No matter where you are in the world, there is one thing you cannot avoid and that is the fact that the automotive world has come a long way and is continuing to develop rapidly. Cars have significantly improved over the years and manufacturers are looking to deliver better performing models on a regular basis. From seatbelts to automatic parking and everything in between, technology in cars keeps getting better and more advanced. When manufacturers sell cars, they focus on the newest additions and latest specifications that are built into the vehicle. Here are the best technological breakthroughs in the automobile industry in the past 10 years.
Electric Vehicles or EVs have become increasingly popular across the world and they are continuing to develop as we speak. Many of the available manufacturers today are looking to the future and are producing or planning to produce high-powered electric cars that can be easily comparable to some of the best fuel-powered vehicles. However, one of the standout features of electric vehicles or even hybrid vehicles is the ability to be powered by an in-built battery. These batteries are recharged through outlets either at home or anywhere there are charging outlets. All available EVs come with a regular AC charger that can normally take the battery from 0 to 100 percent in about 4-6 hours. But with the inclusion of fast charging, things have become extremely fast. So fast that the DC charger is capable of taking the battery from 0 to 80 percent in a matter of 30 minutes. While charging stations are quite rare right now, the increasing popularity of EVs is sure to build that number up.
This is one of the newest technologies incorporated into cars and the lane-keeping assistance feature is definitely one of the best ones yet. If you are used to long drives or driving through the night, the lane-keep assist helps you stay safe on the road at all times. The software in the car’s system allows it to stay centered in the lane while driving forward. This technology uses the steering along with the brakes to keep the vehicle within the lines of the driving lane and stops it from crossing them. As soon as the wheels begin to cross the lines, the lane-keep assistance technology kicks in and corrects it so that the vehicle stays centered and safe.
There isn’t a single driver out there that can say that they haven’t had trouble while parking their car. That’s why automatic parking was one of the most inventive and advantageous technologies created. What started in 2006 by Lexus is now one of the most wanted technologies in the automotive world. The automatic parking feature allows the driver to almost completely park their car automatically – except for the occasional brake when the driver is requested to do so. Today, more and more car manufacturers have been including the automatic parking technology into their vehicles and the interested buyers have been going berserk for it. Whether you opt for an Audi, BMW, Jeep, Tesla, or any of the premium brands available, you are sure to get the automatic parking tech included in your vehicle. If you feel like any of these brands are out of your reach (financially), a used car evaluation tool can come in handy when you’re looking for a second-hand car in the market.
Considered as one of the most advanced technological breakthroughs in the automobile industry, voice recognition has come a long way. We all saw the voice recognition feature on the Bentley in the 2009 film, 2012, and we all thought it was just fiction but this technology truly does exist. The majority of car accidents today are caused by drivers using their mobile phones while behind the wheel and this technology eliminates the need for that. Through the voice recognition technology, drivers are able to make or receive calls, read and reply to text messages, get navigational directions, use multimedia like play music or videos, and even start the vehicle (only a few select models). Although the technology is currently still in its development phase, the inclusion of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will definitely improve the recognition capability.
As mentioned above, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have become a major addition to the cars we drive today and that is extended even further with the inclusion of Wi-Fi hotspots inside the car itself. While car manufacturers do not advise drivers to use their smartphones, tablets, or other connected devices while driving, the Wi-Fi hotspots in the car make it easier for people to stay connected even in low signal areas or while driving through a tunnel. When Wi-Fi supporting cars were first advertised, it was reserved for the premium or luxury cars such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW but with the availability of internet becoming so easy, the lower-end manufacturers are also including this feature into their models. No more will you have to worry about how to keep the kids distracted while you drive back home from a cake-filled birthday party – just connect your phone or tablet and let the cartoons take over.
How quick are you behind the wheel of your car? Faster than a computer? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for the majority of people who own and drive a car. Fortunately, today’s cars come with a plethora of sensors that can detect anything from obstacles in the road to the rapid deceleration of a vehicle in front of you. The automatic emergency braking technology might be a newer addition to most cars but it surely is a blessing rather than a luxury. Getting behind the wheel of a car means you have to be 100 percent aware of your surroundings at all times but it’s close to impossible to do that with only our two eyes. This is where those sensors come in. By reading the environment around the car, this automatic emergency braking technology can alert you when something is about to come in contact with the vehicle or block the driving path of the car. The sensors along with the on-board computer kick into action immediately and initiate the brakes which slow down or completely stop the car before it collides with the car, pedestrian, animal, or obstacle in the way. If you are a person who drives a lot at night or drives in crowded cities, and your car doesn’t have the automatic emergency braking technology, you might want to get your RC transfer ready and get your hands on a vehicle that does feature it.
Smartphones are getting smarter every day and cars are getting more technologically advanced twice as fast. So, it only seems right for smartphones and cars to work together to make your driving experience better, safer, and definitely more entertaining. Connecting your phone to your car is not a completely new idea as you could do this through a USB and Bluetooth connection, but it was limited to making calls or playing music from your device. Now, with the inclusion of Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay along with the numerous applications designed for an immersive experience, there is so much more you can do using your smartphone and your cars computer system. Make and receive calls, send and read texts, listen to your favourite songs and podcasts, locate your favourite destinations, watch movies, and even shop all with the touch a button or in some cases, with your voice commands. As technology gets even more advanced, we can’t wait to see what more we will be able to do through our smartphones and connected cars.
As we just spoke about smartphone integration, we thought we should mention the navigation technology that is available today in almost all cars. Navigation, like phone connectivity, is not a new idea, however cars have moved on from the slow-moving GPS systems we once were so impressed by. Today, you can get directions and information to any location you want with the touch of a button. Whether you’re looking for a McDonald’s at 3:00 am or a gas station in the middle of nowhere, the navigation systems of today are more than capable of giving you accurate readings within seconds. Not only car you get directions on the latest systems, you are able to download traffic information, real-time news for accidents or detours, satellite views of maps, real-time driving instructions, and so much more. With HUD or Head-Up Display and Holographic Windshields, navigation today has become so much more interesting than it once was.
Keys? Who needs them? Well, the way things are going in the automobile world, it looks like keys are soon becoming a thing of the past – just like cassettes and CD’s. Today, most cars come with electronic key fobs which help you get into your car without having to look for keys when you have your hands full. As an addition, these key fobs allow you to unlock the car from a distance so that you don’t waste time trying to get in. The electronic key fob is lightweight and can unlock, lock, and even start the car before you even get in.
Inside, that keyless technology is featured once again with a push-button start and stop. Once again, you will not have to look and feel around for a key insert and then turn the key to get the vehicle going – just press the button and enjoy the purring of the engine within a second.
Don’t you hate it when you have your hands full and you need to open the liftgate to get your groceries or other items into the car? Well, car manufacturers saw how frustrating it was and introduced the automatic liftgate which opens the back of the car without having to physically touch the door at all. There are sensors under the rear of the car that are capable of detecting your foot and all you have to do is wave your foot underneath it to get the liftgate to open. While this feature itself is extremely cool and handy, it doesn’t always work with the first kick. To make it even easier to get your items into your car, manufacturers included a feature into the electronic key fob that senses your proximity and automatically opens the liftgate when you get close enough.
There you have it, 10 of the coolest and advantageous technologies incorporated into cars today. While most cars come with at least a few of the features, you can find luxury cars or premium models with all or most of them included. With technology progressing at the speed of light, we can’t wait and can’t imagine what the future holds for the automobile world. Exciting time ahead for sure.