Cars of the Future – 5 Ways your Next Car Could Change your Life
by Ed Scott
Every now and then some new technology comes out that makes us all think we’re living in the future. We might not have flying cars and hoverboards just yet, but most people have smartphones with thousands times more power than those room-sized supercomputers that NASA used to have for flying rockets to the moon.
Cars often seem to be playing catch up as we tend to update them less often than other technology, but there are still plenty of features around that could put my head into a spin. Here are the top 5 pieces of future tech that make me come over all Marty McFly.
Self Parking Cars
The first company to offer cars that park themselves was Lexus, but it’s since gone mainstream with VW, Ford and others offering the feature. Seeing the steering wheel turn itself as your vehicle glides into a spot is reminiscent of a player piano, with the keys dropping all by themselves, kind of spooky if you ask me. The new BMW 7 series features a button on the key fob to do your parking, a bit like having a life-sized remote control car, that’s definitely something I could get on board with.
Falcon wing doors
Tesla has really pushed the envelope with the stunning new Model X, and the most striking feature is its so-called falcon wings. They look a bit like those famous DeLorean doors but are in fact double hinged and open upwards, very handy for squeezing out of those tight spots, or even standing up in your vehicle. Hard to say if we’ll see these adopted by other manufacturers any time soon but they’re definitely eye-catching!
Another new idea being researched, this time at Ford and Volvo, involves a camera facing the driver. No, it isn’t an in-car selfie system, face recognition is being utilised to add a layer of security by only allowing chosen people to operate the vehicle, it could also be used to adjust the seat and settings depending on the driver. Another interesting application of this technology is detecting sleepy motorists to give them a little wake-up call, now if I could just get one of those for my desk at work….
Over the air fixes
One inspired by your iPhone or Android device now as car manufacturers are hoping to be able to deliver over-the-air updates to onboard software, without the customer needed to bring their vehicle into the garage. I like the idea of getting a bit of an upgrade without needing to buy a new car, but if your average iOS updates are anything to go by, you might end up locked out of your motor for a few days.
This one’s a bit of a hot topic for a few of the big car makers at the moment, with sensors being added to detect hand movements and dashboard controls you can operate with a flick of the wrist or wave of your hand. There’s a fair chance you might end up looking a bit silly, but if it’s good enough for Tom Cruise’s character in Minority Report who are we to argue?
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