What is the Future for Automobile Technology?

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If you thought hybrid cars, Smart Cars, and computerization has been exciting, just wait until you hear about some of the innovations that are planned for the future. The automobile industry is just like the boss of a company when he says to one of his employees, “You’re only as good as your last mistake.” So, put on your seatbelts, there are some cool new ideas.

The first one has been toyed around with by several of the big manufacturers, so you probably have heard rumors. It is the V2V system. This application will allow a vehicle to be warned, or will automatically break if an accident is about to occur. According to Interstate Auto Buyers, this innovation has the capability of reducing target vehicle crashes by 81%. Imagine that at a four way intersection, a car coming from the intersecting street runs the red light, and is about to crash into the side of your vehicle. The car you are driving will be warned and will brake. This new technology is going to save many, many lives. Manufacturers are also testing V2I systems which will communicate with road signs, traffic signals, and other safety signals.

Ever wonder, back in the day, when riding in a 1970 Chevy, for example, if a self-driving car was ever going to be invented? Not only is it going to be invented, but the implementation is not that far away. The technological analyzing used on these cars is faster than a human brain. Since most crashes occur because of driver error, this improvement will lessen automobile accidents significantly. Google representative, Chris Urmson said recently, while testing this modern innovation, “We’re spending less time in near-collision states. Our car is driving more smoothly and more safely than our trained professional drivers.”

This sounds like outer space, or science fiction, but another future feature that will become a standard is an Augmented Reality Dashboard (AR). These dashboards will be able to identify objects on or near the road and tell the driver how far away the objects are. Or, if you are approaching a car too quickly, the dash board will show you how to maneuver the vehicle to avoid a collision. This sort of augmented reality will bleed over into the mechanical realm, as well. Technicians will wear special goggles and be able to see what the problem is and will be given directions on how to fix it.

As Alice said when finding herself in Wonderland, things are going to get “curiouser and curiouser.” We all have gotten used to the safety of having airbags in our vehicles. Many are probably aware that some car manufacturers have expanded the idea to side airbags, knee airbags, pretty much airbags coming at us from every direction. Now, there is a plan to have airbags work, not only passively, but proactively, too. The new bags will have the ability to stop crashes before they occur. There will be sensors that deploy the airbags if an accident is about to take place, and the bags will signal the car to slow down. In fact, the stopping power of the car will be almost doubled.

As hybrid vehicles become more understood and more popular, naturally, more will be sold. Most people agree that these cars are good for the planet and great for the pocketbook. The only hassle is the charging that needs to be done regularly to keep the automobile mobile. Not to worry, the technicians are working on that. They are called Energy-storing Panels, and what they do is capture energy from a battery, or from soon to be available technology like regenerating brakes, which allows for a smaller battery that improves overall energy usage.

The future looks bright for the automotive industry and fun for consumers. Sure, money, energy, and the environment will improve, but fun is also a plus.

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Nick Barnett

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