What features of a car would you want to have in the future?
By the beginning of the next decade, mankind will switch to significantly “wiser” vehicles. The average person, with his modest financial capabilities, is unlikely to have access to a complete set, but separately all these technological innovations will certainly be embodied “in hardware” for most cars.
V2V and V2I concepts
Communication system “Vehicle-to-vehicle” (V2V, transport-transport) implies a continuous exchange of data between road users. Its counterpart “Vehicle-to-infrastructure” (V2I, transport-infrastructure) – between them and the elements of equipment of highways in the form of traffic lights, active road markings, signs, etc. Collectively, they take over all the routine work of analyzing traffic and current conditions. It started raining and the road became wet, an accident happened and an ambulance corridor is needed, the wedding cortege scares everyone around with horns and screams – the driver will find out about all this before he directly encounters a problem.
Bluetooth connection as an alternative to the ignition key
A complete rejection of mechanical controls is a debatable issue, however, automakers want to transfer most of the car control functions to a smartphone via a permanent, isolated Bluetooth connection right now. And they can – monitoring all sensors, reminders of the fuel and oil level, control of the filling of the trunk, all locks, including child seats, the ability to find out from a distance that someone is trying to break into a car or is simply cold and you need to warm up the engine in advance.
Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity
It will be expensive and not interesting to everyone, but it will be beneficial in the long run. The onboard equipment will be replenished with an Internet access point – a high-speed connection that operates on the power of the car, but not on portable gadgets. Yes, you will have to pay for traffic, but at least the batteries of s
Apple Car Play and Android Auto
From the exotic, the support of these systems will become commonplace, and subsequently a mandatory standard. For a prosaic reason – you need to somehow get people to stop chatting on the phone and surf the Internet while driving. Software from Apple and Google, due to the advanced voice assistance, partly helps to simplify the solution of the problem. At least, you don’t need to hold the gadget in your hands, and if you go further, you can provide a special lock that does not allow you to remove the smartphone from the connector on the dashboard until the car stops completely.
With their help, it is possible to solve the problem of voice control of the systems of the car itself, with the same purpose of caring for the safety and increasing the comfort of travel.
Wireless Charging Panels
Old cigarette lighter sockets and modern USB connectors will have to make room – the world is rapidly mastering the transfer of energy without wires. The leaders in this direction are devices supporting the Qi standard. The case is small, to introduce wireless charging as a standard option in future car models.
The traditional mirror can and should be left as a fallback, but the wide-angle display on the dashboard will become the main tool for orientation in space. When reversing is activated, the image from the corresponding camera is automatically displayed on it. There is no need to turn your head, or spin in the seat, the driver simply moves the car, controlling everything that happens in that direction.
Control of objects in blind spots
Where the person behind the wheel cannot physically look, the sensors will “look”. They can react to movement, too close a distance, and visually assess and recognize a threat – this is a matter of technology. More importantly, a number of manufacturers have already equipped their premium vehicles with a warning system that minimizes the risks when maneuvering by monitoring the situation in the blind spots around the vehicle.
Download updates on the go
Today, to flash the software, install an upgrade and configure, you need to either go to a dealer of the brand or download the files and start the procedure manually. In any case, we are talking about deliberate, planned actions. What if the situation changes much faster? For example, in Japan and California, there is a plan to immediately shut off communications in case of an earthquake, due to the work of automation. If you allow cars to download updates on the fly, right on the move, in the event of a disaster, you can quickly change the navigation maps and organize a detour. Today, there are approximately 2 million cars that download software updates directly from the cellular network, almost like smartphones, automatically. By 2022, there will be at least 32 million such vehicles, including the industry leaders – Volvo and Tesla.
Goodbye ICE, hello electric motor
Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, Volvo, Ford, General Motors – all these car manufacturers plan to, by the beginning of the next decade, if not completely switch to electric cars, then bring the ratio of hybrids and cars with internal combustion engines to their range to 50/50. There are a lot of weighty reasons, among the dominant ones – the production of electric cars at a price of $ 30-35 thousand with a mileage of 300-400 km per charge has become economically profitable for both manufacturers and buyers. But there are also preferences in the field of reducing emissions into the atmosphere, developing new communications, alternative energy, etc. The future belongs to electric vehicles.
The fully digital instrument panel
The task is not to replace analog sensors with electronic displays, but to abandon individual indicators altogether. Instead, there is a typical tablet display, on which you can display the information that you need here and now. And as for various interfaces and widgets for mobile applications, mankind has learned to draw quite well. The main thing is that no idiot wants to play Pokemon GO or an adult video on this screen to brighten up the trip.
The night vision
The question is not in the need for such an option, and not in the timing of implementation – the faster the better. The main challenge facing car manufacturers is the choice of a specific technology to provide the driver with a view of the road in pitch darkness. Audi, for example, relies on thermal imagers to warn of human or animal obstacles from a distance. Mercedes-Benz is using their own version of an infrared camera that draws an alternative image of the road in front of the car on the dashboard.
So far – in a very limited format, by projecting the most important data onto the windshield, to access which you usually need to distract yourself, move your gaze to the side. Unlike smartphone apps, the task is not to paint the world around us with new details and virtual objects. The main thing is the driver’s ability to focus on driving without being distracted by anything, even in a difficult situation.
Semi-autonomous control system
“Semi” in this case means a rigidly written restriction on the right to transfer the function of driving from a person to an automatic. Nobody will officially allow the car to “steer” on its own for a long time, but to take on the task of maintaining the distance, gaining speed and braking on straight sections – please, and even really necessary. The difference is that Tesla is already ready to allow the use of the autopilot anytime, anywhere, despite tragic incidents, but Mercedes allows the Drive Pilot function to be activated only on highways, where the majority moves evenly at speeds of 130 km / h. This is a relatively long and tiring journey from one border of the region to another, so it is not a sin to help the driver. In the United States, the introduction of autopilot pursues somewhat different, rather controversial goals.
If the car already knows how to navigate in space with an accuracy of centimeters, correctly pick up speed and stop, it will not be a problem for it to park without human intervention. This is so – provided that the parking is free and there are no obstacles in principle, that is, in the pure greenhouse conditions of private estates. For owners of mansions with a spacious and closed territory, such options in a luxury car are already available. As for ordinary crowded city streets, experts are not ready to give an answer when a sensible and reliable solution is found.
Spontaneous emergency braking
Moments before the accident there is no time to turn on the siren or write to the driver on the windshield with a laser – “Brake!” It is safer to do this in automatic mode, to slow down, as soon as the sensors have recognized a dangerous movement nearby. The functions can be combined by using warnings while the danger of a collision is low, and taking over if the Homo Sapiens driver does not react for some reason. The technology is so simple and useful that it has become the de facto new standard after Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo consolidated their efforts to implement it everywhere in September.