9 Things You Can Expect With Cars From The Future
Most of us are aware that technology is progressing and advancing at a very rapid rate. Every week it seems like there’s a new technology available for us to try, whether it’s a device to make things easier at home or software to help us study. And, one of the most impressive branches of technology today is within the automotive industry. Since the first vehicles were invented, cars have come up massively to become the safer, tech-powered vehicles that they are today. Today’s cars with their safety features, autonomous driving options, and alternative energy sources are a far cry from the days of the Model T.
But in the next couple of decades, the future of the automotive industry is set to advance even more. From even smarter vehicles to 3D printed cars and cars that can be left to drive themselves, there are plenty of fun and exciting things for drivers to look forward to over the coming years.
Today, it’s not uncommon for modern cars to be ready to connect to smartphones and devices via Bluetooth, or even connect to the internet allowing you to place calls, reply to messages, or get driving directions completely hands-free. But, smart cars of the future are set to gain an even higher level of intelligence. According to an article published in CNN Money, luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz is set to make their vehicles even more desirable by developing a system that familiarizes itself with the driver’s schedules, preferences, and even their moods. For example, the car might learn your habits and adapt by changing the radio by itself depending on the type of day and what you normally listen to based on your past behavior.
Not only will cars start to learn more about you, but they might even eventually be able to communicate amongst themselves. For example, if another driver close to you does something dangerous like swerving into your lane or running a red light and you don’t see it, your car will be able to notify you immediately or even take actions to redirect your car out of the way of danger to prevent an accident. This technology is expected to drastically reduce the effect of human error on accidents on the road and make it easier for safe drivers to avoid potentially dangerous situations that they might not have known about until an accident involving them occurred.
3D Printed Cars
While car manufacturing was once confined to large factors, the rise of 3D printers is allowing for micro-factories to produce more vehicles allowing for the quick design, development, and inclusion of the latest and best driving technology. While it’s not looking likely that 3D cars are going to become popular enough in the near future to replace mass-produced vehicles, this fairly recent innovation does offer consumers the chance to take over vehicle manufacturing themselves and remove it from the warehouse. While it still remains to be seen exactly how safe future 3D-printed cars are meant to be, it will certainly bring about some pretty interesting innovations.
Cars That Check You’re Safe to Drive
It can be all too easy to overestimate how safe you are to drive at any given time. And, people can often misjudge just how tired or drunk they are before getting behind the wheel. Perhaps you didn’t get much sleep the night before or only had one glass of wine and don’t feel tipsy, but you might not know that you’re actually putting yourself in a dangerous situation by choosing to drive. Some people have gotten behind the wheel feeling absolutely fine only to experience a sudden health emergency while on the road. In the future, cars may be able to monitor the vital signs of the driver and alert them to their suitability to drive at any given time. Nissan is already working on a new car model that will be able to detect alcohol in a driver’s sweat and let them know if they are over the legal limit.
While fully self-driving cars might be a long way off, autonomous features are becoming a normal part of driving. If you drive a modern car, you might have access to a range of safety features powered by AI such as cruise control, lane assist, automatic braking, anti-collision features, and much more. Some cars today are even equipped with self-driving features for parking, allowing for the elimination of driver error when squeezing into a tight parking spot using sensors fitted to the outside of the car. While it’s likely that a driver will be required to be present at all times to monitor a self-driving vehicle and take manual control back in certain situations like busy roads and bad weather conditions, as more autonomous features are added to vehicles over time, drivers will have less work to do behind the wheel. You can click here to learn more about driverless cars and what’s in store for the future.
One of the latest and increasingly popular technologies in driving is the introduction of electric cars, which do not require gas to run. Due to this, electric cars don’t have the same huge engine and therefore are a firm favorite with families not only for the eco-friendly benefits and cost savings but also the extra space. You may have seen more and more electric cars on the roads recently with manufacturers like Tesla leading the way. And around the world, many countries are rolling out initiatives to get traditional petrol and diesel cars off the road in the next few decades and make the switch to electric cars in order to reduce air pollution and make driving kinder to the environment.
Wirelessly Connected Tires
Tires are a crucial part of any car’s performance today, but over the next couple of decades, they are expected to have an even larger role to play. Over the next few decades, it’s expected that cars will become more and more connected and there’s a growing interest in connecting vehicles so that they can communicate information about road conditions to the car and the driver. Connecting tires to the vehicle wirelessly is expected to improve safety. If the vehicle knows the tire composition and performance, it can be used by the ABS system to reduce stopping distances in a range of road and weather conditions. Once this is achieved, cars will be able to use the planned vehicle to vehicle connectivity features to not only share information about dangerous drivers in the area, but to also share information about the road temperature and surface condition. Adaptive tires, that are designed to change shape depending on the use and road conditions, are also in the planning stage.
Futuristic Car Interiors
In the next few decades, car interiors are going to look quite different from how they look today. We’ve already got digital infotainment screens and clusters of digital instruments in modern cars, but the next step in creating the next generation of car interiors is expected to see the two blended together to create one surface. BMW has already offered a preview of what to expect from cabins in the future, including a huge screen that runs almost the full width of the cabin, run by a system that’s fully prepared for autonomous driving and allows drivers to make hands-free video calls when the vehicle is in autonomous mode. In the future, drivers are expected to be able to further personalize the cabin by choosing from a variety of themes for their dashboard and different instrument styles depending on what they prefer. Some early versions of this type of personalization are already available from Mercedes-Benz; the new E-Class comes with three themes to choose from.
Cars Will Be Lighter
Twenty years from now, what can we expect cars to be made of? Twenty-five years on from the first time that carbon fiber was seriously used in the production of a mainstream vehicle, cars are likely to be constructed using a more varied range of lightweight materials compared to the ones that are used at present. In fact, by 2040, it has been predicted that even gearboxes and engines could be entirely constructed from plastic, which would provide some massive weight savings. Transmissions specialists are working on transmission casings, synchronizers, and gears that are made from polymers. In the future, high-stress gear areas could be reinforced with a spray metal coating and less-stress areas made from high-performance plastics, which are not only lighter but also absorb more noise and vibration. In the next few decades, the main structure of cars is likely to be formed by aluminum, plastics, carbon fiber, lightweight steel, and some bio-materials.
Of all the industries that are benefitting from the huge advancements in technology that we are seeing today, there’s no denying that some of the biggest changes have been made in the automotive industry. Today, new cars already have plenty of futuristic features and this trend is only set to continue.