While a few of these ideas are still rather far-fetched, we can expect to see many of these futuristic car features on the roads within just 5 years.
In earlier times, driving was mostly just about getting from one point to the other without much fuss. That is no longer the case especially with the influence of technology. Automotive innovation is seemingly without boundaries as industry tech minds continue to push the limits of what is possible with vehicle design and function.
New innovations spring up regularly as we continue our march towards the future. Some of these ideas are still rather far-fetched but here are a few that you can expect to see on the roads sooner than later.
8 Augmented Reality Dashboards
Today, the use of Heads-Up-Displays in modern vehicles is yet another proof of how far automotive technology has come. However, technology continues to evolve and soon, we may have vehicles with full augmented reality dashboards.
With this system, the car can actually identify objects ahead of the vehicle and project information about them to the driver on the windshield. The system may also display vital information about the car’s components; including important engine data and performance. It is already been tested out in some form on some vehicles like the 2020 GMC trucks and you can expect more widespread adoption in the coming years.
7 Vehicle-To-Vehicle (V2V) Communication
Today, distracted driving often leads to dire consequences and accounts for thousands of road fatalities each year. However, this may soon be a thing of the past with the full deployment of V2V communication on vehicles.
Imagine you run a red light for some reason. No worries. Your car can send signals to approaching vehicles in your path which then warns the drivers of a potential collision or even applies the brakes for them. This technology is already been researched and tested by carmakers like Ford and may just reach full operational status within the next few years.
6 External Airbags
Airbags are an automotive innovation that has helped saved countless lives when cars are involved in collisions. They are no longer a luxury item and the average car will usually have multiple airbags tucked away in various parts of the car to protect the driver and passengers.
Today, carmakers like Mercedes Benz and Volvo are taking the airbag concept a step further and experimenting with airbags that can deploy on the outside of the vehicle to stop the vehicle before a crash, reduce collision impacts with other vehicles and pedestrians and help counter the vehicle’s dipping motion under hard emergency braking.
5 Energy Storing Body Panels
There has been an increasing shift towards vehicles that rely less on fossil fuels and more on electric or hybrid powertrains. These alternatives do offer significant advantages, especially where the safety of the environment is concerned.
However, there are drawbacks involved; for instance, batteries are very heavy and take up a lot of space within the car. This may soon be a thing of the past though as a group of automakers in Europe are currently researching the use of special body panels that can store energy, charge faster, and are much lighter than batteries.
4 Biometric Vehicle Access
The days when drivers worry about losing their keys may be drawing to an end as the concept of biometric vehicle access gains traction. Imagine being able to gain access to your vehicle or certain vehicle functions using your fingerprints or eyes.
According to a recent report, biometrics are expected to be a main driver of the vehicle access control market, growing at an estimated compound annual growth rate of up to 11% through 2025. The technology is already being tried out on a few vehicles and it would not be out of place to expect a full-scale rollout within the next few years.
3 Driver Health Monitoring
There are smartwatches and fitness straps that can monitor human health so why not vehicles that do the same thing? In recent auto shows, Ford has showcased the concept of a seatbelt or steering wheel with sensors that are able to track the driver’s vital health statistics.
These systems could work in a similar fashion to sensors that assess the driver’s alertness and then issue a warning where necessary. In advanced forms, they could even be able to send out the car’s location to emergency services in case of driver incapacitation.
2 Automated Diagnostics
This is also referred to informally as ‘mechanic-on-wheels’ and its function is just as the name suggests. Carmakers like GM and Toyota have been working on a smart diagnostic system that will enable vehicles to run checks on their own systems to identify faults and diagnose any identified mechanical issue.
The cars will also be able to research the best available options include providing information on the nearest repair shop and even booking an appointment.
1 Fully Autonomous Driving
This is arguably the future of automotive technology; innovation with the potential to completely change the industry. Autonomous driving already exists in some form today with cars like Tesla, Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Audi.
Modern vehicles from these carmakers can do things like park independently and navigate through traffic. However, the ultimate form is the level 5 autonomous driving; the stage where the car completely takes over driving duties and gets the passengers from A to B with zero driver input.
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