Driving Change through Technology

Driving and holding the steering wheel.

In response to consumer expectations and taste, higher standards in safety, and a drive towards a low-carbon future, the rate at which vehicle technology is constantly evolving is breathtaking. The concept of autonomous vehicles is something that has been at the frontier of consumer imagination for as long as we can remember. Beyond purchases like a house, this will be the next in line for expensive consumer purchases, as progress in luxury and convenience is constantly pursued for the sake of self-identity.

Keys will see themselves disappear in the face of vehicle access as proximity cards stand to become standard fare. You’ll be able to unlock and start your car the moment you get within range, in an age of contactless interfaces.

Rising oil prices stemming from the 1970s, coupled with environmental concerns and never-before-seen levels of industry consolidation have brought about a siege on the automotive industry, with most resorting to adopting newer technologies to replace the internal combustion engine. Essentially though, the car is very much still the machine we all grew up with, just that it has now become more luxurious, big on efficiency and way more entertaining than before.

The possibilities are endless with an autonomous vehicle, with companies like us picking up on realisations that crowd-sourced data collection capabilities will be something to look at when people actually spend as much time behind the wheel as they do behind a computer. Also, the driver that doesn’t need to be aware of his surroundings anymore needs to be entertained now, so that could open up a whole new economy in itself.

“Major developments in the next 5 years”

Vehicle tracking will become more comprehensive as insurance companies and some state governments have already begun talks about putting up fees according to the number of miles a person drives. Reduced rates will be something to look forward to by insurance companies for those that agree to their vehicle behaviour being fully trackable. While this may be a voluntary thing for now, we might even see it become a requirement in time to come.

The advent of the Head-Up Display (HUD) technology will see glass being able to display pretty vibrant imagery i.e being able to see your next turn on the windshield instead of on the dashboard.

Stolen vehicles will be shut down remotely, with ignitions disabled, removing the hassle of a high-speed chase and all the drama that comes along with it. While this technology already exists, it’ll take some time for it to become prevalent.

Vital statistics are another thing that will be tracked by seatbelts and even steering wheels, though in some instances wearable technology will aid in this by just wirelessly pairing up. If ever a driver goes into a cardiac arrest, help will already be on its way.

Science Fiction to Common Place

While some technologies are still far off, some are just around the corner and even entering showrooms just about now, which makes the whole business of predicting future car technology a truly dicey proposition, what with consumers putting more priority in automotive technology than anything else.

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