Photo Source/Copyright: Shutterstock via photographer sdecoret
It was not long ago that Bluetooth didn’t exist in our everyday vehicles. In fact, there are still vehicles out on the street today that are being driven without Bluetooth capability. Cars were invented with the intent of transporting people and goods from one point to the next without having to exert excessive amounts of energy.
In today’s day in time, cars have the same goal in mind but have an added bonus of advanced and innovative technology to go with it. Whether it is battery-powered vehicles, iPad-like infotainment displays, hands-free operating systems, 360-degree cameras, or simple Bluetooth connectivity, automakers are combining emerging tech with their vehicles and creating a new ecosystem for drivers.
With that being said. Here are 8 emerging and innovative car features carving a path for the future of driving.
Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communication
Think of it as if two people were having a conversation and effectively communicating to each other in a way that they understand what each other is feeling and thinking, but between cars. While fatalities due to impaired or distracted driving continue, V2V communications may alleviate the problem moving forward. It’s not to say that a person should rely on the vehicle when this feature becomes widely available, but it may help in certain situations.
The concept of V2V communications was born by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) with the intent of enabling cars to send signals to surrounding vehicles to ensure a safer driving experience. Taking a red light can prove to be fatal, but with this technology, if a driver is alerted by their vehicle that another car is likely to take a light, that driver can potentially save themselves from getting in a serious accident. The technology driving this innovation is still being tested, but experts believe this technology is turning the corner sooner than later.
An emerging piece of technology that has been highlighted across a slew of vehicles such as Tesla, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz in recent years through features like automatic braking and adaptive cruise control. Autonomous driving aims to add features that the car’s computer can control to mimic a driver’s reaction. Because accidents are caused by human error, this technology is created to correct and prevent those mistakes with robotic innovation. While there still is much to be accomplished in this space, significant steps have already been taken that show the potential of autonomous driving and how it can reshape the way society drives.
Ever walk out of the house with everything you need except you can’t get in your car because you forgot your keys? It happens to everyone. But thanks to new developments in biometrics, that problem can soon be gone. Rather than having to go through your pockets or purse to find your keys to unlock your car, biometric technology allows the driver to use advanced methods such as their eyes or fingers to scan their way into the vehicle. According to BiometricUpdate, this emerging technology has an annual group rate of up to 11% through 2025.
Augmented Reality Navigation
Have you ever put on a pair of Augmented Reality (AR) goggles and seen a virtual world? If you haven’t, imagine a digital version of a place or setting that you can interact with virtually through a screen. This technology may soon be making its way to our cars via navigation systems.
Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX navigation is already tinkering with such technology by mounting cameras onto the vehicle to allow the driver to see the road through their windshield on the infotainment screen monitor. It’s a video game-like setup that recognizes road signs and paths for the driver to take that otherwise may not be visible through our eyes. Tesla also has a similar setup in that it uses cameras and sensors around the vehicle to detect on-road hazards and speed limits, among other features.
It is still in its early stages but will likely continue evolving and get implemented across more vehicles moving forward.
Driver Health Monitoring
Ford recently showcased a health monitoring feature on its seatbelts and steering wheel with sensors recording the health statistics of the driver when behind the wheel. Likely, this technology will eventually be able to signal emergency health services in the event of a crash if sensors feel the driver is unable to make a call for themselves. Key metrics will likely monitor pulse and temperature, to name a few things.
Airbags became a standard safety feature for all vehicles on the road in 1998 and since then has saved tens of thousands of lives from serious injury and worse. Just as one might imagine, external airbags would deploy as a preventive measure for collisions and rollovers. The external bags would act as a pillow or floaty between the vehicle and another vehicle or object. Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have been experimenting with this technology, and we will likely see it at some point down the line as an extra layer of safety when driving.
Energy Storing Panels
Lately, battery-powered vehicles have inspired a new age for gasless driving in an effort to reduce emissions and pave the way for a more eco-friendly environment. Another thought engineers have tried to bring to the forefront is the use of energy-storing panels such as solar panels. The problem with this is that they require a lot of space and can be heavy. Either way, it is a known fact that solar panels work, and they may eventually make their way onto the vehicles of the future.
Think of an inspection before an inspection. Automakers such as General Motors (GM) and Toyota are developing a diagnostic system that would detect issues and faults before they need to be addressed. While this sounds like it already exists with light indicators on your dashboard, it’s similar but way more advanced with more accuracy than ever before.
Driver’s Auto Mart
The car market has been flooded with well-equipped and technologically advanced vehicles for some time. In fact, it’s likely that shoppers will find a used car with the updated mechanic and tech in older vehicles. Driver’s Auto Mart sells a variety of pre-owned vehicles that are modern and outfitted with incredible features.
Those who are interested in a used vehicle can view their online pre-owned inventory and chat with a representative for further assistance.
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Terry is an avid Nascar fan who grew up attending races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, just down the road from his hometown of China Grove, NC. Terry currently resides in Wellington and has been writing for 15 years. He also enjoys watching the Road Runner Looney Tunes cartoon with his two sons in his spare time.