Driving is a necessity for most people, especially when you have a family, but this daily activity presents many challenges and dangers. Cars of the future aim to decrease the risks associated with hitting the road while making your driving experience as convenient, comfortable, and safe for your family as possible. Here are some developments that you may see on the road within the next five years.
Augmented Reality Windshields
In an effort to combat the number of drivers with their heads bent over a smartphone or tablet, a number of car makers are developing technology that will display handy information right on your windshield so you can read text messages, see information about nearby establishments, or follow the lines of the road more clearly without looking away from the windshield. Features range from the safety-focused to purely fun. A similar augmented reality technology is in the works in the form of special goggles for BMW mechanics.
Vehicle Communication Systems
Two types of vehicle communication systems are in development that would limit car accidents dramatically. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or V2V, alerts drivers to other vehicles on the road so they can expect collisions before they’re able to see the oncoming car racing through an intersection or coming up in another lane. Vehicle-to-infrastructure, or V2I, systems communicate with traffic signals, road signs, and other objects. Together these two systems could prevent about 81% of all-vehicle target crashes, 83% of light-vehicle target crashes, and 72% of heavy-truck target crashes.
Self-driving cars populating the roadways are a potential reality in just a few years. Google’s self-driving vehicles are already being tested in California. Vehicles that run themselves are legally cleared for operation in Florida, California, and Nevada, though other states still need a living, breathing operator behind the wheel. Cars that drive themselves have the potential to end the 95% of vehicle accidents caused by human error.
Car platoons allow a train of cars to drive as one. The lead driver is in control of actually navigating the road while the cars following behind in the platoon are driving automatically. This technology is in development all over the world. Cars are generally able to keep up a distance of less than 20 feet between vehicles, though Japanese developers aim to create a platoon where large trucks drive as close as 13 feet. Platoons decrease congestion on the roads by allowing many vehicles to drive more closely than usual.
Internet Integration in Vehicles
Many expected developments in car technology focus on bringing the Internet and driving experience together. Improved satellite navigation, voice-activated Internet features, and more could give you access to most of the features of your smartphone while your hands stay on the wheel. Microsoft is reportedly working on integration between cars and their Windows phones. The possibilities for this emerging technology are endless.
Vehicle technology developments take place all the time, and there’s always something new on the horizon. Make frequent stops at resources like the Big Motoring World Forum to stay on top of the latest trends and tech.
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