What Future Car Technologies Will Make Roads Safe?

What Future Car Technologies Will Make Roads Safe?

By Amanda Elliott

There’s a lot changing in the automotive industry. Most surprisingly, having a driver’s license won’t be a milestone in the future because our cars will be able to drive us.

As we take a hands-off approach to driving, will seat belts and airbags remain the car safety standard?

One thing is for certain, sensors and cameras will play a major role in car safety. We are going to look at 10 future car technologies to look forward to.

10 Future Car Technologies:

1. Animal Detection

Road kill is a problem. In America, there are about 1.5 million car accidents every year from deer alone, according to AAA. With new car technology like radars and infrared cameras, the car will be able to detect animals and automatically apply the brakes.

Companies like Volvo, Audi, Ford and Mercedes-Benz are incorporating animal detection systems into their models for car safety.

2. Infra-Red Headlights

During bad weather like fog, snow and thunderstorms, driving conditions become more dangerous. To help drivers see further in poor driving conditions, car companies like Audi, Ford, BMW, and Toyota and turning to infrared headlights.

3. Remote Vehicle Shut Down

Sometimes cars need to be shut down because of reckless driving or missed car payments. Remote vehicle shutdown will allow technology to shut down a car within a 50m radius. GM and Toyota are some of the car companies working on this technology.

With this technology, there are other logistics to consider like when to turn off a car. There is still inertia and gravity in play and this technology could potentially disengage a car in mid-traffic.

Remote vehicle shutdown has already been installed in an estimated 2 million vehicles in 2014 in the United States alone, according to Cartrade. 

4. Driver Override System

While all cars might not be autonomous, they might be semi-autonomous. With the driver override system, the car will be able to apply the breaks even in some cases when a driver is accelerating. Car companies like Nissan, volkswagen, Volvo and Toyota are investing in driver override systems.

5. Dynamic Infrastructure Alerts

Car companies are investing in this future car technology to connect with real-time infrastructure maps to monitor changing driving parameters and road conditions. This will be like Google Maps, but with more real-time data based on construction and traffic and hazards like potholes. Companies using dynamic infrastructure alerts include Toyota, GM and Mercedes-Benz.

6. Augmented Reality Windshield

Augmented reality will play a large role in future technologies and it might start with the windshield on cars. While we use windshields to see the road, the car’s dashboard might actually be part of the windshield to provide real-time data on speed, fuel, temperature and directions.

Companies like Jaguar, BMW, Ford and GM are investing in augmented reality windshields.

7. Biometric Vehicle Access

There’s a more personalized driving experience coming in the future. Biometric vehicle access would take away your keys and put them literally in your hands. With this future car technology, drivers will be able to use their fingerprints to unlock their cars and even authenticate the driver.

It would also help with car theft, through this personal biometric tracking and authentication. Mitsubishi, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagan are some of the car companies currently investing.

8. Network-Based Traffic Alerts

Traffic is one of the most challenging or boring parts to anyone’s commutes. Well, what if you could send messages to other drivers on the road about current traffic conditions? With the network-based traffic alerts, drivers will be notified of congestion and will be able to re-route based on real-time data. According to Quoteme, the network-based traffic alerts will bring  about a 97 percent increase in data traffic in the next 10 years.

Companies like GM, Volvo, and BMW are currently working on these car technology applications.

9. Autonomous Cars

One of the most talked about trends is autonomous cars, especially with recent pilot programs by Uber for both passenger and commercial use.

In the United States, some states have already legalized self-driving cars. Lexus, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz and Ford have all started working on self-driving cars.

10. Active Health Monitoring

Active health monitoring technology might help health related accidents – like driving for too long or with low blood pressure or while intoxicated.

“The system will be able to detect if someone is having a cardiovascular issue, for example a heart attack, and could also be used to detect the symptoms of other conditions such as high blood pressure or electrolyte imbalances. This not only benefits the driver; but also could make the roads safer for all users.”

Dr. Achim Lindner, Ford Research Center medical officer

Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus have started to work on this new car technology.

Photo Courtesy of QuoteMe.

For further reading, check out this infographic from Dryve that goes over car safety patents; which ones saved lives and which never made it to production.

If you have any questions or would like to know if we can help you with your innovation challenge, please contact one of our Transportation leads, Lee Warren at lwarren@prescouter.com or Eric Joyce at ejoyce@prescouter.com.

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