Car innovations over the years have been nothing short of remarkable, and that trend looks to continue into the future. Check out some of the upcoming technological advances:
1. Auto-Drive Cars
Imagine a car that can drive itself. It seems more in keeping with a James Bond film, but this is what many car manufacturers have been working towards for over thirty years.
Steps to the self-drive car:
• 1971 – The first steps to the ‘independent car’ – the invention of anti-lock brakes.
• 1997 – Electronic Stability Control system is developed. Cars are able to detect skidding and loss of traction.
• 2010 – Toyota Prius introduces Lane Keep Assist system. This uses cameras to detect lane markers and automatically steers the car to the centre of the lane.
The Google AutoCar
The most recent revelations for the self-drive car have come from Google, who have reportedly created a car that can navigate and drive without a driver.
Taking to their blog Google have said “All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles. We think this is a first in robotics research.”
Google have declared that the innovation could advance society. Some of the potential benefits are lowered drink-driving rates and heightened safety, but will we lose the experience of driving?
2. Self Repairing & Cleaning Car Paint
It’s every car-owners worst fear: finding their beloved vehicle bumped and scratched. This could all be put to an end with the use of self repairing and self cleaning paint. It sounds too good to be true, but this has actually been developed and put into practice by Nissan.
Nissan Scratch Guard Coat Paint
Nissans “Scratch Guard Coat” uses an elastic resin that protects the paint under a clear coat, and slowly repairs scratches on the surface. Although effects are only expected to last 3 years, it appears like the ideal way to combat unwanted damage.
3. Self-Parking Cars
Good news for bad parkers: It looks like self-parking cars are here to stay. First developed in the early 2000’s, the self-park car has proved to be increasingly popular. The exciting innovation allows cars to guide themselves into spaces with little or no help from the driver.
How do they work?
Computer-controlled sensors identify a parking space based on their estimation of the location of other vehicles. Once a space is found, the self-park system guides the car’s steering wheel to perform a parallel park. Since the technology was first introduced it has been refined to become even more effective. Although the driver still controls the speed of the vehicle, the movement is done by the car itself.
Fancy leasing a self-park car?
• Ford Flex
• Prius hybrid
4. Cars That Avoid Traffic
The Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai is one of the first organisations to successfully develop specialist technology aimed to avoid traffic.
The new traffic system is named Dalili, which means ‘find your way’. It uses cameras and traffic sensors to provide real time traffic updates, as well as over 5,000 taxis that update on traffic flow and congestions. This means drivers can easily reroute to avoid stressful, lengthy journeys.
More traffic update technologies from the RTA are currently being developed. These include:
• 3D Satellite Navigation
• Further advancements to ‘Dalili’
• Voice controlled traffic technology
5. Water-Fuelled Cars
Possibly the most unbelievable new car innovation is the water-fuelled car: The saviour of soaring petrol prices?
As impossible as it seems, Japanese company Genepax Co Ltd have supposedly presented the prototype of a car which runs simply on water. The car is said to work by using a special electrode that breaks water down to hydrogen and oxygen. (Although the car is fuelled by water, it is actually the hydrogen that runs it.) However, this may be one innovation too far. Many experts have rubbished claims that such a car can exist and have criticised Genepax for promoting false ideas.
Unfortunately, the water-fuelled car is not available to buy just yet, but it still remains a subject of intense research.
When these cars come out, all of these features will cost a fair amount of money, so it might be worth looking into car leasing as buying them outright is likely to be very expensive!