Although we still donâ€™t have flying cars or mainstream jetpacks, the present is quickly looking more like the future in the automotive world. We also donâ€™t know exactly what the average production vehicle will include five or ten years down the line, however, there are a handful of ideas that appear to have a great chance of becoming a reality in the near future.
Whether they are for safety, entertainment or just plain cool, some new technologies can and should be on the road making our commutes, road trips and errand runs much better. Letâ€™s take a look at the five best ones.
With testing currently going on, the idea of vehicles being able to communicate with each other seems both practical and awesome. Vehicle-to-Vehicle, or V2V, communication would work by way of sensors, signals and fancy algorithms being thought of at MIT. Vehicles on the road would have the ability to send information back and forth, such as speed, direction and location.
Think about how much safer the road could become. Just as better armadillo traps are now a more humane way to deal with unwanted animals without hurting or killing them, Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication has the potential to make the road more humane.
Instead of a car running a stop sign and t-boning another vehicle, V2V communication would allow those vehicles to â€śfeelâ€ť or â€śseeâ€ť each other and avoid one another either by alerting the drivers or by automatic braking. Rather than using horns to badger someone into moving over to give room for merging traffic, V2V communication could calm everything down by telling certain vehicles where others are and where to go.
This one really feels like the future. Augmented reality dashboards could make driving much safer by way of giving drivers information on objects outside the car. For example, augmented reality could see another car ahead and show the driver how far away it is right on the windshield for ease of seeing both the road and the information. If you are approaching that car too quickly and are about to rear-end it, the augmented reality system could show you an alert and guide you into another lane or to a safe area with arrows on the windshield.
This one doesnâ€™t seem too far off either. BMW currently has a windshield display on certain vehicles showing basic information.
Airbags Inside and Out
We are familiar with airbags and how much they can do to prevent harm inside the car. Mercedes is now working on further injury-prevention through the way of airbags underneath vehicles. The airbags would deploy when an impact into another vehicle or object is imminent, causing the stopping power to double. The airbags would also keep the front of the vehicle from dipping from slamming on the brakes so that there would be more bumper to bumper contact.
With more and more power coming from batteries, those batteries are going to need to be bigger or find other placements within a vehicle. That is why some auto manufacturers are testing body panels that can store energy. Those polymer fiber and carbon resin panels would be chargeable and would allow for more energy storage in a clever way.
One of the first things you might think about when you ponder cars in the future could be self-driving cars. Well, they may not be as far away as you thought. Google engineers are already utilizing and testing such vehicles with success. Radars, lasers and cameras will allow vehicles to understand road signs, street lights, speed limits, etc. allowing for the would-be driver to make better use of the trip. Also, with the average American spending 100 hours in traffic per year, self-driving would be both practical and awesome.
Technology is constantly evolving, and it wouldnâ€™t be surprising to see these types of cars driving around in the near futureâ€˘