Technology in cars is like technology anywhere else. Some automotive tech focuses on safety, some on comfort, or fuel-efficiency, or driving performance. There’s often overlap. For example, traction control systems can help with fast corners while at the same time adjusting the brake levels and engine power to keep everything on the desired line. The only negative side to this is that these cars are much more expensive before you get to the ones you can afford.
Technology from intelligent hardware to well-programmed software is becoming an ever-increasing factor on our roads. Even though with all this tech, something can go wrong on the road, we as humans still rely and depend on it. Over the last few years, new ideas helped the automotive industry to build some of the best tech cars we see today on our roads.
Here are our Top 5:
Audi is usually at the forefront of car technology. They are always coming out with exciting stuff like a fingerprint reader for added security, a system accepting commands from a tablet that will recognize handwriting, and installing Bang & Olufsen audio systems where the tweeters rise out of the dashboard.
With the BMW i8 and i3, the company has re-invented the car. Both use a radical form of structure: a basic aluminum tub into which various motor mounts and suspension parts fit into with a carbon fibre shell on top. In the i8’s case, it’s a stunning design with scissor-style doors. And the drivetrain is a hybrid, featuring a mere 1.5-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine along with an electric motor.
Here, the primary technique is to consolidate the Range Rover’s formidable reputation for tackling challenging surfaces with capability and luxury. It has a Terrain Response Control system that calibrates throttle responses, gear shift points and even braking to deal with mud, rocks, sand, gravel and snow. The newest addition to this is off-roading cruise control. The driver does the steering, but your feet stay away from the pedals.
The S-Class doesn’t work with bulbs. Every illumination from the car comes from the light-emitting diodes (LED). The vehicle is available with radar, stereoscopic cameras, and infra-red sensors to gather data on what’s happening outside and inside the car.
Cruise control monitored by lane departure assistance. The car will also help out with the steering and braking in heavy traffic. The vehicle can recognize road signs and pedestrians. It comes with crosswind assist as part of its traditional control array. It will even read the road ahead and adjust the suspension so that speed humps become virtually non-existent.
Volvo is known for its focus on safety. It was the first company to feature three-point seat belts as standard way back in 1959. Since then, virtually every new Volvo has represented some step forward in protective technology.
With the new XC90 seven-seater crossover SUV, there’s the usual array of active safety features on offer. The forward collision warning with automatic braking and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. There is also a function where it will hit the brakes if the driver tries to steer into an oncoming vehicle path. It comes with pedestrian and cyclist detection, even shock-absorbing seat cushions and self-tightening seat belts.
So, what can the future hold for the automotive industry? It’s still unclear, but with innovation, new technology and safety features, we can soon see some significant changes happening and who knows maybe cars will fly someday, just not today.