The cars of today are loaded with high tech devices that make driving safer and more convenient. These vehicles have infotainment centers and alarms to notify you of an impending collision. Some even apply the brakes automatically if the computer determines a collision is imminent.
Many Good Features
Other items that are available on the vehicles of today include blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alerts, and automatic lane control. This will steer your car and keep it centered in the lane while you are on a highway. Self-parking is also available on many new cars.
Self Driving Cars
There are several companies already testing these vehicles on the roads already. While this could lead to better traffic flow with cars communicating with each other, it could also be disastrous if things start going wrong.
Early Computers in Cars
Car manufacturers started installing computers in vehicles to control timing, fuel, and spark control. These would start breaking down from heat, dust, moisture, and various other reasons. Will the computers that control the safety features in your vehicle start to malfunction?
How Long Before They Malfunction?
Will the cars of today suffer the same fate? If the computers in vehicles start to malfunction, many things might happen. It’s possible the emergency braking system will initiate a panic stop on the freeway with a vehicle right behind you. Perhaps the computer detected a bird or just malfunctioned. Either way, you could be involved in a disastrous wreck.
If the computer malfunctioned in your vehicle causing an accident, will you be determined at fault and have traffic tickets issued to you? The blind spot monitor might quit working and you have become dependant on it. There are many advantages to the technology while it is working right, but bad things can happen if it malfunctions.
Thieves have already used a device that mimics a smart key fob to break into vehicles. If they can take over the brakes and steering of a car, it will be possible to stop vehicles and rob people or take their cars.
As the future looks to bring us self-driving vehicles, perhaps criminals will learn to hi-jack them. It seems that computers have been hacked into shortly after they were connected to the internet. A real answer needs to be found so security is no longer a risk.
Once the criminal risk is removed, technology will bring about transportation vehicles that are truly automated. It is already in the early stages and will continue to improve. Sharing the roads with older vehicles might be the hardest thing to work out.
The technology we Already Have
There are already many systems in the cars that we have now. The rear-facing camera is standard on most vehicles built today. There is also a birds-eye view of the car which is available as an option on many new vehicles. Pedestrian detection and road sign recognition can also be included in a lot of cars.
Road scanning is another option in some high-end vehicles. It scans the road and adjusts the suspension for the conditions ahead. Cruise control now monitors the traffic flow and self-adjusts the speed accordingly. There are several vehicles that already steer automatically.
Unlocking the doors and starting the vehicle could be done using a fingerprint. This is similar to opening your smartphone. Vehicles will also self-diagnose any potential problems. They will also be able to monitor the health condition of the driver and take control of the car, pull it over in a safe area, and call for medical help.
Looking even further in the future, vehicles will possibly be drone like. You will input where you want to go and it will pick the safest and fastest route. This will speed up commuting and take private transportation to another level.
Technology will continue to develop in the automotive field. There will be bugs to work out, new vehicles to be design, and a lot of trial and error. Cars have come a very long way since the early models that were still competing with the horse and buggy. As the future continues to unfold, instead of driving cars, they will be driving us.