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In a decade from now, how would cars look? What are the techs we should expect to see? What about flying cars (as we’ve heard from several rumors)?
Will self-driving cars really take over the roads and relinquish conventional rides?
A lot of questions to ask about the future of automobiles considering the fast pace of various disrupting car tech innovations we are currently experiencing.
A lot will change, and you may never need to hold on to the steering to control how your car moves, and we’ll continue to see budget-friendly new cars with loads of reliable high-tech features.
Let’s talk about the car technology of the future.
Car Technology Of The Future
According to Pascal Brier, Altran Group Executive Vice-President regarding the upturning innovations coming to the auto industry – “This development will be in stages: we start without feet and then do without hands, and eventually without eyes.”
Apparently, it’s going to get to a point where cars won’t look like we see them at the moment.
1. Autonomous and Electric Cars
We are already seeing all-electric cars, as well as hybrid electric vehicles on the roads. In a decade time, electric cars will take a new turn.
The first time electric cars were introduced, there were a lot of conceptions, but now they are becoming predominant in the industry.
In the very near future, we will see incredible hybrid vehicles and all-electric vehicles that will definitely eliminate the need for combustion (gasoline) engines.
A PHEV almost does not make use of its combustion engine; so, it won’t be far from now, and we’ll see more fascinating upgrades to hybrids.
What about autonomous rides (self-driving cars)?
Many auto engineers are working really hard to replace human eyes with highly-sensitive cameras and radars.
The actualization of this will breed self-driving cars, whereby cars can drive all the way without a human driver inside.
Apparently, this isn’t the first time you’re getting to hear about self-driving cars; we’ve been hearing and reading different blogs about this, right? Well, it’s very close to actualization.
Today, techs like adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking systems, and more are proof that we’ll soon see efficient autonomous cars that can recognize and control themselves more perfectly than human drivers.
More so, we have seen cars that car control themselves into a parking space without the driver having to turn the steering.
There are several driver-assistance technological systems found on today’s cars, and these are all proofs that a truly autonomous vehicle will soon come – but, which automaker would be the first to achieve this feat?
Google engineers have already tested several Google self-driving cars In California and Nevada.
These Google cars are very intelligent and easily learn ethics, signs, and more.
Utilizing hi-tech mapping systems, these self-driving cars from Google are able to recognize road signs, traffic lights, and equally, find alternative routes.
Also, due to the highly sensitive radars and camera sensors on these cars, they could easily recognize and react to situations way faster than humans.
Furthermore, as Google keeps upgrading its self-driving cars, other automakers are also working on improving several autonomous car technologies to launch their self-driving cars.
This will definitely promote and facilitate “cars that can communicate with each other.”
Yes, when self-driving cars hit mass production, obviously, automakers will make these cars to recognize other autonomous vehicles and communicate effectively.
It is said that when cars begin to communicate with one another, it will help to reduce the rate of highway accidents.
Some sources hinted “platooning,” a situation where cars can stick very close to each other and act as one unit.
As seen with the already existing Google cars, autonomous cars learn details of a road when they drive on it several times.
Thus, the more they drive on the road, the more they learn about the road and efficiently apply stops/brakes at pedestrian bus-stops.
2. Out-of-the-world communications and interactions tech
By now, you should know that there are vehicles equipped with high-tech dashboard systems, and it is possible to sync your smartphone via Apple CarPlay app (iOS) or Android Auto (Android)?
Well, sources hinted that much more computerized communication systems would be found in upcoming cars; however, they are not limited to V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) techs.
V2V and V2I communications tech will power the upcoming cars, enabling them to recognize and effectively communicate with each other.
From different ramifications, these techs will make the highways and roads much safer than ever.
When vehicles are able to communicate with one another, they’ll obviously keep safe distances between themselves; know when to allow another vehicle to move first before following suit and more interesting things.
For example, as seen in some cars right now (forward collisions warnings), when your car is vastly approaching another vehicle in front, the car in front sends a signal to your car, and thanks to the sensors/radars available on your car, your car is able to recognize the signal from the car in front and then sends you a warning or automatically applies the brakes (due to an automatic braking system) to save you from hitting/colliding with the car ahead.
This happens in a snap, and it would really help to save accidents.
V2V tech will leverage wireless signals to send and receive signals from a car ahead or the one approaching from the rear.
The engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are currently seriously working on this tech to make work efficiently as expected. In the nearest future, V2V will be a greatly advanced tech.
While V2V is currently thriving, V2I is gradually being considered, too. V2I means “vehicle-to-infrastructure” communication.
It is also being integrated into some vehicles right now. V2I enables a vehicle to detect road signs and traffic signals.
Currently, the versions of V2I tech in use can request traffic information from a traffic management system to find the best routes.
Not so far from now, V2V paired with V2I will deliver highly-intelligent and efficient automobiles.
There are other communications techs to expect from now until the next 10 years. Car dashboards will accommodate a lot of communications technologies.
3. AR Car Dashboards
As crazy as it may sound or look, having a hologram-like figure appear in front of you while driving can be a bit startling, but that’s the future – Augmented Reality dashboard.
Augmented Reality dashboard means the information will overlay what the driver actually sees in real life.
The advanced GPS systems used in today’s cars can efficiently guide you to and fro any location.
Even so, a more advanced GPS on luxury cars can display on the windscreen.
We are already getting there, and in a decade, we will see massive upgrades to this rudimentary AR tech on some upper trims.
Obviously, you’ve seen a couple or many science fiction movies or read such books where robots can quickly obtain detailed information about individuals by merely looking them to the eye or any part of their body, that’s Augmented Reality you’re seeing.
As already seen in high-end BMW models, some basic information gets displayed on the windshield so the driver could clearly see/read them.
In years to come, windscreen display won’t be the norm; instead, AR dashboards will take over.
It will enable cars to identify what’s ahead quickly, calculate the distance, and tell it to the driver.
Not only will the future AR tech coming to the auto industry display actual information about objects, but it will tell/display several other important driving information.
Like an AR GPS can suggest the lane you should be driving in and when to turn down the road.
Also, a video shared by BMW showed how the company’s auto engineers were wearing on AR glasses and staring at a car engine.
The AR glasses were able to detect the faulty parts of the engine, as well as suggest a detailed guide on how those parts could be fixed.
Now, that’s more like it; AR dashboard will transform how we drive cars, as well as possibly reduce collisions and accidents.
Like BMW, the auto technicians at Toyotas have also released some AR system concepts; theirs will allow passengers to zoom in objects outside the car, validate the distance between the Toyota car and the objects through a touchscreen window.
We could be able to do a lot of exciting things with AR tech when they finally hit the auto industry in full.
4. Hi-tech car seats
Heated car seats are already here, we’ve seen on quite many rides, but how about a contrasting tech? Like, in place of heated seats, you get air-conditioned seats?
Several sources have heated that future cars will come with air-conditioned seats – that’s the opposite of what we have right now.
Could it be done in a way that a car seat can serve as a heated seat and an air-conditioned seat? Hopefully, this might be actualized.
But for now, based on diverse certainties, air-conditioned sears are coming in future cars.
This is how air-conditioned car seats are proposed to function. They’ll be designed with mesh-like fabrics that are quite permeable and porous to allow seamless airflow.
Then, beneath the hood will be several fans that could produce and circulate cooled air circulated all through the seat cover.
This will cause the passenger or driver to feel a bit chilly or relaxed, depending on the weather.
Also, it is proposed by some sources that this system could also circulate hot air throughout the car seat.
If heated car seats are achievable, air-conditioned car seats are equally feasible. It’s just about time, and we’ll see this on most future cars.
The little drawback to this tech is the constant revolution of the conventional car AC system.
5. Smart and Advanced Air Bags
Already, there are various types of airbags available on different cars at the moment.
This includes curtain airbags, knee airbags, side airbags, seatbelts airbags, and quite others.
Not everyone has all these airbags on their car anyway, but they exist and are available in most luxury vehicles.
The guys at Mercedes are currently working on a new type of airbag system to increase drivers and car passengers’ safety in the event of an accident.
This new type of airbag system being worked on by Mercedes auto engineers is referred to as the “Active-safety system.”
The name is “active-safety” because the airbag will pop out before an accident occurs, in contrast to how airbags really work, which is popping out when the car hits hard on an obstacle.
This future airbag system will deploy the airbags in a car when it’s evident that a crash or accident will definitely occur.
While the airbags are being deployed, the tech will also attempt to bring the vehicle to a stop to possibly avoid the collision.
We will see this tech as part of the overall active safety system that will be available on Mercedes’s future rides.
Reports tell that the airbags will have friction coatings that could halt or slow down the car by doubling the vehicle’s stopping power.
Also, as seen in Altran’s article, the bags will be able to lift the vehicle up to eight centimeters to counter the vehicle’s dipping motion while applying hard braking.
The airbags will protect and prevent passengers from sliding under seat belts during a collision.
These technologies are really amazing when they become fully actualized; it’s going to really awesome.
Just as Tesla made us love electric vehicles and paved the way for groundbreaking hybrid vehicle technologies, when these techs start emerging (being integrated into vehicles), they’ll pave ways for other intriguing techs.
Lastly, it is important to mention that between 2040 – 2050, cars will come with energy-storing body panels; that is to say, hybrids might be recharging with solar energy, and there might just no need for batteries in cars.
Much more techs will be available on cars in the nearest feature, and these techs will be absolutely groundbreaking.