Future Technologies We Expect to See Soon

Every automaker has made it their business to tell us they are working on autonomous vehicles but there are other technologies we will see even sooner than the autonomous vehicle to give us more of what we want to enjoy advanced tech and more connectivity. Until we have a car that will easily drive itself wherever we need to go we can enjoy some of the new gadgets that will fill our lives and make driving our vehicles even easier than it ever was. These features will certainly lead to the autonomous driving we’re looking forward to, but will also give us some fun along the way.

Smart Key – BMW already has a Smart Key with the i8 and 7-Series which gives us displays on the screen of the key to give you information regarding the vehicle such as whether or not the trunk is locked or if the alarm is set. You can also get updates on your car and control some functions from the key to have the car start and the climate control begin to operate at the temperatures you want. This key will even display the charge level of the battery in the i8, making for a remotely connected feeling.

Wi-Fi – This isn’t new for the market, but General Motors is one of the only vehicle manufacturers that has actual Wi-Fi inside the vehicle at the moment. Soon Ford and FCA will also have the ability to offer Wi-Fi signal if you purchase a data plan for you to enjoy. The next step in this technology will be to have the car and your devices become part of a network which means they can interact with each other, giving you connection to other vehicles and updates for the software of your vehicle.

Gesture Control – While this may not be as important to most of us, the fact that you could simply wave a finger to increase the volume of your sound system or to change the menu is pretty cool. No more fingerprints on the control pad or touchscreen and with the gesture control you only have to move your hand off the wheel a few inches and then back on to get the results you’re looking for. The debate regarding this technology is whether or not it is actually safe to use in cars as it could lead to added distraction.

GPS-Powered Transmissions – This is a really cool feature that can help control your transmission and choose the right gear. MINI and Rolls-Royce have GPS assisted system in their vehicles already. What this system does is read the position of the car on the road and anticipate the changes on the road to choose the right gear and throttle for the drive. This helps to create a better overall drive and save fuel wherever possible. After using this system you won’t want to go back to another one where your car choose the gear solely by the amount of acceleration you choose.

Traffic Lights Timer – This is a feature that will connect you with the traffic grid of a city so you can know how long a traffic light will remain red. This allows your car to shut down the engine and save fuel. Another cool feature of this will be to keep you at a speed that will help you get through the green lights without having to slow down or stop. This can come in handy when you are in a city that has all the lights timed to allow traffic through without delay or stoppage.

Car = Wallet – Your car can spend money for you with this feature. What it will have is your banking information stored to make it easy for your to make use of fuel pumps, drive thru windows and toll roads. You won’t have to get out of the car or worry about how long it will be parked in a lot. Currently Honda and Ford are working with Visa to bring this technology to California and New York to allow you to prepay for gas from inside car but this should be able to be expanded once the security and features are all worked out.

Phone Key – Instead of needing a key at all you could use your phone as your key. This will mean one less key for your to carry and will allow you to feel secure knowing the car can’t be driven without your phone. Currently Volvo is working on this technology and plans to make it an electronic app permission that will allow you to digitally loan your car to family members when you want and give you the option to revoke this permission just as easily. This will be a great way to know your car is more secure than ever.

Trucking for Noobs – Nissan and Ford both have a trailer light check system that will let you check the lights are working when you use a trailer from inside the cabin. The Nissan version will cycle through the lights while you push a button on your key and the Ford system will display the results on the dashboard. Ford also has a system called the Pro Trailer Backup assist feature which uses a knob on the dashboard to allow you to direct the trailer where you want it to go which is much easier than using the steering wheel.

Remote Summons – This won’t be offered until we see autonomous vehicles, but Tesla has already discussed the possibility of being able to summon your vehicle from anywhere in the country. This could make it better for you when a trip is extended for business well beyond the time you should have been in the area. Currently the Tesla Model S and BMW 7 Series can drive straight forward or back without a driver which is a valet feature and not a full summoning, but imagine if you could summon your car to you when in the next town or even across the country.

05.05.16 - Future Car

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