What new vehicle technologies are around the corner?

Have a look at 5 things we think you will see in vehicles of the future:
The automotive industry is endlessly developing and adding new technologies to vehicles. Usually based on safety, efficiency, comfort, and entertainment or just plan new innovation. Reading currently about what’s being tested, here are 5 top rated technologies that will more than likely make it into production.
Vehicle-2-Vehicle1. Vehicles that communicate with each other (V2V)
Ford is working on an emerging technology called Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication (V2V) that would drastically reduce vehicle related accidents. It works by sensing what other vehicles are doing around you and figures out if your or their approach would lead to an accident. It then works out what action your vehicle needs to take to avoid a collision. V2V works by using wireless signals to send information back and forth between vehicles about their position, speed and direction. This detail is then communicated to the vehicles around it in order to provide intelligence on how to keep everyone safe and avoid any possibility of a collision.
Vehicle-2-Infrastructure2. Vehicles that communicate with the road (V2I)
Coupled with V2V communication, Ford and other vehicle manufactures are looking at vehicle-to-infrastructure communication (V2I). V2I would allow vehicles to communicate with fixed objects like road signs or traffic signals and provide information to the vehicle about safety issues. V2I could also receive traffic information and updates from local traffic management systems and access the best possible routes and driving conditions. US reports are saying that this type of new technology in association with V2V could lead to an 80% reduction in vehicle accidents, something that could impact panel beaters and vehicle Insurance companies.
Self Drive Vehicles3. Self-driving vehicles
This isn’t totally new; we have all seen vehicles parallel parking without driver assistance in TV commercials for a while now. However that’s not a fully self-drive vehicle and the real self-drive future we think we will see a vehicle that needs no human assistance at all. We have read that Google engineers have already tested self-driving vehicles on more than 320,000 kilometers of public motorways and roads. The Google vehicle sees an image of the road, a map view and road signs and sees traffic lights before they're visible to the human eye. It uses lasers, radars and cameras; the vehicle can analyze and process information about its environment faster than you can.
Augmented Reality Dashboards4: Augmented Reality dashboards
This is about having real time information displayed on your dashboard or windscreen, relating to external objects around you that could be stationary or moving. A bit like a science fiction movie where an android looks at something and then brings up all the relevant information so it can identify what or who it is. Augmented Reality dashboards (AR) will function in a similar way. This is not totally new as BMW is already using a windshield display system. It currently displays only basic information but work is underway that will allow information and symbols to display on top of what the driver is seeing in real life. An example could be; you are approaching a vehicle at speed, a red icon would appear on the vehicle you're approaching and arrows will show you how to maneuver into the next lane before a possible collision. Augmented reality may not be here yet, but if these companies have their way, we'll be seeing it in our vehicles not too far away.
Body Panel Energy Storage5: Energy-storing Body Panels
It is predicted that by 2040, half of all new passenger vehicles will be a type of hybrid. Lithium-ion batteries in hybrids have been getting better and better but the weight and space issue continues to be the major challenge here. That's where energy-storing body panels could play a part. Some vehicle manufacturers are currently researching and testing body panels that can store energy and charge faster than the conventional batteries today. The material being tested enables the vehicle to end up 15% lighter and would be manufactured using a combination of polymer fiber and carbon resin. It’s strong enough to be used in vehicles and pliable enough to be molded into body panels. The panels would be used to capture energy produced by regenerative braking or from your household electricity supply plugged in overnight. As the energy is stored it can then feed back to the vehicle when needed. This allows for a big reduction in Lithium-ion battery size and weight and eliminates energy currently needed to move the heavier hybrids around. Toyota is taking it one step further and researching body panels that would actually capture solar energy and store it in a lighter weight panel.

June 2014


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