The connected car of the future
With automotive technology advancing at 100km an hour, the car of the future is just around the corner.
Electric cars are quickly gaining popularity as an alternative to vehicles powered by petrol as they’re more sustainable, easier to maintain and more efficient.
But electric cars aren’t exactly new, with the first models existing as early as the 1800s. The 1920s saw the increasing availability of petroleum, so petrol-powered cars were suddenly cheaper to run, which made them more popular.
We’re seeing a drastic resurgence in the popularity of the electric car thanks to a number of stand outs, including the BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, as well as other models produced by Mitsubishi and Renault.
This modern revival is owed entirely to the increasing availability of plug-in technology, which has allowed owners to charge their cars easily at home, and more powerful lithium-ion batteries that allow them to travel over longer distances.
In more recent years, US states started offering incentives for public charging stations making long distance travel a much more viable option for electric car owners.
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Further to this, there are now companies beginning to develop wireless charging for electric cars, making the charging process that much easier and less involved.
A paper published by the Climate Council of Australia suggested that houses using battery storage could have the option to use their car’s battery to store excess energy and further increase their system efficiency.
As these vehicles continue to grow in popularity, it’s likely we’ll see much more integration with other new technology, such as home battery storage powered by solar, which can help make travelling by electric car even more sustainable.
Sit back and relax in a driverless car
The idea of autonomous vehicles, self-driving cars or driver-assisting vehicles is growing more popular every day, as technology and safety continue to improve.
In the case of driverless cars, we’ve already started to see much more involved versions of driver-assist in current models. There’s also parking assist technology and emergency brakes. This is starting to evolve further with Volvo recently testing a car that can balance driver involvement with autonomous modes over long distances.
These vehicles could be fully autonomous in certain circumstances but need driver involvement in other more complicated situations, such as self-correcting to avoid collisions through smarter braking and sensor technology.
Another avenue for assisted driving is already in use, and is an evolution of sensor technology. The Google Glass and Microsoft Hololens offer augmented reality that can help you live your everyday life. In a car, this means smart windscreens that can use light displays to show you where to turn or tell you what song is playing so your eyes are always on the road.
Safe and secure
Security has also come a long way. You only need to look in your pocket to see where most of our future technology is going.
The smartphone pioneered a huge number of modern technologies that will likely spread to other areas in a few short years. One technology, in particular, is biometric operation.
Most newer cars have keyless entry and start, but before long that key in your pocket will likely be gone and replaced with a thumbprint.
It may sound like something out of a spy movie, but for security and insurance purposes a thumbprint can be much harder to trick than a radio signal or a key.
Biometric operation could be a huge benefit to law enforcement and insurance companies. Being able to tell who is driving a car at any one time and the ability to remotely deactivate it could help keep the roads safer.
What is the future of the connected car?
With technology racing faster than ever before, driving could be a very different experience. Whether you look at security, connectivity or interactivity, it looks like getting from A to B is going to be smarter than ever before.