Cars were originally designed as means of getting from point A to point B, and although their primary use remains the same, the way they get it done changed quite a lot. Technology plays an important role in the evolution of cars, and we’re not talking about your average CD player here.
Whether it is making your car smarter, safer, or more enjoyable, technology is now ever-present in cars, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Here are five advanced automotive technologies that are on the rise.
1. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
Since we mentioned your car’s sound system, let’s start with it, and see how it’s been upgraded. Sure, nobody has the classic, old-fashioned radio in the dash anymore, but instead have a more sophisticated CD player, MP3 player, or even DVD-player.
There are even better options now, however—namely the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both technologies rely on the principle of integrating your smartphone with your car’s multimedia unit. The smartphone is connected via the appropriate technology (Apple CarPlay for iPhone users, Android Auto for Android users), enabling access to many of your smartphone’s features directly on the car’s in-dash display. You can initiate calls, check your social media accounts, use navigation systems, and do it all via an interface that’s similar to your smartphone’s, or via voice commands (Google Now for Android Auto and Siri for CarPlay).
2. IoT-Connected Cars
The Internet is an ever-present part of our lives, reaching more and more devices every day, and as you can imagine, cars are not to be left out of the loop. As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality, cars will start making use of it to communicate with each other and other IoT-ready devices.
An example of how this will shape the future is the technology that allows cars to identify road signs, a system that’s already present in some models. IoT will take things further by allowing a car to communicate with streetlights and other points that will help it get traffic info, find better routes, and so on.
3. Self-Parking Systems
Many modern cars come with impressive self-parking systems. The great part about these systems is that they are available on some mid-level cars as well, not just high-dollar models.
Basically, these systems do exactly what the name suggests—they allow the car to park by itself. It isn’t completely autonomous, because in most cases the system still requires the driver to shift the car into and out of reverse, but self-parking systems handle the steering wheel and sometimes the throttle as well.
The systems use a wide array of sensors to spot if there’s enough space between other cars, and if there is, automatically figure out the moves required for the car to fit in that space.
4. Self-Driving Systems
A self-driving system is nothing but the big brother of a self-parking system, but it takes the game to a whole new level by allowing the car to perform much more complex maneuvers. Although these systems are not advanced enough to allow cars to go completely autonomous, they are smart enough to allow a car to stick to a speed, change lanes, and perform various other maneuvers.
Google is putting a lot of effort into developing a self-driving car, and so far its results are quite impressive, with their autonomous cars now being used in road testing. The company has admitted, however, that as of May 2015, its fleet of self-driving cars has been involved in 11 minor incidents over the course of more than 1 million miles of testing. Work remains to be done to make this a fully viable technology.
5. Fuel Cells
Classic internal combustion engines may have their days numbered. OK, maybe not literally, but it’s just a matter of time until electric engines take over. There are now many models of hybrids from a multitude of manufacturers, and a growing number of cars that are full-electric, such as the Tesla, Nissan Leaf, and others, but these are still limited by one element: the limited range of electrical power.
Most of these cars rely on batteries for their electric engines, but these are likely to be replaced by fuel cells in the not-so-distant future. A battery can only store electricity, but a fuel cell will be able to generate it, thus removing the need for the cars to be recharged. The most common fuel-cell systems that are in the works (among the manufacturers leading the race toward fuel-cell technology are Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai) involve using oxygen and compressed hydrogen to create electricity, but manufacturers are experimenting with other elements as well.
John Smith and Ppcgb.com!
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