The best thing about modern technology is continued ability to surprise and amaze us. The most groundbreaking, innovative and meaningful advancements in consumer technologies over the last 20 years have been designed to make our lives easier and safer. There are no arenas in which we value safety and convenience more than on the road, and automobile technology is designed specifically for these attributes.
Of course, all of the biggest technological developments are also designed to be cool and captivating, and this is another area where car technology excels. Although we do not yet have the flying cars that our younger selves expected to see by now, the real-life advancements we see in modern automobiles can still excite and amaze the child in all of us. From touchscreen displays to assisted parking, automobile tech has grown increasingly important over the last few years, and now we expect more gadgets and cool technology than ever in upcoming models.
In the modern digital world, we adjust and get bored quickly, and our constant need for newer, cooler stuff has driven car companies to become even more creative. The following are a few of the most interesting and exciting possibilities that these wizards of development are working on and what we should be able to expect to see in our vehicles in the next few years.
Much of the focus in the last few years of automobile tech has gone into the digital displays that provide us vital information and helpful tools. In the coming years, heads-up display (HUD) technology will continue to be a priority for car companies, and the next big advancement may do away with the screen altogether.
Developers are working on more reliable techniques for projecting more high-quality images and display information directly onto your windshield. We should soon be able to see the majority of alerts, gauges and navigation displayed directly on the glass in the next five years.
Another major area of technological focus has been in vehicle entry, and modern advancements have made traditional keys look like Medieval relics. Similar to the changes brought by keyless entry, push-button start and remote start, these technologies are likely to make another major leap forward in the near future.
The next wave of entry and startup technology could eliminate the need for keys, buttons or key-fobs altogether, as developers are testing biometric vehicle entry and start. This means that you may be able to enter and start your car with nothing more than your fingerprint in the next five years. Retina scanners may follow soon after, but we are not quite to that point just yet.
The car industry has been taking baby-steps towards autonomous automobiles for quite a while now. Modern vehicles already have the capabilities to park themselves and apply the brakes in dangerous situations, but the near future could see cars that are even more independent. While we are still a long way from fully autonomous vehicles, upcoming advancements should greatly benefit drivers in terms of ease and safety.
In addition to the legal and societal hurdles that must be overcome before we have fully autonomous cars, the technology still has a long way to go. Developers must perfect every element of the process from application dependency to controls and communication. The baby-steps will continue as the public and governments gradually adjust, but the next five years could produce cars that will drive themselves in certain conditions and include more safety override features that reduce the risk of human error on the road.