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Monday, March 25, 2013

Advanced and impressive technology is now a part of our everyday lives. We have come to expect it from almost everything that we use; no less so than in our cars. GPS systems and ipod connections are now the norm but with the recent news that all our cars could be connected to the internet by as early as next year, it begs the question as to what other exciting innovations lie just around the corner for the automotive industry.  

Voice Recognition

Phone manufacturers are still trying to perfect this much sought-after feature, with hopes of it making its way into vehicles as well. With the dangers of driving while on the phone now very much documented – and even banned in many countries – being able to call, tweet, update facebook and search the web via voice control could be not only convenient but also much safer. Add this to being able to roll down the window or change the radio station and voice recognition becomes highly desirable to many a modern driver.  

Cars that Drive Themselves

Cruise control has existed for a while and some cars now have technology that helps with parallel parking but manufacturers hope to provide cars that can not only maintain consistent speeds by themselves – a la cruise control – but also use sensors to monitor surroundings and alter their speed accordingly. They are also trialling cars that are capable of memorising your most popular routes and replicating them by themselves.

Communicating Cars

This is known as Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication (V2V). It uses wireless signals to provide cars with information about other nearby vehicles. For example, a crash may have just happened up ahead; you cannot see it yet but your car will receive a warning message, allowing you time to reduce your speed and stay alert before you too become involved in the accident. Additional information they hope it will provide includes cars that have run a red light and now pose a threat or approaching cars that are breaking the speed limit. Ultimately, its aim is to keep drivers safe and well informed as to what is happening on the road around them.  

Digital Display

The dashboard could soon essentially become a large interactive tablet. Technology is already being tested that will allow the windscreen to highlight objects and provide the driver with important information; such as the speed of an incoming vehicle or the direction to head to avoid an oncoming collision.

Particularly if voice recognition becomes a success, the two could combine to allow drivers to quickly bring up real time maps showing the best route to the nearest restaurants or hotels or even just to guide you through your journey; chunky GPS systems stuck to the windscreen will suddenly seem very dated and obtrusive.  

Car ‘Apps’

Applications are essentially upgrades or extra features that can be downloaded onto computer devices, ipods and such like. The concept has revolutionised the world of technology, as these additional advancements can be downloaded directly onto the devices themselves, without needing to take them to the manufacturer for installation. Internet connection and interactive computer systems inside cars could soon mean the same for them; with apps to provide wake up calls for drowsy drivers, to change the music to fit your current mood and to alter the lighting within the car all having already been tipped as favourites to emerge first.

With these and other wondrous features all slated to be made available for mass production in the not too distant future, kitting out your ultimate car should become a real possibility. Imagine a car like a Porsche, renowned for its style; now not only looking great on the outside but performing with all the latest mod-cons on the inside. Car lovers can rejoice, as such dream vehicles should soon become a widely available reality.    

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