What exactly can we expect from the future of the auto industry? Smart cars are clearly here to stay, but they’re not quite ready for the average consumer. Based on current tests and trends, we can anticipate new technology we’re likely to see introduced in the near future. Here are 5 future smart car technologies you’re sure to be excited about.
1. Cars that communicate
While humans have been developing new ways to communicate with the world around them and each other, this technology is starting to be developed into the very cars we drive. Wouldn’t it be amazing if your car could communicate with the traffic light ahead to anticipate a stop? Well, this might just happen in the near future.
Smart cars of the future will be better equipped to communicate with the road itself and also with other cars. This can mean life-saving changes in which cars are able to avoid collisions because they’re aware of each other’s locations. This type of communication is known today as V2V or vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and we’re seeing it tested by Ford right now to prevent accidents.
While the perfect car of the future doesn't exist yet, it’s prototype might. Thanks to improvements in prototyping technology like 3D printing, we’re able to see major advancements in the way manufacturers model initial car designs (source: https://www.3erp.com/cnc-machining/).
Gartner reports that BMW and Opel are already utilizing 3D printing within their assembly lines, and this is expected to only increase as a percentage as this method becomes more accessible. Thanks to advanced prototyping, we’re able to see customizable designs and additional testing opportunities.
3. Self-Driving Cars
We’ve all seen self-driving cars depicted on the big screen, but they’re set to become a regular part of daily life too. Engineers are already testing self-driving cars using public highways and roads, and Google’s cars are getting closer to perfecting this technology.
While self-driving cars likely won’t be mass produced any time soon, who doesn’t want to skip the stress of sitting in traffic for hours every day? These cars rely on things like lasers, radars, and cameras to understand their surroundings, and that will mean fewer accidents and less traffic.
4. Dashboard and Windshield Displays
While displaying information about the car and local area on the windshield might sound like a level in a video game, it’s already a reality. We’re used to things like GPS and Bluetooth becoming a part of our dashboards and in-car experience, but what if things were taken a step further? Known as AR or Augmented Reality dashboards, these will be capable of displaying information about the car itself and also objects nearby.
Thanks to AR technology, you’ll be able to tell if you’re approaching a car too quickly or if you need to navigate to a different lane to avoid a collision. Finding new ways to keep the driver’s eyes on the road at all time means new safety features like these.
5. Energy Saving Efforts
We all need to be more conscious about how our technology impacts the environment. Luckily, smart cars are taking this initiative on head first by developing new ways to save energy. One such improvement is energy-storing body panels. While electric cars have been utilizing battery power to save on emissions, these batteries are heavy and take up a lot of space within the car. That’s why energy-storing panels are a better option.
These panels can store energy and charge faster than the batteries seen in cars today. They’re also significantly less heavy, and that leads to more efficient driving. Some of these energy panels are even developed to harness solar power. Toyota is the manufacturer leading this push towards solar powered cars, and it will be exciting to see how these work out in reality.
Cars of the Future
It’s astounding just how rapidly automotive technology is changing. We all know that cars have a large carbon footprint, so finding new ways to combat this while making the road a safer place is a priority for engineers around the globe. These positive changes are a large leap in the right direction. Hopefully, we’ll see these smart advancements above sooner rather than later in our own cars.