Our cars used to be a huge chunk of machinery that needed a lot of engineering (let’s just call it, Magic) for it to just turn on and drive you from point A to point B. Our technologies have developed since then; our vehicles have become less clunky, it takes way less time to cover the same distance as before and the cars are way energy efficient. Those are all very welcome and useful change but was more or less expected. Given the rate technology has evolved, it allowed manufacturer to include less essential features in the mix which will become impossible to live without in the near future.
As usual, we had a very lively discussion (given the nature of he topic) here at NINTE and settled down on a few features that we thought were incredible. The best thing about it is that despite the mind-blowing nature of those features, you can already get all of them right now, 2020. Maybe it will require you to buy a new car (sorry), but the fact is: it is already out there.
Apple Car Play and Android Auto
Our Smartphone has become an integral part of our life. From when we wake up (from our phone’s alarm) until we go to sleep at night (and setting up the alarm on our phone again). Car manufacturers have taken advantage of that fact and incorporated the feature into their cars. Now you can seamlessly go from your phone to connect to your car and have a hands free and safer experience with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. You do not need to check your phone for the basic phone usage such as phone calls and maps, but it also added more entertaining apps such as Spotify and a few games. Car Play and Android Auto are available on many vehicles such as Audi A3, Audi Q7, Cadillac XT5, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Focus… And much more.
Yes, you read that one correctly! We have more and more electric cars nowadays and all its functions are tied up on a software. While minor updates can be done over the air (by yourself, in your car), critical updates have to be done by your manufacturer, or an official third party re-seller that has the technical knowledge. You may not think much of it (or even wonder why it made the list) but one of the critical update of the Tesla model 3 allowed it to have longer range. Yes, by just updating the software, you could drive more. Aren’t we living in an exciting time?
360 degree parking camera
Reverse camera has been out for many years now and most of us that bought our cars in the past few years must already have it. However, 360 degree parking camera – also known as bird’s eye view – is still unknown by most. The technology (as its name states) allows you to have a bird eye view of your car when you are parking or when you just feel like using it. The way it works is by having cameras around your car. One in the front, one in the back and one below each of the side-view mirror. The four images are stitched up to give us a final top-down view of the car.
Head Up display (HUD)
Head up displays were originally designed for fighter jets. It displayed all the necessary information on the line sight of the pilot. Another common field where we see HUD is in video games: in the corner of the screen to show you essential information such as map or current quest. The principle on a car is similar: put information (such as speed or navigation) on the direct line sight of the driver. It can be directly incorporated into the windshield or on a separate device. HUD are coming pre-installed in model such as the latest Mercedes, Mazda or BMW, but of course you can also buy an aftermarket one.
This is another exciting feature that you can get for your car. Sure, it may not be as exciting as some of the previous one but it has a very essential function: it allows you to see thermal image of living creature in a pitch dark area. Thus, it allows you to avoid driving into animals when you go through very poorly lighted places where animals are running around.
This feature has been around for quite a while too now however at a very immature state. Even though it is not quite mature yet now, it has gone a long way (literally speaking). Companies such as Tesla have millions of kilometers of data to train its self-driving artificial intelligence. As of today, self-driving equipped cars can drive by itself, however; the driver is still required to be behind the wheel, aware of it’s surrounding and touch the wheel every now and then to avoid unforeseen accident.
Self Parking and Summon
This one is straight out of spy movies where the main actor summons its car with just one click on his/her phone. Similar to the movies, you can use your phone to control your car and ask it to park by itself or just drive near you. The feat is possible thanks to the self-driving capabilities of the car. A situation where it may come in handy is when you are to park in a very tight spot where you will not be able to open your door. Just get your phone, click the buttons and let the car do its magic.
Lastly but not the least: automatic braking. Modern cars have sensors all around it’s body (the same sensors that are used for self driving). Even when the car is not in self driving mode, those sensors are still getting information on the car’s surrounding. The sensors can see past what our eyes see when driving. Furthermore, the sensors’ reaction time is faster than ours. In a situation which requires braking but we are unable to, the car brakes automatically saving not only our life but also our surrounding’s.
When our car can act on its own and we achieve things that were inconceivable before, that’s when we know that we are entering a very interesting era in term of technology advancement. Those technologies listed above are already available to us yet they still feel like future technologies. With the way things are going, we are not that far away from flying cars as we thought we are (haha). So, what kind of technology are you looking forward to in the car industry?
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