The ever-adapting automotive landscape seems to develop bright, new technologies almost as fast as it discards these systems once another innovation comes around. It’s a whirlwind of one-upmanship where manufacturing titans from across the globe seek to capture the attention of everyday drivers before their rivals are able to do the same.
What are the latest tech-marvels you can expect from modern cars? Read along as we delve into the five greatest technological innovations in the automotive world over the last three years!
1st Technological Innovation: Capacitive Touch Everything
Capacitive touchscreens have been around for a decade or thereabouts. Depending on the class of vehicle you were shopping for, it’s possible to have seen models in the early 2010’s with some measure of capacitive touch capability. Yet only recently has this capacitive craze spread to nearly every function of a modern vehicle.
Certain manufacturers have taken capacitive touch further than others. For example, the latest model generation of the VW Golf GTI includes a steering wheel with only capacitive touch options. As you go to the center screen to change the HVAC controls, adjust the navigation, or put on some music, you’re again greeted by capacitive touch.
The automotive movement away from hard buttons means a cleaner looking cabin for many models.
2nd Technological innovation: Semi-Autonomous Driving
The push for autonomous driving has been decades in the works. Manufacturers continue devoting resources to creating cars which can virtually drive themselves. While not all the way there, there are certain models which display incredible semi-autonomous capabilities.
Tesla is near the forefront of this movement, offering certain autonomous abilities such as the car automatically changing lanes for you or going around turns. Chevrolet has also gotten involved with their Super Cruise system which can make certain on-road maneuvers without relying on the driver’s inputs.
To work, these systems still require a certain measure of attention from the driver such as having hands on the steering wheel or eyes on the road. While not fully autonomous, these systems are marvelously capable and offer an extra layer of ease to everyday commutes.
3rd Technological Innovation: Video Rearview Mirror
A video rearview mirror is still an uncommon sight in many models, with mostly luxury brands offering it as a high-end option. If you’re fortunate enough to own a model with one of these systems though, it’s a wicked bit of helpful technology to have.
The rearview mirror basically displays a camera view of what’s going on behind you. So even if you have the trunk loaded with storage items up to the ceiling, your rearward visibility isn’t hindered. And when compared to the regular visibility you can expect from a rearview mirror, the video version offers greater clarity and scope of vision.
This bit of technology ties into the many different cameras current vehicles use. For example, a 360-degree camera is common in many cars. When you use the camera, you can see everything around your model which makes parking or maneuvering through tight areas a breeze.
4th Technological Innovation: Plug-In Hybrid Motors
The types of powertrains currently on the market are staggering. Not only is there a great diversity of them, but many of these powertrains can deliver startling power without sacrificing efficiency. The plug-in hybrid models are right at the forefront of this list.
With a plug-in hybrid, you have a certain amount of all-electric range to use as you see fit. This range typically runs about 30-50 miles. Otherwise, you can rely on a gas engine to get around. The fuel economy of plug-in hybrids are exceptional, while the power from these models is far more than you might have thought.
5th Technological Innovation: Syncing Your Car to At-Home Devices
Pairing your car to your smartphone is one impressive feat of engineering, yet that’s recently been taken to a new level with the ability to now pair your car with devices in your home. Amazon Alexa is a great example. If you’re driving your vehicle on the road and it has Amazon Alexa capability, you can speak with your at-home device. So if you want to turn the lights on in your house before you get out of the car, that’s a possibility!
More Technological Innovations Are Sure to Come
Because they compete so fiercely against one another, you can expect car manufacturers to continue creating dazzling technology systems in an effort to outpace rivals. Fully autonomous cars? Electric vehicles with 500 miles of range? Exterior paint you can alter by pressing a button in the cabin? Hey- it’s all possible…