The automobile industry has come a long way from 8 track cartridge players and manual windows circa 1973. Today everything is automatic and some models can parallel park for you. Sound systems are available that deliver music studio quality. The future of car technology will deliver some incredible innovations over the next five years. While we won’t match the Jetsons flying car environment, self driving cars are on their way.
2013 – Adaptive cruise control
This is available today on some models of upscale automobile manufacturers. Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz currently offer adaptive cruise control. These systems use laser or radar to maintain a set distance from other vehicles on the road. Adaptive cruise control is similar to traditional cruise control by maintaining a vehicle’s pre-set speed. However, with adaptive cruise control the car’s speed is automatically adjusted to maintain a safe distance between other vehicles in the same lane.
2014 – Embedded 4G wireless
We’ve seen Wi-Fi technology show up in airplanes over the last year, but no such luck with new cars. “All big brand cars will incorporate internet technology by 2014,” according to one expert motor trade insurance broker. GM is currently partnering with AT&T offer 4G internet access embedded in most of vehicles it sells in the U.S. and Canada beginning in 2014. Oh happy days.
2015 – Hydrogen Power
The Japanese carmakers are reportedly investing in hydrogen-powered cars that are set to debut in 2015 in Japan. The big issue, and why these cars will not be seen in other countries, is the necessity of hydrogen refueling stations. Hydrogen powered cars deliver “unlimited” range not shared by today’s electric car. So no long battery charging times, hydrogen powered cars can be refueled on the go.
2016 – Battery Control Technology
While Japan looks to breakthrough with hydrogen power in 2015, the U.S. automakers will look to fully dominate the electrical vehicle market. The smart battery market is expected to exceed $ 49 billion by 2016.
2017 – Self-Driving Car
Ford expects self-driving vehicles to hit the road by 2017. Using a mobile communication platform, cars will be able to receive and transmit to other motorist’s dangerous road conditions and traffic. It remains to be seen if the public and car insurance industry welcome such technology with open arms. Google has thrown their hat into the self-driving car bonanza, but with cost of technology at $ 150K per vehicle, 2017 might be an aggressive prediction.
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