With every new year comes a slew of breakthrough technology. Advancements in automation, technology and data are finally being geared towards consumers and coming out of the beta-testing woodwork. For 2017, change will unsurprisingly take over the automobile industry—much of which will be unveiled at CES, one of the world’s largest consumer electronic shows that kicks off each year with the latest technology on the horizon. Here are few changes coming to the automobile industry to keep an eye out for in the near future.
With smart automation technology continually being integrated in all aspects of life, be it home, health, education, work and social communications, it only makes sense that automobiles be included in the mix. Driverless cars, autonomous vehicles—these terms have been continually thrown around among the tech industry in the past decade, but the time has finally come when the greater population of consumers will get to experience self-driving car technology for themselves.
Autonomous vehicle technology is on the move to standardization. This past spring, 20 automakers announced that they would include Automated Emergency Braking Systems within all cars. Automobile technology leaders like Tesla are pushing the self-driving vehicle movement even more. The company announced new Tesla vehicles will come equipped with eight cameras, ultrasonic sensors, radar and supercomputers that process data at exponential rates. Infiniti’s 2016 QX60 includes Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection—meaning the car detects people crossing the front of the car and automatically brakes in case the driver doesn’t in time. These advancements in car automation will eventually lead to safer driving, and for the driver – ultimate cruise control.
As climate change and the environment become a greater concern, the car industry is adapting to decrease its negative impact to Mother Nature. The electric vehicle is coming to the forefront as an alternative way for cars to run, using alternative energy sources like batteries instead of fuel. These types of cars have risen in popularity at rapid speed thanks to factors like increasing environmental awareness, innovation, government support and consumer acceptance. In fact, 2015 saw new energy vehicle sales triple, year on year.
Cars Connected to Communications
The need for drivers and their vehicles to stay constantly connected and able to communicate has emerged with the autonomous car movement. Consumers are on their Samsung Galaxy phones, tablets or phablets, Snapchatting or emailing away—the use of network data has increased. Connection everywhere has been the theme of the modern day living and it’s not stopping on the road.
Companies like T-Mobile have created devices for consumers to stay connected anywhere they go, including their car. Those with older cars can still have a connected car with the T-Mobile SyncUp Drive. Once the device is plugged into the vehicle, it takes the T-Mobile 4G LTE and uses it to provide a Wi-Fi signal, which allows for Wi-Fi only devices to get online in the car. The SyncUp Drive additionally analyzes vehicle diagnostics, letting users further access crucial car data that encourages proper vehicle maintenance.
Wearable Technology in the Driver’s Seat
Wearables and smart accessories are all the rage. The theme of “if you can wear it, you can track it” is being implemented into the car. Ford Motor has previewed the idea of seatbelt or steering wheel sensors that track vital statistics and collect this data on smart devices. This health monitoring could prove to be incredibly useful in the future, especially for any accidents where the autonomous technology could use this critical information to call for help if you’re body or health is in trouble while driving.
It’s an exciting time for the automobile industry, to say the least. With carmakers utilizing smart, connective and advancing technology to their advantage, the massive movement towards automation in cars is well on its way to consumers. Futuristic dreams of driving are becoming reality and car technology of the future is here.
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