While we may not be whizzing through the sky like George Jetson did in his car, automotive technology is moving ahead at a pace that’s far more rapid than most of us anticipated. With vehicles now being known more as simply computers on wheels, getting behind the wheel is in many ways more exciting than ever. From cars and trucks that can park themselves, stop on a dime if something enters their path, or even drive themselves around town without your hands ever touching the steering wheel, there’s no doubt today’s autos are far different than just a generation ago. If you’re fascinated by these advanced features, here are some additional technological aspects that are sure to excite you over the next five years.
November 28th, 2017
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While we already have vehicles that will stop themselves even if you don’t apply the brakes, future vehicles will also have the capability to apply the brakes even if you’ve got the gas pedal pushed to the floor. With this technology, the car rather than the driver will have the final say as to what happens on the road, and be able to make its own decisions thanks to advanced sensor technology.
Biometric Vehicle Access
While gaining entry to a vehicle has gone from the traditional key to a non-key entry and starting system, many vehicles in the next five years will go a step beyond this by using biometric access systems. With this technology, you’ll unlock and start your car by having the vehicle recognize your fingerprints or retinal scan, virtually eliminating the chances of another person gaining unauthorized access to your vehicle.
Active Health Monitoring
In years past, if you had a health emergency such as a heart attack or passing out at the wheel due to low blood sugar, you were in serious trouble to say the least. However, Ford Motor Company is currently testing seat belt and steering wheel sensors that can monitor a person’s vital signs for any abnormalities. If any are detected, the vehicle will then pull itself over and contact paramedics.
Four Cylinders and 200 MPH
Yes, you read this right. By 2020, Ford Motors expects to have on the market a so-called “supercar” that can exceed 200 miles per hour while having only a four-cylinder engine. While traditionalists may cringe a bit when they think of cubic inches being dramatically reduced under the hood, others who have always had the need for speed will find themselves pleasantly surprised.
Remote Vehicle Shutdowns
While this technology already exists in cars that are equipped with the OnStar system, by 2020 most auto experts believe all vehicles will have this technology as part of their standard packaging. Viewed as a major safety breakthrough due to its ability to shut down cars that have been stolen, it’s expected to save countless lives in the coming years.
While many cars are already equipped to be fully connected to the Internet, get ready for all vehicles to have this technology within five years. And when it happens, your car’s display will not only be able to show you the latest GPS map of your location or a website you may be interested in, but also personalized, location-based ads based on where you happen to live. With this technology, companies will be able to have an entirely new advertising avenue available to them, so be prepared for commercials coming to a car near you.
Reconfigurable Body Panels
While it sounds impossible to think you could purchase a vehicle that could turn itself from an SUV into a truck and vice versa, new technology being developed could make this a reality by as early as 2020. With reconfigurable body panels, an SUV could conceivably use lightweight body panels that are powered by advanced motor systems to retract the roof and side glass into the vehicle’s lower body panels. While it sounds like something out of a science-fiction novel or a James Bond movie, industry experts believe it’s not far away from becoming reality. In doing so, you’ll essentially be able to purchase two vehicles for the price of one, which is a bargain any consumer in today’s world will take any day of the week.
Active Window Displays
Though Head-Up Display, or HUD, is already available in many vehicles, current technology will make it much better within the next five years. So much so that, when approaching an upcoming turn, HUD will actually display an image of the area using high-definition technology, enabling the driver to have virtual-reality views of what’s ahead.Whether it’s active window displays, a four-cylinder vehicle that can go 200 mph, or having your vehicle make sure you stay healthy behind the wheel, there’s no doubt the future of automotive technology is getting more exciting by the day.