Here are the gadgets we’ve seen around the net that we think will be made standard on all new cars over the next few years. And with cleverly communicating cars and voice activated hands-free, we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the gadget side of the automotive world. All the tech covered in this piece either currently exists or is being developed by major automakers – so it’s not too high of a bar to set. In the past, they assumed we’d have hover-cars and wear spacesuits when we hit the millennium – but let’s just take baby steps and be a little more realistic here.
Collision avoidance systems and pedestrian Detection
The Volvo S60 comes with a pedestrian detection system called City Safety, which will automatically stop the car if it detects a person or a vehicle stop in front. Hyundai, Lexus and Mercedes all offer services on their more expensive models, which help the driver when the vehicle detects that a collision may be imminent. These range from pre-charging your brakes when a potential collision appears, to tightening seatbelts and automatically applying brakes. But we’ve seen some plans for the future that indicate these systems could go as far as to detect car indicators flashing when they’re looking to merge into your lane – and automatically steer your car around the hazard.
Thanks to a proposal by the American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a lot of people have been looking into rearview cameras to help give the driver a better indication of what they might be reversing over. Wing mirrors aren’t enough to spot a child standing directly behind your car, and they also minimise accidents caused by your blind spot. Currently, these systems can cost around £100 – but in 6 years’ time, the cost should be negligible and manufacturers will think nothing of adding it to the gadget arsenal new cars come fitted with as standard.
Adaptive cruise control
Currently an optional extra on BMW’s new cars, as well as on a few select models from other manufacturers, adaptive cruise is just a slightly cleverer cruise control. Before it used to be so annoying cruising along the motorway when someone slows in front of you, meaning you have to stamp on the brake and then reset your cruising speed. Now adaptive cruise uses radar to keep you a safe distance from the car ahead and still give you that relaxation of cruise control. Just like cruise control became a standard addition to most new cars, we think this upgrade will slowly be rolled out to all new models before 2020.
Vehicle to vehicle communication
Ford is currently developing clever systems which use advanced Wi-Fi technology to broadcast your car’s current and expected location to other vehicles with the same system. If all cars came with a similar system, vehicles could interact with each other and warn drivers of obstructions on blind corners and – we’re hoping in the not-so-distant future – even detect crashes and take evasive manoeuvres when needed. If all the clever cars are talking to each other, none of them should hit each other. Properly implemented systems like these could make traffic collisions a thing of the past!
With all the options available to sync your devices with your vehicle, people are becoming increasingly sceptical about how safe using these devices while driving can be. Even with all the hands-free options available, it’s still unsafe to be reaching over and playing with your iPhone – so we expect in the next few years that all of these vehicles with wireless hands-free connections will have fully integrated voice control too – allowing you to ‘call home’ or ‘skip this song’ as easily as speaking the words.
Christopher is a writer for The Car Loan Warehouse and an avid motorist who loves writing about one of his favourite subjects.