7 Futuristic Pieces of Tech Every Car Should Have
As a petrolhead and a geek, I get giddy each time new S-class comes along because it's a marriage of two of my favorite things in the world! And best of all, a few years down the line, I'll get to play with that same cool tech in my budget car.
Here are seven pieces of cool technology I can't wait for every car to have!
'Internet of things' is a buzzphrase these days, and it aims to connect everything to your smartphone – cars included!
Some luxury models even today will let you check the tire pressure, fuel or battery level and a general status of the car from the comfort of your sofa. Then you can start the aircon to cool it down before you step in, or warm it up in the cold winter mornings.
Via the app, you can even drive your car out of the garage to meet you at your doorstep. That is kinda romantic if you ask me.
The way magnetic suspension works is almost witchcraft. Dampers are filled with fluid containing many small magnetic particles. Run an electrical current through it and particles will react by changing the viscosity of the fluid. The 'thicker' the fluid gets, the harder the suspension is.
So at the press of a button you can change how your car feels like; baby-bottom-soft for the rough patches of road, or Ron-Jeremy-hard for when you feel like attacking the corners.
Probably, it's best to leave it to the ECU which monitors the state of each damper individually more than 1000 times per second and reacts accordingly. How fast can YOU press that button?
By adding some computers to the differential, you (or better yet - the car itself) can control the amount of torque going to each individual wheel. Why is that important?
In case your car is losing traction, the power can be sent to wheels with the most grip. A Nissan GTR can be all, or just front, rear, left or only a single wheel drive. Whichever way makes it the fastest in any given situation. Then, together with brakes, a torque vectoring can also slow down the inside wheels during cornering to make the car drag itself even closer to the apex.
But all this tech is not just for going faster. It can also self-correct the car and point it in the right direction once you lose it, or get you out of the slippery ditch.
Unlike conventional headlights that just wash the road with a tsunami of light, laser headlights illuminate the world with a combination of thousands of individual laser beams.
Because they are individual they can be individually controlled, and that completely changes the game! Imagine a car going the other way - you would switch to low-beams not to blind the person. But with lasers, you don't have to. Headlights automatically dim those rays pointing at the other car, while everything else stays just as bright as before.
Mercedes has even shown how you can communicate with the outside world by drawing things on the road with your headlights. Things like pedestrian crossings, or the trajectory of your wheels. What else are they going to think of?
If you thought reversing cameras are cool, get a load of this! Cameras everywhere! Back! Front! Sides! Under the car! Everywhere!
With such setup, you can peek at almost any corner of your car when parking or going through a blind intersection. But the real magic happens when all those cameras are working together for a combined live feed of your surrounding.
Look at your car from top-down view like in Mercedes, move the view to anywhere like in BMW, and get a perfect sense of what your front wheels are driving over like in Range Rover. No need to throw your passenger our to check it for you.
These little transparent screens are considered just a gimmick today, but let me tell you - shifting focus on what you are looking at is far more safe than looking down at your dashboard. And it gives you the most important information while driving. Speed and directions. Why the hate?
And don't forget that HUD is just an early Augmented Reality Windshield. Imagine the navigation line being drawn right in front of you, leading you into the lanes and intersections. Imagine warning graphics pointing to real-world objects, and extra information from a night-vision camera. Imagine! Just Imagine!
Where's John Lennon when you need one.
I don't know about you, but driving takes all the focus and commitment I can spare. And if I have a long highway journey ahead of me, ugh; it can get so exhausting and boring at the same time.
If only I had the autopilot. A set of lasers and radars that are scanning the road ahead of me, identifying the cars and lanes on it, and driving the car for me.
Turn it on and it will go the speed limit until it reaches a slower car, at which point it will adapt and follow it at a safe distance. He speeds up, you follow. He slows down, and so do you. And together with the lane assist and the car will steer itself even on a snaking road.
So all you need to do then is: find a convoy, 'latch on it' and go back to your nose picking.
Seven technologies from the future, we should have in all our cars. Which one is the biggest game changer? Which ones are you most looking forward to? Be sure to vote in the poll down below and comment
And while you are here, can I interest you in some ramblings I've been on about?