The future of cars is being decided and built right now. Just a few years ago, self-driving cars would’ve been only in a movie. Even though cars can now perform some basic driving around without a driver doing anything, they still have a long way to go. Unlike in the movies, some of the technology required to make vehicles truly smart and autonomous is not easy to develop and may take time.
However, the transition from ordinary cars to smart, aware, and autonomous vehicles is currently ongoing. Industry leaders are making lots of investments into technology that will make driving very different from what we know now.
Every destructive technology comes with both exciting and not-so-exciting feelings. On a good note, you may not have to “drive” your car in the near future. What it means to drive will have to change. Instead of struggling to maneuver through roads and highways, you would probably be engaging in some other productive activity while your autonomous car drives you around.
This brings a problem that carmakers are trying to find solutions to. What does one do while in such a driving session? A lot of emerging car features are geared towards creating a great driving experience while removing the boredom associated with “not driving” your car.
These exciting new features also bring some fears, how should one react when your future car might be able to make life-threatening decisions for you. For instance, cars would soon be able to decide which turns to make when split-second decisions have to be made. Even though the technology involved would be extremely calculated and well aware of the environment, perhaps more than the human driver, it is still scary to be in a car knowing that it could suddenly make some decisions without your consent.
Also, these cars will be smart and connected through high-speed internet enabling them to “talk” to each other. Such technology allows the vehicles to collect data through nearby vehicles and also communicate with them.
Well, scary or exciting, the future unfolds. The best way to predict the future is to create it. And so we are. Hopefully, the next generation of car features will move the human race into an era of more productivity, better driving experiences, less or even zero accidents, and a world where we don’t hate our commute.
What are some new car features?
- Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
- Solar Panel Roofs
- Flying Cars
- In-Car Marketing
- Night Vision
- External Airbags
- Augmented Reality (AR) Powered Dashboards
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- 3D Gestures
- Biometric (fingerprint) Scanners
Top 10 Emerging Futuristic Car Features
1. Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
Also called V2V Communication, Vehicle to Vehicle communication is a technology under development by engineers which would radicalize how we go about driving.
Presently, cars can only detect objects and self-drive. However, this technology will allow vehicles to communicate with each other and share information. Such information can improve how self-driving cars maneuver and make decisions.
The technology possesses great potential to drastically reduce the rate at which accidents occur. Studies, research, and even guidelines are in deliberations to make sure that the technology is fool-proof before rollout.
2. Solar Panel Roofs
With the emergence of electric vehicles (EVs) and the looming effects of climate change and global warming, solar panel car roofs seem like a great idea.
Tesla has become the industry giant when it comes to EVs. However, they have a lot of competition. Tesla sees competition as a good thing since their vision is to see more electric vehicles in the market and not just Tesla EVs.
Presently, fully electric-powered cars have to charge depending on the distance traveled and the capacity of the batteries. This presents a problem. What happens when you run out of power on a long journey? If this problem sounds familiar, that is because it is. Fuel-based vehicles also have this problem. EVs can give you an estimate of the distance you can travel and alert you to charge. But sometimes, that just doesn’t cut it during emergencies.
The solar panel car roofs make a lot of sense in this case. Cars can obtain power as they travel and this can ensure a little more push to how far you can travel when stranded.
3. Flying Cars
If this sounds like a movie, that’s because you have probably seen it a lot of times on TV. Flying cars are indeed in development but are still not out in the market just yet. Companies like Uber and Google are putting lots of investment into this technology.
4. In-Car Marketing
Do you remember that boredom is a problem car makers are trying to solve when autonomous vehicles start shipping? Well, marketers and carmakers are looking for ways to push more ads to vehicle users.
Facebook, YouTube, and various advertisement platforms are using tracking to personalize adverts for you.
With systems like that already in place, it won’t be long before they are fully adapted for use in cars.
5. Night Vision
Driving at night is still a huge challenge and the cause of accidents especially when others put on their headlights blinding you. Another scenario that happens often in Ghana is when the car’s lights are damaged and left to move in the dark. Human eyes cannot see in such situations.
This is where night vision saves the day. Night vision makes it easier to perceive obstacles even in total darkness. You might wonder what took car makers this long to start work on such technology. That’s a question we can only hope to get answers to.
For now, it is a good thing that such technology is being adapted for use in cars. A lot more accidents can be prevented with night vision installed in all cars.
6. External Airbags
Airbags have traditionally been used to prevent damage to the driver and passengers. This is more reactive than proactive. Hence companies such as BMW have envisioned an external Airbag system which, instead of reacting to pressure, rather prevents the car from being damaged in the first place saving the driver and passenger.
7. Augmented Reality (AR) Powered Dashboards
Augmented reality has made huge strides in connecting the virtual world with the real world. A lot can be done using augmented reality. But for now, dashboards are on top of the list. Dashboards can typically display information and the state of the vehicle. Augmented reality dashboards can do more such as showing directions on screens.
8. Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive cruise control is a system that is already being used by automakers such as Toyota in some models of their cars. The cruise control idea was first developed by Mitsubishi in 1992 when they offered their lidar-based distance detection system.
The cruise control system has since then gained popularity and generated names amounting to about 20 names as of 2019.
Cruise control is a system that allows the car to adjust the car speed and acceleration rates based on sensory data received from the environment. It can detect a nearby car and adjust speeds just enough to prevent a crash.
9. 3D Gestures
Soon enough, your phone will not be the only device you can control with your hands. 3D gestures are going to allow car users to make certain gestures which will result in certain car commands such as ignition or stop.
10. Biometric (fingerprint) Scanners
A lot is being done to adapt smartphone technology for use in cars. Biometric phone lock systems became a thing only a few years ago. Very soon, cars will be able to unlock based on your preferred biometric verification such as fingerprint, face, iris, or even a combination.
Technology is often exciting for early adopters and a little scary for mainstream users. This is normal. Technology can consistently enable us to do more, enjoy life, and experience the world in different ways. The top futuristic car features are a way for us to rise to a better way of interacting with cars and with each other.
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