The automotive industry is constantly changing, with car manufactures striving to keep up with the latest technological innovations. Their aim: to make the driving experience more enjoyable, more efficient and safer. We’ve witnessed a great deal of progress over the last few years, from the introduction of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, to adaptive cruise control and rear-view cameras. So, what in-car technology innovations can we looks forward to in the future – and what are the latest technologies to be introduced in 2018?
The shift towards energy efficiency
The new Nissan Leaf model features a one-pedal driving system. This new system allows the accelerator pedal to transform into a multifunctioning e-pedal, which acts as a start, accelerate, stop and brake pedal when activated. The system also allows the car to slow to a halt on its own if needed and hold itself in position on an incline without needing to use the brake pedal.
This new model and system was designed by Nissan to be more efficient than previous models in the range. With a focus on eco-efficiency, the pedal controls the speed of acceleration to prevent the engine from revving and the level of fuel efficient driving is displayed on a colour flashing Eco-P lamp. Nissan has stated that according to their studies, effective eco-driving using their new ECO-pedal can improve fuel efficiency by up to 10%.
Weather adaptation technology
The new Jaguar Land Rover models will include advanced weather adaptation systems. These intelligent systems allow vehicles to adapt automatically to changes in the weather and driving conditions to adjust drivetrain, traction control, suspension and climate control. This adaptive technology will prove useful for all-terrain vehicles, such as Land Rover and Range Rover models, including the new Land Rover Discovery Sport Hse.
Using data telematics and GPS, the system will also be able to connect to current and future weather condition reports in order to adapt the inside of the cabin and the vehicle exterior. One feature suggests that the system will be able to adapt for rain by automatically closing your vehicle windows. In addition, onboard rain and terrain sensors will be used to adjust the temperature, humidity and pressure inside the cabin, whilst exterior and interior lighting will be altered according to the current weather conditions.
This system is expected to arrive in 2020, alongside JLR’s electric models and autonomous technology.
Many of us are already aware that autonomous technology will be introduced in the future. A number of manufacturers are now offering some form of self-driving tech as part of their latest offerings, with most of these being used to improve safety.
Short for Blind Spot Information System, BLIS is a fantastic tool that will allow drivers to detect vehicles in their blind spot when changing lanes. When a vehicle enters the blind spot zone, the BLIS system will alert drivers via a small light on the side wing mirrors which will then switch off when the blind spot is clear. The detection area for this system will extend to both sides of the vehicle, spanning from the exterior mirrors to about 3 meters (or 10 feet) past the bumper.
Lane keeping systems
Lane keeping systems, also known as lane departure warning systems are becoming more common as a feature in newer vehicles. These systems are designed to help drivers to stay in their lanes when driving on the motorway. It is important that drivers on the motorway stay firmly in their own lanes unless they intend to overtake. The lane keeping system will alert drivers via a vibration on the steering wheel if the vehicle unintentionally edges out of its lane. Additionally, in circumstances when the vehicle detects that the driver is reacting too slowly, the car will take control using a steering torque to divert you back into the safe free space in your own lane. This safety feature is intended to prevent drivers from accidentally veering out of their lane when driving on dual carriageways and motorways where they are surrounded by other high-speed drivers.
Speed assistance technology
This new technology warns drivers if they exceed the speed limit using visual and audio warnings. Through GPS, the system can detect the location of a vehicle and match this with a digital road map programmed with accurate speed limit details for each road. The system can also be used as a speed limiter, taking control of the vehicle and reducing the speed when travelling above the limit. It does so by reducing the throttle signal. In addition, the speed limiting function is able to increase pressure on the accelerator when drivers exceed the speed limit, making it harder to accelerate further.
It is evident that the automotive industry is currently thriving. In this era of innovative technological advancement, we can expect to see the driving experience completely transformed over the coming years. We look forward to seeing new forms of in car technology being introduced in the next few years.