As the New Year takes shape and we get a glimpse of what’s to come in the world of technology in 2017, there are a few automotive technologies that are poised to get our attention. It’s not that these innovations are completely new, but they are constantly developing and evolving and will continue to change our lives as we move forward.
1. Autonomous Vehicles
Most people that have to sit in rush hour traffic have probably dreamed of having a vehicle that can drive itself. Autonomous cars don’t require a human driver and work by sensing their environment with such tools as GPS, radar, odometry, computer vision and lidar. Autonomous vehicles provide a range of benefits, which include a drastic reduction in the number of accidents, improved traffic flow, and improved fuel efficiency.
Fully autonomous vehicles aren’t predicted to be ready for use on the road for a handful of years, but they are already in use to some degree in industries like mining and farming, where the environment is strictly controlled. Some experts predict fleet vehicles and trucks that utilize highway driving will be among the first to benefit from autonomous vehicle technology, sometime around 2040. Nissan is set to demonstrate a vehicle with autonomous capabilities to government officials in Britain soon, so there is no telling just how quickly the trial period will turn into reality.
2. In-Car Telematics
Vehicle telematics has been around for quite a few years, but it is a technology that continues to grow and expand. GM’s OnStar system of vehicle telematics was one of the first that featured automatic crash notification and the ability for drivers to communicate with operators should something go wrong. Some other features were emergency assistance, roadside assistance, vehicle diagnostics and Good Samaritan assistance.
GPS technology also falls under the umbrella of “telematics” and it has been a huge benefit to the fleet tracking industry. With an effective GPS system, companies with fleets of vehicles can keep track of each vehicle in terms of location, fuel usage, route tracking and more. According to Business Wire, the automotive telematics market should grow at a 29.1% rate globally over the next 10 years, reaching around $180.4 billion by 2025.
3. Electric Cars
The electric car is another technology that keeps making strides each year. Unlike a hybrid car, which uses both petrol and a battery, electric cars don’t use any fuel at all. They are powered by electric motors that store energy in a battery. Naturally, electric cars are environmentally friendly, with zero tailpipe emissions. Electric cars also require no oil changes, emissions tests or trips to the gas station like oil burning cars.
With more and more charging station cropping up in public places, it’s clear that the electric car is a technology that will have an impact in the years to come. Before you know it, we will all be driven around by our autonomous, electric vehicles with deluxe in-car telematics systems, and the world will likely be a safer and more efficient place as a result.