Gear Change in Automotive Connectivity
04/09/2017 by MRL
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The automotive industry has seen an absolutely radical change in the last decade. With connected cars being the norm for the current wave of new automotives being created, it begs the questions what will be the next change for vehicles after a connected car looks like Fred Flintstone’s foot pedal, stone and wood, contraption. The main development in this is semiconductors, they have single handily changed the tech industry over the last 30 years and are going to continue to do so till Moore’s Law comes into effect – but by then we will find a new process most likely.
So what is going to rev up the automotive industry in the years to come? Well first on everyone’s lips is the autonomous vehicle. We are years away from seeing them become commercially viable and common place. Tesla, Google & Intel are leading the way, however Apple recently announced that they have put breaks on their development with their autonomous cars. But even Uber, Bosch, Audi, Honda, BMW, Ford, are giving it a bash as they are aware that this is the future for cars.
The thing with automotive cars is the fear, it takes out the drivers decisions and moves them to a CPU and for some that just isn’t comforting. However we must understand that the biggest tech companies in the world are using the boldest and brightest engineers – some of them we placed. And as their reputation depends on it, they will test, test then test again. Plus if we have a road full of automotive cars it will lower accidents even further, maybe even to nil?
The second change is finally moving away from one the biggest causes of climate change… petrol cars. Thankfully, countries and automotive providers are realising that the move towards battery powered cars is not a fad or silly but necessary. Toyota’s Prius hybrid cars are now everywhere, and soon every car in England will be electric.
This revolution will end up saving thousands of tons of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere unnecessarily. However the only way electric cars will save the planet is when renewable energy tech enhances as well as the way we store it.
After the cars drive themselves we’ll need to do something – heaven forbid we will have to talk to each other – which means, in car entertainment! Head-Up Displays (HUD) or Active Window Displays will mean you can sit back, relax and watch movies, play games, video call, perhaps even interactive with the cars around you. Originally developed for military purposes, it was established in the 1950s for fighter jet pilots but will now be a staple in cars. This technology will also advance into other parts of our lives like mirrors in our bathrooms, and kitchen counters, but will most likely start with cars.
No longer will you check every pocket 4 times, or rummage at the bottom of your bag for your keys, tech is going to solve it. The Bluetooth key isn’t uncommon these days, you don’t even need to insert one to get the engine running. But this is pittance compared to what’s coming.
Cyber security for cars is a big deal, and as our cars get more advance so will the measures to keep them protected. Cars will become filled with biotech like finger print scanners, voice recognition, that are programmed to the driver or family. Meaning that it will be basically impossible to steal a car, and even if you managed to drive away, the car will be tracked and be turned off from a remote source.
Recently Ford Motors has presented a smart seat belt and smart steering wheels. Essentially they will keep an eye on your health stats, and be able to stop the car if you have a heart attack, and monitor your life signs if there is a crash. Additionally it will instantly access the emergency services. Beyond this it will give more access to drivers who have previous medical conditions as it will take out risk of complications.
On the flipside, who knows, if cars need zero involvement from us, we might even see cars that treadmills in them?
Automotives are being transformed and when we finally get there it’s all going to be very space age. We’re a little while off the flying cars but as the 1960’s fantasied about autonomous cars, 50 years later we’re basically there, so don’t be too surprised in the next 40 years the idea of you driving on a road as anomalous using Fred’s main mode of transport.