Future Car Technology

The car of the future will have an abundance of smart tech. Some of it is already here – on luxury cars mainly. In the future, though, it won’t be just for luxury vehicles, it will be everywhere.

Will the arrival of the self driving car bring the end of the driving lesson?

Computers follow something called Moore’s law, which states the number of transistors in a chip doubles every two years. The speed of progress doesn’t seem to be slowing down either.

This is great news for car buffs and computer nerds alike. And nobody will feel left out, not even your great aunty and uncle who don’t know the difference between an iMac and an eyeBall. Automation will ensure that computers do all the hard work – like thinking – for you.

 

Autonomous Cars

Self-driving cars are usually the first thing that springs to mind when you think of future car technology. It’s been around for a while and it’s starting to hit our roads already. Car companies like Tesla with their self-driving Autopilot feature are setting the trend.

The cars are actually capable of being fully self-driven today. Usually, however, it’s the law of the land that prevents them from doing so. You’ve got to admit, it’s a big step going from a human-driven car to a computer-controlled-and-driven car. 

To keep the law makers happy, car companies usually ask you to keep your hands on the wheel. This is in case the car’s sensors miss something. While that sort of defeats the object of Autopilot, it does keep pedestrians safety in mind.

 

Self-Parking Cars

This is a technology that comes under the umbrella of automation, but it’s already here and the cars that offer it are growing by the day. You can control it by your smartphone in most cases. It’s rather useful for anyone with a slimline garage that makes it hard to enter your vehicle, but in truth it’s nothing more than a gimmick once the novely has worn off. It’s like anything when it’s new, it’s a fad, but I’m so old that electric windows were high-tech when I was a kid!

 

Car Communication – Collision Avoidance

When cars can talk to one another in the same way that humans do, road traffic accidents should be resigned to history.  The highly advanced navigation systems will be able to communicate to nearby vehicles through Bluetooth and secure WiFi. The only downside to this kind of thing is that it’s innevitable that hackers will be able to breach the antivirus software and pose a serious risk to life.

Imagine how terrifying it would feel if a car suddenly stopped responding to you and accelerated visciously towards another car? Yep, there’s some serious considerations to be overcome before we let cars take over the roads all alone.

Who would be to blame if a car was driving along and killed someone, but nobody was behind the wheel? From an insurance aspect you would have to say the owner, but morally I don’t think it’s their fault if the software malfunctions. The answer lies in the technology being slowly introduced and gradually the flaws will be ironed out.

There are variations of this on sale currently, but it is usually restriced to the same make of vehicle, which dilutes its effectiveness. Again, this will be overcome once manufacturers can agree on a unified solution rather than a proprietary one.

 

Predictive Maintainance

Most self-driving cars use some form of artificial intelligence and machine learning. What isn’t common knowledge just yet is that these algorythms can be used in predictive maintainance, which in the long run can extend the life of the vehicle thereby saving money and the inconvenience of a breakdown.

Today’s high-powered vehicle computers can monitor thousands of data points a second, thereby watching over your most important parts and compare them to pre-set values and with a high certainty inform you to take your car to a service centre. While the synical among you might think this is merely an excuse to send your car to the local dealership for an expensive service, the logic behind this technology is undeniable. Today’s ever-advancing computer systems give us a way of monitoring aspects of our daily lives like never before.

Like any emerging technology it takes time to evolve and mature into a throughly reliable time-tested application that we can take for granted while we move on to the next big thing.

 

Driver Monitoring

This one is probably not on your favourite’s list. Why not you ask? Well it’s due to the fact it’s awesome at helping police identify speeding drivers. In reality they have been able to do that for years through our number plates.

Whereas that system stopped being effective when the car was stolen or unregistered, AI-powered systems just need the person’s face and a link to the police computer.

Although on the surface it’s annoying, you have to look at it from another point of view. If it was your car that was stolen or your family was in danger, you’d want the thieving scumbags to be brought to justice.  AI can help law enforcement do that quicker than ever.

That being said, I saw an advert earlier regarding puncture resistant tyres. Immediately I thought about how will the police stop them? Their trusty old stinger that they use on all the police TV shows won’t do much good agianst them.

 

Virtual Assistance

Siri and Hello Google have been around for a while, but they can be a bit clunky and put people off using them on a regular basis. The virtual assistant of the future will be silky smooth – you might as well be talking to a human.

Perhaps that level of technology is still a few years away, but it’s definitely on the horizon. You can thank Moore’s law for that and a host of other car technologies past and present. Any modern advance is in one form or another related to comouters. It might be in the design process, manufacturing, delivery or usually all three combined. Computers are everywhere and they won’t be going away any time soon.

 

Voice Recognition

Voice recognition is the most likely the most well-known virtual assistant. You can use it to send emails and communicate with various software features on your smartphone, but while great strides have been made with its useability it’s still not anwhere near good enough to have everyone on board.

As progress is made, however, it will only be a matter of time before our children are driving and every single one of them is talking to their car. Only then we’ll be able to tell them about the good old days when people used switches to turn the radio down. “Yeah, honey, buttons and switches. You heard me the first time!”

 

What’s Your Favourite Car Technology?

Have you heard of any upcoming car technology that you will be using in the near future? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Personally I’d like my own coffee maker in the glove box… a McDonald’s one of course.