5 New Car Innovations Coming Soon
From safety and entertainment, to comfort and usability, these five soon-to-come car innovations will forever change the face of the automobile industry. In 1939, the Batmobile stunned comic-readers with futuristic features and make-believe mechanisms that helped the notorious super hero fight crime and save the world. Fast forward 77 years, and these once unfathomable characteristics are now helping soccer-moms conquer after-school pick-ups, businessmen multitask en route to meetings, and families travel cross-country in comfort and safety. With state-of-the-art technology rapidly advancing the entertainment, safety, usefulness, and comfort of modern vehicles, it won’t be long before every car on the road is of superpower status. These five soon-to-come car innovations will forever change the face of the automobile industry.
1. V2V and V2I Cars the communicate not only with each other, but also with the road, will make a huge impact on the safety of vehicle travel. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) is currently being tested by manufacturers like Ford, where engineers are using wireless signals to send vital information back and forth between cars. Studies show that this V2V technology has the potential to reduce 79 percent of target vehicle crashes on the road. Similarly, vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication will allow cars on the road to communicate with things like road signs, traffic signals, etc., to ultimately provide information to the car about safety issues and road conditions. Again, reports show that this V2I technology could reduce vehicle crashes by 81 percent.
2. Augmented Reality Dashboard Cars already benefit from GPS and in-car displays. However, in the coming years car will be able to identify external objects and display vital information on the windshield to the driver. These displays are called Augmented Reality dashboards (AR) and will have the capability to identify objects in front of the vehicle and tell the driver how far away they are from certain objects. Also, this AR display will overlay information safely on top of what the driver is seeing in real life as not to impeded on visual safety.
3. External Airbags Studies have proven the effectiveness of internal airbags. Now, engineers are experimenting with airbags that inflate outside the vehicle to help protect the car and pedestrians on the moment of impact. Cameras and radars located throughout the car will detect when a collision was imminent and send a signal to the large airbags located under the rocker panels on the sides of the vehicle. Once signaled, these airbags will inflate outward and upward all within the timespan of 30 milliseconds. Tests have shown that these external airbags can reduce the impact on a vehicle’s interior by nearly 35 percent.
4. Smart Headlights Automakers are establishing a generation of “smart” headlights that have the capability to automatically adjust brightness or direction depending on current road and weather conditions. These laser high beams will illuminate the road for up to one-third of a mile – which is twice the range of current LED high-beam headlights.
5. Energy-storing Body Panels Exxon Mobil predicts that half of all new car coming off the production line will be some form of hybrid by 2040. And while this is great for environmental sustainability, the biggest problem with current hybrids is the battery; it’s bulky and heavy. However, with energy-storing body panels made from polymer fiber and carbon resin, these soon-to-come batteries will reduce the car’s weight by almost 15 percent. They’ll capture energy produced by technology like regenerative braking, or when plugged in overnight. These are just five of the innovations we can expect to see rise in the auto-tech industry in years to come. With hundreds more on this list, and thousands more to come, it will only be a matter of time before Batmobile-esque cars fill our streets.