Many of us are suckers for technology, and the car industry is continually innovating. But just what might the future of automotive tech hold?
The current trend that sees a direct connection between our cars and digital gadgets is set to continue. Recent innovations have seen car manufacturers such as Hyundai pair up with the Android Wear app which allows users to complete a number of commands from your smart watch. From your watch you can start your engine remotely, lock your car’s doors, sound your horn, and turn the headlights on and off.
Today, built-in app integrations are already functioning in newer car models with many models now integrating popular apps into the vehicle’s infotainment system, making it look just like the usual screen on your phone.
With the wave of a hand
Did you ever think that winding down your car windows or changing gears would be possible with a simple hand wave? Like magic, you will soon be able to control many elements of your vehicle with mere gestures. As well as being futuristic and fun, this tech is set to make driving easier and safer. Instead of jabbing at buttons on the radio, or being tempted to reach out for your phone, you will soon be able to point at the screen of your infotainment system to accept an incoming call. This simple solution means you’ll never have to take your eyes off the road.
Your driving experience could be highly improved thanks to the introduction of augmented reality dashboards, which will provide all the information you could potentially need while driving. Giving your dashboard a video-game aesthetic, AR displays will show any information you need to know about the car itself. They will also give you other vital information about the road, such as how quickly you’re approaching another car, and how best to avoid collisions.
Will self-driving become a reality?
For many years, we’ve been contemplating whether we’d ever see cars that are able to drive themselves. This idea once seemed futuristic and farfetched, but the tech is now being developed and tested by leading automotive companies such as Audi. Similar to the idea behind inter-car communication, self-driving cars are set to reduce the risk of human error on the road. The result? A safer and more reliable way to travel. The Google Self-Driving Car project was initiated in 2009 and has since been rebranded as Waymo. After ordering a Waymo on an app, a self-driving car will pick you up and take you where you need to be. A journey which promises to be both extremely safe and very comfortable. The idea behind Waymo is that you can ‘ride with confidence’ and these vehicles have been branded as ‘the most experienced drivers’. Embracing self-driving cars feels like taking a leap of faith, but in the next few years, this tech is likely to feel much more common place.
Cars with internet connection are now commonplace. Soon however, these internet-enabled cars will have the ability to communicate with one another, transforming our driving experience. Communication between cars will help prevent collisions, with precision that human error has never before allowed us to achieve. Before a collision can occur, the car-to-car communication system will foresee the accident and alert the driver to the potential consequences. They will then be able to react quickly and avoid catastrophe.
The top car manufacturers in the world are now using this technology to create totally autonomous models. Which leads us on to our next smart technology.
Reducing the stress of parking
Finally, automated parking systems are set to make life easier for everyone, reducing the stress of trying to fit within narrow parking spaces. Parktronic systems that allow cars to find parking spaces and navigate to them already exist, but with new infrastructure around automated parking systems forecasted, the future looks bright for those who hate parking. This infrastructure will allow passengers to drop off the car at the entrance to a garage, allowing it to venture off and find its own parking space. And when you’re ready to be reunited with your wheels, a simple tap on an app will signal to your car that it’s time to journey back to the drop-off point.
The majority of these new technologies are already making their way into the automotive industry, meaning we’re one step closer to self-driving cars each day. It may take some getting used to, but our future roads are set to be safer than ever before.
This article has been put together with the help of Audi service planners, Vindis.