The car and technology worlds are colliding, and that's a good thing. With new and improved technologies being integrated on automobiles, it gets many of us excited about what the future of driving has in store for us. Every year or even every day, car manufacturers are implementing these technologies to enhance car safety to add more in-car entertainment, to improve a car's overall functionality, and to make driving a lot more of a fun experience than it already is today.
Most of the car technologies that are coming out nowadays are rooted in safety, convenience, and innovation. As more and more cars roll out on the roads, we can't put enough emphasis on safe driving. It may be impossible to completely remove human errors when it comes to driving accidents, but the coming technologies are trying hard to minimize this error.
On the other hand, there are also technologies that are truly exciting. It seems that they'll make road trips a lot more fun! It can either be a whole new infotainment system onboard that you can control with your phone (or even just your thoughts) or integrated displays that turn the inside of the car like your own mobile theater.
Whatever these technologies may be, we're pretty sure that they'll bring driving to a whole new level. Read on to find out what car technologies to watch out for! Hold on to your seats!
20 Car With No Steering Wheel
General Motors (GM) is a legendary name when it comes to the automotive industry. Then and now, it's been a forerunner in the innovation department. It's produced some of the most iconic cars of the yesteryears and of today.
Recently, GM made an announcement that they'll soon build cars that have no steering wheel. Also, these cars will have no pedals. Obviously, the car will be fully autonomous. If this pushes through, then this is the first time a car with no steering wheel will be mass produced.
In the past, autonomous cars still had the capability for a backup human driver. GM's car won't. Rumor has it that this type of car will come out of production by 2019.
19 Car With No Buttons
Buttons are so last year, so soon enough, we'll see cars that will have no buttons in them. For instance, BMW has showcased its HoloActive Touch technology, which is an upgrade of its Gesture Control system. The Gesture Control system has been out on BMW's top-of-the-line 7-Series cars. The new technology will remove the need for a physical button because you only need to wave your hands to operate it. Then, there'll be a free-floating projection of a display where you can choose your options.
BMW's HoloActive Touch technology will be like what we see in other sci-fi movies. This car tech will have a heads-up display and a camera will track your fingers to recognize the customization that you want.
18 Biometric Access
In recent years, we've seen the change from the use of a key to the keyless entry in cars. Moreover, some cars nowadays can also be started without a key but with just a push of a button. Then, the shift will be towards the key-fob-less entry. In the future, the goal is to provide a better and more secure way to open and start a car. This may be in the form of your own fingerprint or your retina. Similar to how smartphones have fingerprint readers and retina scanners, future cars may utilize the same technologies as well.
Aside from entry and start, future cars can monitor its passengers' biometric data. Certain adjustments can be made by the car depending on the data it collects when driving.
17 Biometrics Monitoring
Many car brands have already been investing in biometrics monitoring when onboard a car. For instance, Mercedes-Benz and Ford have implemented their own technologies to monitor active health when driving. Both automotive companies have figured out ways to make use of the seatbelt as a sensor or add sensors to the steering wheel to monitor biometrics.
As more and more wearable technology arrives, we can expect biometrics monitoring everywhere to be a thing. Hence, in the future, more vehicles will have this technology for added security when driving. Just imagine the help this technology can provide. It can save lives because if anything bad happens while driving, the car can stop on its own and maybe call 911 immediately.
16 Active Window Display
Currently, we already have Head-Up Display (HUD) installed in some cars. However, the setup is still very basic. It began as dim and washed-out green digits that are reflected on the windshield of a car. Then, in 2015, this was significantly improved with better-looking HUD on cars.
In the future, this technology is expected to improve further. It's said that the future of active window display will allow the projecting of digits and vibrant images on the windshield. For instance, you can see Waze projected right on your windshield, and the notifications are also projected there for you to know when to turn left or turn right.
15 Night Vision
Many upcoming car technologies are made due to the need to increase car safety. At this time, we expect fewer car accidents with the availability of new technologies. Another piece of technology that's set to do this is night vision. Driving at night is extremely challenging to many, but night vision will make it better. This technology will support the driver at night by providing a clearer view of the road and by also alerting the driver when something he doesn't see might come his way.
Presently, one of the brands testing this is Audi. The company is implementing thermal imaging to aid the driver. This will show people or animals on the road that may not be instantly visible. Other brands that follow include Cadillac, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
14 Self-driving Pizza Car
Toyota and Pizza Hut announced a partnership to build a self-driving pizza car. At the recent CES, Toyota announced that they have a self-driving concept car called "e-Palette," which may become the self-driving pizza car of the future. In line with this, Pizza Hut announced that they a have new delivery options that have debuted in 2017. These options include ordering through Alexa-powered devices and mobile delivery tracking. Pizza Hut is also testing for wine and beer deliveries.
If you've seen Black Mirror, you might already have an idea what this is. However, we do hope it doesn't end that way.
13 Honda's "Emotion Engine"
Honda is planning to release a car described as "concept automated electric vehicle." The car will be called "NeuV," and it's aimed to become the car of the future. The Honda NeuV will have a system run by artificial intelligence, which is also known as the "emotion engine." This system will make driving a breeze and will ensure better safety features in a car.
The Honda NeuV was rendered to look like a boxcar. This shape shows that it puts function first over appearance. Inside the car, there will be an interior that will be controlled by the intelligent system and can react well to its passengers. The car is geared toward reducing traffic jams, especially in the big cities with its vehicle-to-vehicle communication capability.
12 Ford Fusion Hybrid Environment
Ford Fusion Hybrid environment is the automaker's first big move to reach its objective of manufacturing a fully autonomous vehicle by 2021. At present, Ford engineers are improving on their existing platform by increasing its processing power with the addition of new computer hardware. They're also improving the system's electrical controls to make it ready for full production. Furthermore, they're adjusting the car's sensor technology to make it more accurate and reliable. Ford engineers have put in new LIDAR sensors, which are way better than the previous ones. These new sensors offer better vision to guarantee car safety.
11 Garmin's Infotainment System
Garmin just showcased their latest car infotainment system whose main purpose is to make riding a car a lot easier for both the driver and the passengers. The system will offer a new way to get connected onboard. The prototype that they recently had a demo of was installed in a Volvo and will soon roll out in the country.
The infotainment system is called a "scalable infotainment platform." At its heart, it'll be powered by an Intel Atom quad-core X7 or an Intel Atom dual-core X5 processor. Hence, it promises a smooth experience with every ride. Moreover, as it was shown via a Volvo car, you can expect that this product is built with luxury in mind.
10 Waze Built-In
One of the most widely used navigating apps is Waze. At present, we make use of this app by mounting a phone on the dashboard of the car. It runs on both Android and iOS, so it's available on almost all smartphones. In the future, though, you won't have to do this because Ford will be integrating Waze into its infotainment system. Waze will be available out of the box with the new Sync 3 infotainment system.
Most drivers are used to Waze because it's reasonably reliable. It gives optimized routes with consideration to the traffic in said routes. Moreover, it also provides notifications for accidents, police visibility, and speed traps.
9 OTA updates
Since most cars are already equipped with systems that either run on Android or iOS and since most cars have built-in Wi-Fi as well, we can expect software updates to happen over-the-air (OTA), just like on a smartphone.
As cars become more connected and smarter, software patches should also be quick and unintrusive. With OTA updates happening, fixing glitches and bugs that can be hazardous will be quick and easy.
At present, most cars are still brought to the dealership to get software updates. This will be a thing of the past once OTA updates begin. Most luxury car brands are starting to implement OTA updates since they'll also be less of a hassle for them.
8 Cortana on Nissan Cars
Voice command may soon be more accurate, especially when Cortana is integrated into Nissan cars. In the past year, Microsoft has already tested Cortana in cars. In 2014, they even unveiled a concept car that has Cortana running in it. Microsoft has tested it to allow drivers order from a restaurant or make a reservation through their car's windshield. To do this, a virtual map is displayed on the windshield.
In the past, Cortana required a special version of Windows in order to run in a car. Now, things are a lot easier. With what they've found, Cortana may soon be available to a wider selection of cars.
7 Full Driving Behavior Tracking
In the future, the entire history of a person's driving behavior will be completely tracked. This will help insurance companies in setting fees because the basis will be more accurate and comprehensive. This can include the number of miles a person drives and other necessary elements that should be tracked.
This technology may be invasive, which is why many feel that it should be a voluntary feature on cars. However, it's possible that insurance companies will make this a requirement to ensure that they're providing the right fees, especially when the driver files for claims due to an unavoidable accident or personal error. The data will help insurance companies make the best decision, but it might be too much for the driver since it may reduce privacy when driving.
6 More Electric Cars
We've already seen fully electric cars on the road. One of the most popular and innovative are the cars from Tesla. Surely, Tesla has made a name in the electric-car domain. Many want to switch to using electric cars because of their promise of a cleaner and greener operation. With the benefits of electric cars, slowly the automotive industry is shifting from gasoline-powered cars to more electric-run cars.
In the coming years, we'll see more electric cars coming out of productions. Top car brands like Nissan, Mercedes, and Smart have made a vow to pursue the production of more electric cars.
5 Faraday Future
After many years of delay, the electric supercar Faraday Future 91 (FF91) was unveiled recently. The FF91 offers mind-blowing speed with an acceleration from standstill to 60 mph in just 2.39 seconds. This supercar is now considered as the fastest production vehicle. It's beaten the likes of Ferrari, Bentley, and Tesla.
Under the hood, the FF91 has a 1,050-horsepower engine. Hence, it's capable of reaching such speed in a short period of time. It's also one techie car, as it promises superb connectivity. It makes use of facial recognition to know who's driving. While using it for a long time, it learns the behaviors of the driver and adjusts accordingly to them. Moreover, it adjusts its performance depending on weather conditions and other environmental conditions.
4 Mercedes-Benz CASE
Mercedes-Benz is now pushing for its new strategy called CASE or Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Service, and Electric Drive. The Concept EQ SUV and the Vision Van are two vehicles that are already in line with this new strategy. Both cars were unveiled recently to the public.
These cars work on pure battery power via the technology called "Concept EQ." This technology is a tight competitor of the Tesla Model X. Once fully completed, the Concept EQ will be deployed on all Mercedes-Benz cars.
On the other hand, the Vision Van is the brand's push for delivery vans of the future. When this vehicle is in full production, it promises to offer more reliable deliveries.
3 Remote Car Shutoff
The technology of remote car shut-off is pretty straightforward. It allows someone with access to remotely turn off a car whether it's just on neutral or on the drive. At present, there already exists technology for this. It was created by OnStar, and they're continuously improving it to be more reliable and safer. Currently, this technology has helped in many car chases because OnStar was able to shut off cars, especially those that were stolen or were used as getaway vehicles.
In the future, we'll see more of this technology and it'll be a mainstream technology that will be implemented in a majority of cars. It may even be a required feature on cars rather than just an add-on.
2 Driver Override Technology
A driver override system is somewhat related to self-driving cars in some way. Although it doesn't mean autonomous driving, this system has the capability to make decisions to ensure safety when driving.
For instance, when you're driving on the freeway and you fail to apply brakes, the car can react to this and apply the brakes itself to avoid accidents. In the future, the system is expected to be much more intelligent, such that the car can apply brakes even if the gas pedal is engaged. This technology will make full use of sensor technology for a safer driving experience. With more advanced sensor technology, driver override will be more accurate than ever.
1 Car-to-car Communication
Car-to-car communication is a pretty straightforward technology. It's what you think it is—basically, a piece of technology that'll allow cars to talk to one another on the road. The primary reason is safety. The coming of autonomous cars is just the next reasonable step to take to make driving less of a chore.
Through car-to-car communication, self-driving cars will become safer even without the driver meddling with the driving. Also, this technology aims to allow cars to communicate to things on the road like a stoplight sign. With this technology, a car will know when to stop and when to start driving again. Furthermore, this technology will bring a more efficient way to drive because cars can compute the optimal driving speed not to hit anything on the road.
Sources: roadandtrack.com; popularmechanics.com; autoblog.com