It’s hard to imagine that vehicles could become any more technologically advanced. In the past few years, cars have gained the ability to let you know if you’re about to veer into the next lane, alert you to other cars in your blind spot, sense if you’re getting tired, dim your high beams when another car is coming towards you, brake automatically to prevent collisions and more. What else could be left to add to a car?
Well, like any other industry, car manufacturers continue to evolve with the times. Just when we think our vehicles have all the tech we need, something we didn’t know we needed or wanted is presented to us. Here are some of the new technological advances you can expect to see in cars in the next few years.
Yes, we just started to get used to electricity powering more of our vehicles. Don’t be surprised if sunlight becomes an additional power source for cars in the future however. Vehicles likely won’t ever rely 100 percent on solar, but as they gain more power-draining sensors for self-driving capabilities, sunlight could be a supplementary power source that can help keep cars moving forward.
Toyota has been experimenting with solar panels and Hyundai’s 2020 Sonata Hybrid model currently has them.
Cars as e-wallets
Cars always had one purpose—get us from point A to point B. But did you know we can use them to pay for things now? Visa and Sirius XM teamed up last year to create an in-vehicle payment solution. You can use the SiriusXM e-wallet to buy everyday items like food and gas, and even pay tolls or for parking from your driver’s seat. Purchases can be made with your vehicle’s infotainment display or voice commands. Your car just needs a 4G-LTE data connection and SiriusXM’s connected services. The companies are working to enroll vendors and services so they can accept your mobile payment. Visa is hopeful that eventually commuters can use the service to make retail store purchases.
Bosch Virtual Visor
For years, the sun visor was one of the most static parts of our vehicles. It helped keep the sun out of our eyes, maybe had a mirror and was useful for holding our garage door opener. Well, car technology supplier Bosch is putting the visor to better use.
The company’s Virtual Visor uses a transparent LCD screen and in-car RGB camera that can monitor the sun in our face when we’re driving. Bosch’s system will darken parts of the Virtual Visor to prevent glares. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the visor remains transparent so you can see clearly.
“For most drivers around the world, the visor component as we know it is not enough to avoid hazardous sun glare – especially at dawn and dusk when the sun can greatly decrease drivers’ vision,” Bosch Car Multimedia President Dr. Steffen Berns said in a press release. “Some of the simplest innovations make the greatest impact, and Virtual Visor changes the way drivers see the road.”
Exit warning systems
Opening your car without looking while could be disastrous—especially when you’re parked on the street. You could hit a cyclist or an oncoming car could take off your car door! Exit warning systems work similarly to blind spot monitoring. Your vehicle will warn you if something is approaching from behind while your vehicle is stationary, protecting you, your passengers and oncoming traffic from potential danger a hastily opened door could cause.
Remote Smart Parking Assist
It’s frustrating to come out to your car and see you can’t get in because someone parked too closely to your driver’s side door. The new Remote Smart Parking Assist feature, which Hyundai introduced, can park in and exit a pull-in parking spot without you behind the wheel. You can use the dedicated button on your key fob to activate the feature. Remote Smart Parking Assist also works with the vehicle’s other safety features, so your car will stop if it senses anything in the way as it’s parking.
Like the sun visor, airbags are an “out of sight, out of mind” part of the car. You probably don’t think about them until they’re needed. Well, car manufacturers are now working to improving them so you’re well protected in the event of an accident.
Honda has created a three-chamber airbag that will catch and support the passenger’s head, preventing it from colliding with another part of the car. Meanwhile, Hyundai is developing an airbag that protects the driver and passengers from additional impact. The manufacturer’s technology will be designed to find where you are in your vehicle after a collision so it can protect you if another vehicle hits you.
Honda’s airbag design is currently available. Hyundai and Kia said its airbag technology would be in its vehicles “in the future.”
Gadgets and high-tech systems are cool, but driving is a skill that needs to be honed. Taking a defensive driving course could earn you a discount on your car insurance.
By Joe Dyton
Sources https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/ces-2020-car-tech-innovations/ https://www.autotrader.ca/newsfeatures/20200415/5-upcoming-car-technologies-and-what-it-all-means-for-you https://www.hondainfocenter.com/en/Civic-Family/2020-Civic-Hatchback/Vehicle-Details/Safety/Advanced-Airbag-System https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/best-new-automotive-technology-2020-281474979972892 https://www.bosch-presse.de/pressportal/de/en/safe-eyes-save-lives-how-bosch-engineers-are-innovating-the-95-year-old-sun-visor-204928.html https://www.pymnts.com/visa/2020/visa-road-tripping-into-connected-commerces-future-present/ https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/visa-and-siriusxm-team-up-to-fast-track-the-future-of-in-vehicle-commerce-300773978.html