It is fascinating to see how cars have evolved over the years. The car is not a very old invention; Karl Benz built the first car back in 1886 and in a span of less than just 140 years, there have been crazy technological advancements in cars. Cars have gone from being cages of steel and metal on wheels that one would use for transportation to intelligent machines that can feel your presence, judge your mood, pamper you with luxury and even drive all by themselves without you feeding any inputs.
The kind of tech you get in cars these days is just mind-boggling. It’s not just the high-end luxury sedans and supercars that get the advanced tech equipment. From the GMC Yukon to a Honda CR-V most of the cars are getting a great number of tech equipment that makes driving so much easier, safer, and fun. And with rampant tech innovation, cars are evolving faster than you could imagine. In this article, we bring the top tech that could change the automotive industry for once and forever and make your mobility experience like never before.
Imagine sitting inside a car, setting up your destination in the car’s navigation system and the car drives you to your desired destination without you having to move an inch. Sounds insane right? But this is soon going to be a reality. All major automakers have invested a lot of money in developing self-driving autonomous cars and they believe these automated driving robots could just make the mobility space safer. And it’s not just automakers that have invested in self-driving cars but tech giants like Google, Amazon, Uber and even Microsoft have shown keen interest in the development of autonomous cars. At the moment, there are cars in the market that have Level 2 autonomy. These cars feature partial driving automation.
Tesla Autopilot qualifies as a Level 2 autonomy system while Mercedes-Benz’s Drive Pilot system qualifies as a Level 3 autonomy system where the car has environmental detection capability and can take decisions on its own like overtaking a slow-moving vehicle, all the while the driver can take their hands off the steering wheel.
The use of AR tech in cars is going to revolutionize driving. At present, there are a few cars like the Mercedes-Benz EQS, S-Class, and the BMW iX that have augmented reality bits that are integrated into the car’s navigation system. The AR system guides you turn by turn and a blinker arrow pops right in front of you while driving, appearing as if the arrow is there on the road, showing you direction. AR also finds application in off-roading vehicles where the systems display information about the kind of terrain you are driving in and the obstacles in the path. It also gives you driving instructions so that you can get out of the spot safely without damaging your vehicle. AR tech will simply make cars safer and the driving experience more enjoyable while also transforming the way you drive your car.
V2X communication technology
V2X or vehicle to everything is a communication technology where a car senses and communicates with everything that’s around it. Automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane change assist are some of the few preliminary examples of V2X tech where the car senses its surroundings and alerts the driver or even overrides the driver’s decision if need be. V2X further consists of V2V (vehicle of vehicle, V2P (vehicle to pedestrian), V2I (vehicle to infrastructure), V2G (vehicle to grid), and V2G (vehicle to grid) communication modules where the car interacts, when required, with all the entities around it to make well-informed decisions while on the road. V2X tech is being developed to make the roads safer and it soon will make its way to your car.
Most car infotainment systems come equipped with smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With the advent of smartwatches and smart activity trackers, very soon, your car will be capable of syncing with your smart wearable device. What’s the advantage of this? Well, this will allow you to remotely control your car. Not just that, but your car with the help of your wearable device would be capable of keeping track of your health condition. If the smart device on your body suggests that you’re fatigued, the car may change the ambient lighting and the song track that could perhaps make you feel livelier. Or if the stress levels are high, the car may decide on what kind of massage to give you while you are seated.
Moreover, if the smart device thinks you are a little too drowsy, then the car may smartly park itself and ask you to rest for a while. These are the kind of features and functions automakers and tech companies are working on to make our lives easier and better than ever before.
Changing colors for a better range
Many factors affect the range of an EV and interestingly, one of them is the color of the vehicle. BMW recently unveiled a very interesting piece of tech on its iX electric SUV where the car could change its color. You read that right,BMW has developed an E ink that uses millions of electrophoretic microcapsules that contain negatively charged white pigments and positively charged black pigments. This allows the color of the car to change from white to black and grey. And while it might seem like a gimmicky feature, BMW says that the color-changing ability benefits the car’s range and efficiency.
Well, the reason behind the aforementioned is that climate control systems suck a lot of juice from the battery, and cars with darker colors tend to get hot on a hot sunny day, and in turn, the climate control systems need more juice to keep the cabin cool. In such a situation, the exterior of the car could just turn white and reflect sunlight, thereby keeping the cabin cool and the climate control system not sucking in more juice from the batteries. On a colder day, the exterior could just turn darker, absorb more heat and keep the passengers warmer and reduce the load on the car’s heating system. And while BMW says that it has no plans of getting this tech into its production cars, this interesting piece of tech could soon become reality and very soon our cars could change colors to optimize range and efficiency. How cool is that! Or should we say how efficient is that!