A long time has passed since cars were only to be found in Leonardo da Vinci’s designs. Today, the automobile industry is a booming behemoth that is constantly innovating itself. Throughout history, cars have changed key factors about themselves, how they function, what fuel they use, what speeds they can achieve, etc. So let’s take a look at how the rise of technology has affected contemporary cars.
The Power of Autonomy
The clearest change to cars is that they have become autonomous. New-generation cars are almost expected to have some form of an autonomous self-driving system in place. People have become completely irrelevant to the functionality of a car, it can drive itself to most places, you’re just there to go from point A to point B. It took a lot of time to get to this point, the autonomous technology still hasn’t been perfected but it’s sure as hell getting there. Some car designs feature around 30 sensors around the vehicle, as well as radars in order for the system to analyze the car’s surroundings. This information is used so that the car can continue going safely to its destination. It can also be used to save the lives of the people inside the vehicle, as it will use the information that there is another vehicle or obstacle too close to it, and the car will slow down on its own in order to avoid a crash.
Augmented reality is still relatively new and experimental technology for what it could be. Currently, it is being used to display vital information on windshields (and to block as little vision as possible). It shows you all sorts of information via the HUD. Some of them include the weather, speed, gas mileage, etc. It is truly a wonder to behold, and its potentials are almost limitless.
Vehicles are Becoming More and More Eco-friendly
As we become more aware of our surroundings and try to reduce our carbon footprint, and generally preserve the planet, we have to invent ways of reducing how much cars are bad for the environment. Of course, this wasn’t always the case, as the rise of mass production led to an increase in our carbon footprint. But at least now we have more of a conscience about it. We are diverting from more harmful sources of fuel (like gas and petrol) and becoming more and more reliant on electricity. With Tesla popularizing electric vehicles, we are perfecting ways of making the cars as efficient as possible and moving on to less-harmful sources of fuel. This is evident in the fact that charging platforms for electricity are becoming more spread out and more utilized throughout the world. With industries becoming more aware of climate change, it is good to stimulate the automobile industry to make these kinds of changes as well.
Technology is Making Driving Safer
One of the most important ways technology has influenced automobiles is by making them safer. As was stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: “Automated vehicles’ potential to save lives and reduce injuries is rooted in one critical and tragic fact: 94% of serious crashes are due to human error. Automated vehicles have the potential to remove human error from the crash equation, which will help protect drivers and passengers, as well as bicyclists and pedestrians.”
The benefits of automatization are apparent. The use of cameras has become more common throughout the world, as you can’t have a perfect 360-degree view of your surroundings when driving (or normally), so by using cameras we are able to look at every corner to see any vehicles that might be coming our way. Cars have more sensors that allow them to sense things like tire pressure, possible collisions, and lane changing. By being more aware of our surroundings we are able to see potential threats that we never could have been able to see in the past. That’s why investing in a quality GPS head up display can be of crucial importance when on the road. Anti-lock brakes are also an invention that has led to a decline in fatal car accidents.
Higher Reliance on Computers
Computers are everywhere! So it’s safe to say that modern cars will have them in some form as well. Computers make most of our modern-day functions a reality. They have become completely integrated with cars in order to contribute to safety, functionality, and even leisure (you can connect your phone to your car, and even use the internet in it). This has also led to less cash that would need to be spent on diagnostics, as most new-generation cars will have a diagnostic tool that will show you any issues before they become a real problem.