The automobile continues to advance at a lightning pace. Cars of today would be all but unrecognizable to drivers of a century ago. From solar panels that charge while the vehicle is in motion to self-driving cars, some innovations are just around the bend, while others may take a few years to see the light of day. One way or another, the personal vehicle is constantly evolving.
Driving is becoming easier and less complicated
For example, consider the automatic transmission. When the automobile first became a thing, shifting gears became an integral part of the driving experience. Then along came the automatic transmission, and the act of driving became easier and less complicated overnight—some of the new and upcoming innovations in driving promise to be similarly impactful.
The most important advances in vehicle technology revolve around keeping drivers and their passengers safe. Advanced driver-assistance systems help drivers avoid dangers on the road. Automatic emergency braking avoids or minimizes collisions. 360-degree cameras aid with parking, while video rear-view mirrors make it possible to see through the back window even when the back seat is full. Blindspot view monitors similarly help avoid collisions.
In the near future, expect to see inter-car communication technology. With this advance, cars will be able to detect one another and avoid collisions. Automated parking systems are also likely to make a debut, avoiding fender-benders in tight parking spots.
Connectivity and entertainment innovations
21st Century life is all about the mobile device, so it makes sense that so many recent strides in-vehicle technology revolve around our phones. Automobile manufacturers offer mobile apps that can unlock your vehicle and even start it remotely, a handy feature on cold or wet days. Similarly, many vehicles now offer wireless charging and connectivity. Manufacturers offer increasingly more connectivity to phones, smartwatches, tablets, and other smart devices.
In the coming years, be prepared for AR dashboard displays. These 3D projections will enhance your interactions and even your awareness of the surroundings and objects in your car’s path. Many of them will incorporate gesture technology, allowing you to give your car commands simple hand gestures. Some vehicle manufacturers are also beginning to integrate apps directly into the dashboard.
Considering how far the car has come in the past century, it’s impossible to imagine what the next 100 years may hold in store for it. The one thing we can count on for sure is that it will continue to evolve and offer ever-increasing innovations.