As there’s a large focus on technological developments in car manufacturing, it’s no wonder so many people are excited for the future. There are just so many things on the road that can cause a lot of stress, such as driving at night or being stuck in traffic. Car manufacturers are investing the time to make sure these problems are made easier.
New technologies are something that we find particularly interesting, so here is what you can expect some time in the future. Some of these developments won’t be available for a long time, whereas others may be found in the majority of cars fairly soon.
Cars that communicate with each other
In every sci-fi film you watch, there’s normally vehicles that speak to each other. Although they won’t have their own personalities as these films normally showcase, a technology that has been developed is vehicle to vehicle communication, alerting you to a number of different things.
This could be about upcoming traffic, how the weather is affecting the roads, or the conditions of the roads. A feature which is even more important is how car speeds and direction can be broadcasted, lowering the potential of safety hazards.
A problem that occurs on roads is accidents involving cars crashing into each other as they slow to turn a corner. If you were able to know what the driver was going to do prior to them slowing down roads would become safer, with the knock on effect of lower insurance policies.
Cars that can drive themselves
One of the most documented pieces of recent technology is self-driving cars. It’s definitely an exciting concept, simply imagine being able to sit back and relax whilst your vehicle takes you to a desired destination. Google has been developing this technology over a number of years, and US states such as Nevada and California have authorized their use on the road.
Even the UK has embraced this new technology. The Government announced that as of January 2015 driverless cars will be allowed on public roads. Features such as hazard recognition and auto braking already exist on the market, but it’s the very first time they’ve been implemented to work together in a self drive vehicle.
There are just so many benefits that self driving cars bring to the market. They help to save energy, drastically cut down on accidents and also ease traffic congestion due to them traveling at the same speeds. Self driving cars have been the subject of numerous debates, primarily because people are unsure of the practicalities of driving an unmanned vehicle.
Various laws and standards will also have to be established before self driving cars can be released for public purchasing. We will simply have to see what the future holds.
Cars that can park themselves
For the majority of people who drive, parking is both stressful and tedious. It doesn’t matter how experienced a driver you are, completing a smooth parallel park can be a real challenge. There are very few things worse than driving around a car park spending excessive time searching for an empty space.
One of the main reasons car manufacturers have spent so much time with this technology is the age old problem of finding a parking space that isn’t too tight to open the doors. The solution is various cameras and sensors that are installed onto car bumpers to work out the distance between the vehicle and nearby objects. This system works semi-automated, requiring you to accelerate and brake whilst the car steers.
The next step in this technology is cars that are able to park themselves with a simple push of a button. Ford has created a system that searches for a parking space as you drive along and then pulls into it. When the car parks into the space, there doesn’t have to be a driver at the wheel. This makes it incredibly useful in the situation where a parking space is wide enough to fit a car, but the doors won’t be able to open.
Headlights on a car have never been particularly complex. Originally, headlights consisted of small light bulbs that only directed light towards the front of the vehicle. Next came energy efficient bulbs, followed by light emitting diodes.
The next stage in headlight technology are laser high beams, which are able to light up the road ahead for at least a third of a mile. This is twice the range of LED headlights when at high beam and they’re also more energy efficient.
To make sure that oncoming drivers aren’t blinded by the light, the headlight uses different mirrors and reflectors. This means that the light that’s created is diffused, so it won’t blind people when it’s directed at another driver. Another thing these lights do is redirect the beam when it senses an object ahead, meaning there’s no danger of a driver getting blinded.
Some of these modern vehicles have an onboard computer that links with cameras. These cameras control how much glare is produced onto other drivers, and it’s possible for them to redirect the light to the floor only. This system allows drivers to leave their high beam lights on all the time without having to turn them on and off.
Something that’s worth mentioning is that these headlights are only being included in luxury vehicles, so for the average driver it may require saving up to try out these lights. As technology improves, we may start to see laser headlights make their way onto standard cars.
The future of car technology
Car technology is an exciting thing to explore, and these are just a few examples of what we can expect. We don’t know about the technology that’s being developed behind the scenes, so in the coming years we may end up being amazed by what we see.
This blog was written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of LeaseCar.co.uk, a vehicle leasing company from the UK