Cars are becoming increasingly high-tech at an unanticipated rate. The global car electronics market was valued at over $217 billion last year, and is expected to grow 7.9 percent annually until 2028, according to Grand View Research. Technology is advancing at an exponential pace, creating new opportunities in every sector, and car tech is reaping all of the benefits of that.
Human-machine interface advancements
In the past, interface between a driver and their vehicle was fairly straightforward. They turned the wheel, worked the gear shift, stepped on the pedals, pushed buttons and looked at the readings on the dashboard. But with progress comes room for improvement. Using lessons learned from driver assistance development and currently available tech, innovators in the automotive industry are redefining what it means to be in the driver’s seat.
Apostera, a Germany-based company, is one such innovator. Their advanced driver assistance system makes use of a smart camera, 360 degree monitoring and 360 degree illumination. But the main event lies in the augmented reality windshield display. Termed by Apostera as a “mixed reality” device, this display shows you the recommended path drawn on the map, along with a minimap, similar to a video game. This ADAS system handles everything you would expect out of a driver-assist, such as collision prevention, lanekeeping, and even self-driving to some extent. In the future, tech like this could expand to things like haptic feedback or audio cues to quickly gain need-to-know info on your car. Or it could deliver improved voice command or hand gesture systems that could potentially eliminate the need to press buttons or turn dials.
Perfecting the electric vehicle
The dream of fully electric cars has finally become a reality. Look at any car make and model listing, from trusted car reviewers to your local dealership, and you will likely find an electric vehicle for sale. However, development is far from over, and there are still kinks that need to be worked out. EVs in their current state are expensive, inefficient, and have little in the way of power infrastructure. That last hurdle can be a tough one, as you would want charging grids to be fully green and thus employ renewable energy. This would allow fleet vehicles such as freight trucks, some of the biggest contributors to pollution, to go electric.
It can be difficult to provide a purely green charging solution that’s easy to set up, let alone establish a separate, renewable power grid specifically for EVs. But vehicle tech startups are hoping that their innovations can nudge that goal forward. One such startup is Lordstown Motors. This Ohio-based corporation is developing an electric pickup with fewer moving parts than conventional work vehicles, but with comparable performance. As the selection of electric vehicles grows, switching to electric can become a lot more appealing. The EV charging infrastructure has grown exponentially with an increase in demand. In fact, new Tesla charging options have allowed drivers to travel effortlessly with charging stations across the nation. And with this increase in market demand, new startups might appear that address the need for convenient green energy charging and more efficient EV batteries.
Establishing IoT connectivity
The Internet of Things is becoming more and more of a buzzword by the day, and for good reason. It’s poised to revolutionize the role smart tech has in our lives, right down to the most mundane appliances and even furniture. Vehicles arguably stand to benefit the most from this new technological paradigm. Vehicle-to-vehicle and cloud-to-vehicle communication can be invaluable for increasing security and safety.
That’s exactly what Israeli company NoTraffic seeks to achieve. They are currently developing a platform that displays traffic information to drivers in real time. The platform uses every vehicle’s unique digital signature to determine which road they are on, as well as which roads they are likely to take soon. This is all made possible by using data analytics collected through the vehicle’s connection with the cloud. Using NoTraffic, drivers would be immediately cognizant of which roads are congested, and be advised on the best alternate routes available. Properly implemented, this could substantially lower the congestion in urban areas.
As many have foretold, the technologification of the world is now being realized. Cars are only one of the things riding the wave of that revolution, but its effects on cars might be the most noticeable. Based on these three innovations, it would seem that we can expect cleaner, smoother, and more responsive rides in the future.