Top 7 Features of Futuristic Cars
The automotive industry has never shied away from innovation. Throughout its history, the automotive industry has embraced new technologies that have been used to improve the way vehicles look, drive, and operate. The industry evolves quickly, too. Several years ago, the concept of a self-driving car may have seemed like something out of a science fiction movie. But now, a handful of companies are in the process of testing self-driving vehicles in the real world.
The bottom line? In the automotive world, the future is now. Automotive manufacturers haven’t created flying cars yet, but they have produced countless vehicles built with innovative, incredible technologies. Here are the top 7 features of futuristic cars that are available in today’s world:
Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology allows a vehicle to wirelessly send and receive information to and from other vehicles on the road. Using this technology, vehicles can send and receive up to 10 messages per second about their speed, location, and direction. The information that is exchanged can then be used to improve the safety and convenience of the driving experience.
For example, your vehicle may use this technology to learn that there is another vehicle ahead of you that is currently slamming on their brakes. Even if this vehicle isn’t visible to you yet, your vehicle can warn you that you may need to apply your brakes soon to avoid a crash.
Some vehicles are already designed with this technology. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hopes that all vehicles will be built with V2V technology in the future. The NHTSA estimates that this could prevent over 600,000 traffic accidents per year.
Augmented Reality Heads-Up Displays
Several automotive manufacturers, including Audi and Mercedes-Benz, now sell vehicles designed with augmented reality heads-up displays (HUDs). These vehicles use augmented reality technology to project important information onto the driver’s windshield. Even though it is on the windshield, the information does not obstruct the driver’s view. It’s also not visible to anyone but the driver.
So what kind of information is displayed? It varies depending on the vehicle. But in general, HUDs can present turn-by-turn directions to their final destination, highlight potential hazards on the road, display the driver’s speed, and provide traffic and weather updates.
Displaying this on the windshield makes it easy for drivers to get the information they need to drive safely. It also allows them to access crucial information without having to look down at their phones or dashboards. As a result, these systems could help drivers stay focused on the road.
Driver Monitoring Systems
Many newer vehicles are designed with driver monitoring systems that use cameras to watch the driver to ensure they are awake and alert.
For example, the General Motors Super Driver Assistance system is now available on various Cadillacs and Chevrolets. This system uses a small camera to track the driver’s eye movements. If the driver looks away from the road for too long, bright lights will start to flash on the steering wheel to grab their attention. If this isn’t effective, the system will take additional action by slowing the vehicle down. Eventually, the vehicle will come to a complete stop if the driver has not refocused their attention on the road.
The General Motors Super Driver Assistance system is designed to prevent distracted driving, but other systems are built to detect and prevent drowsy driving. These systems use facial recognition technology to look for signs that the driver is tired. If these signs are detected, the system will issue a warning recommending that the driver take a break from the road.
Traffic Sign Recognition
Traffic sign recognition is another type of futuristic automotive technology that is designed to make the roads safer. As its name suggests, this technology recognizes traffic signs that the vehicle is passing on the road. Once a sign is detected, the system will display a smaller version of the traffic sign either on your windshield or instrument panel, depending on the vehicle.
For example, say you are traveling in an area you aren’t familiar with. You pass a speed limit sign, but you didn’t see what it said because you are too busy trying to figure out where you are supposed to turn. If your vehicle is built with traffic sign recognition technology, it will automatically display the speed limit sign in a spot that is easy for you to see.
This way, you won’t get a traffic ticket or cause an accident simply because you weren’t aware of the speed limit.
Many vehicles are built with parking assistance technology that help drivers quickly and safely park their vehicles.
Some parking assistance systems provide more help than others. For example, the parking assistance system in the BMW 7 Series takes complete control over the vehicle’s steering, accelerator, and brakes when activated. The driver can sit back and relax while the vehicle parks itself.
However, other systems don’t provide as much assistance. Certain Volvo models are designed with Park Assist Pilot systems, which take control of the vehicle’s steering, but not the accelerator or brake. If your vehicle has one of these systems, you must control the accelerator and brake while the vehicle safely steers you into the parking spot.
Other systems simply provide parking instructions to the driver. These systems do not take control over the steering, accelerator, or brakes. Instead, they display step-by-step instructions that tell the driver which direction to turn the steering wheel, when to apply the gas, and when to apply the brake.
All of these systems make it easier for drivers to safely park, especially in parallel or perpendicular parking scenarios.
Newer Toyota Camrys, Toyota Corollas, Audi A3s, Ford Escapes, and other vehicles are designed with Wi-Fi hotspots that allow passengers to stay connected while on the go.
Passengers can connect to their in-car WiFi to look at real-time traffic updates, check the news, surf the web, watch videos, or chat with friends. Multiple people can connect to the hotspot at the same time. In some vehicles, up to 10 people can connect to the in-car WiFi.
Having access to in-car WiFi can make the driving experience more enjoyable for everyone. It can also make traveling by car more productive for people who need to work while hitching a ride.
Wireless Charging Pads
Most people charge their smartphones while driving by connecting their charger to their vehicle’s USB port or cigarette lighter. It’s a huge inconvenience for many when they forget their chargers. Fortunately, some futuristic cars on the market today are built with wireless charging pads.
If your vehicle has a wireless charging pad, you don’t need to connect a charger to charge your phone. You don’t need a charging cord at all, actually. All you need to do is place your phone down on the charging pad, which is typically found in the vehicle’s center console. This makes it much easier to charge your phone on the go.
The only thing that is constant in the automotive industry is change. There’s no doubt that automotive manufacturers will continue to use new and exciting technologies to improve the design, performance, and driving experience of vehicles in the future.