Thanks to modern manufacturing techniques, cars are getting lighter and, accordingly, more fuel efficient. Conversely and perversely cars are also getting heavier because of the amount of technology they now carry; and what we see on cars today is just the tip of the iceberg.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Geeks now rule the Earth and they have determined that what we need in our lives today is even more techno gadgets on our motors. It will soon be impossible to print handbooks for cars because they will be so thick that they will make War and Peace look like a convenient light read. There is even a rumour that printed material will be replaced by a Stephen Hawking recording – because he is the only one who really understands this stuff – to explain each new toy as the driver attempts to deploy it.
Some of the more eye-catching examples are only two or three years away. Right now some cars will warn the driver if drowsiness is suspected because of lane drifting or similar. This is a great idea especially for long distance travellers. Technology just around the corner will wirelessly monitor the drivers heart rate and respiration by way of a clever seat. Any suspicion of sleepiness will trigger an alarm. The only worry about this is, let’s say for the sake of delicacy, other emotions. Perhaps the car will deploy a virtual bucket of cold water.
It has been reported that 2015 will see the first car with gesture recognition; and you thought you already knew all the motoring gestures. Even earlier there is the possibility of voice recognition. To an extent this is already here as some of you will have already tried to give basic Bluetooth or sat-nav instructions to an automaton that appears to speak a language unknown to man. Nevertheless improvements are coming which means talking to your car will be the norm. Expect worried glances in car parks.
Remember those old fashioned cigarette lighters in cars? In these healthier days they have morphed into handy 12v sockets for operating or charging stuff. Even better would be the chance to remove this old device altogether and charge gadgets wirelessly. Place your gadget in the convenient container adjacent to the driving seat and charging will begin automatically. Now that’s handy.
Still under development is something that any stressed-out dad is going to thank the gods for and who will be happy to cough up any amount of option cost to get it on the car. Noise cancelling headrests! Surrounding noise will automatically generate anti-noise signals. This is the one that will make the discovery of sliced bread slide anonymously into history. Squalling kids in the back, mothers-in-law – goodness gracious, the number of reasons why all cars should have this is beyond counting. It’s true too: this high tech solution for the seeker of a quiet life does exist and is even now being perfected.
There is a whole raft of new automotive technology on its way to a new car near you. All the above and much more will be available sooner than you think. There is an argument that says that cars are getting too complicated and there is merit in that; but lots of us like a bit of high-tech and will look forward to some exciting new innovations. As long as they make sense and make a contribution to safety and convenience, what’s the problem?