditioning system and/or the infotainment system. Solar panels are a great way to improve your mileage without sacrificing performance. Sure, you can have it as an option on your Prius, but why isn’t it standard equipment already?
5: ADVANCED FATIGUE DETECTION
“Tiredness kills. Take a break.”
Many drivers would have seen this slogan displayed on UK motorways. And it’s true. Oodles of vehicles already have a system that monitors how you drive, alerting you if it senses you becoming drowsy. But soon to emerge is the next generation of fatigue detection and monitoring.
This new crop of Future car technology systems, actively monitors your heart rate and respiration level wirelessly through sensors built into the driver’s seat. If your breathing or heart rate slows down too much, the system will sense your energy levels dwindling and alert you, telling you to pull over.
6: FULL LED HEADLIGHTS
LED lights on cars have been around for a while, but only in the form of daytime lights. There are a select group of manufacturers who recently have made the use of full LED technology available on their vehicles, but this type of LED lighting is still not mainstream yet.
The benefits is that LED lighting has brighter lighting than regular filament bulbs, improving safety and vision, but using less energy and lasting longer.
7: 3D INSTRUMENTATION
3D technology has received a lot of attention over the last few years, and carmakers are turning their hand to integrating it into their vehicles. The “new kid on the block” which works without the need for 3D glasses, is called ‘autostereoscopic’ technology.
Basically what autostereoscopic offers you is the functionality for your car’s dials and instruments to ‘pop out’ of the dashboard to create a three-dimensional virtual information display – imagine… 3D SAT NAV.
8: 3D SURROUND SOUND
It’s not just the 3D visual elements vehicle manufacturers are looking to develop either.
Companies such as in-car audio specialists Harman, have tried and tested 3D sound systems for cars, incorporating speakers into the dash, doors, parcel shelf and headlining.
Akin to a stereo that can separate the individual audio elements, 3D surround sound will send those signals to the relevant car speaker to create a much clearer, fuller sound to immerse you in the music, as if you were there in real life.
9: ALTERNATIVE FULES
Whoever comes up with a cheaper green alternative for petrol (ha-ha!), will be as He Man said, “Masters of the universe.”
As we all hold our breath, in bated anticipation for Citroën to work out its high-pressure, air hybrid system – the alternative fuels, future car technology race continues to bulge into a multi million pound industry
Simply put… fossil fuels won’t last long, and hydrogen related practices currently require massive containers. And batteries? Well… let’s just say they are heavy without providing enough range.
So right now, the jury is out to see who will come up trumps.
10: AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES
Going one step further than vehicles being able to communicate with each other, automobiles that can actually drive themselves without any human input (like KITT), are just around the corner.
Tested with some success in individual vehicles as well as ‘road trains,’ the technology work by sucking signals and information from other cars in the area. Although autonomous vehicles for the mass market might be a long way off, when compared to some of the Future car technology innovations featured here, believe you me, the technology is just round the corner.
At the moment, it’s truly an exciting time within the automotive industry, and with the unrelenting pace of development pushing the sector over the edge and into the next frontier, Future car technology is set to place whatever vehicle you have right now, firmly into the history books.
So it begs the question…
Which of these technologies would you like to see on your next car?
Are there any innovations we haven’t listed, you’d like to see developed?
Feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page.
To health and vehicle happiness,