We all drive our cars around without a care in the world. Most of us might gaze at the panel to check for trouble lights, but on the whole we trust that the car will continue to work as it does. But the modern automobile is a wonder of ingenuity that owes many of its latest abilities to much more than simply the combustible engine and rubber tires.
There are many new and innovative elements in a car that make it a very different creature from that old Model A our grandparents drove. From rotary shaft seal innovations that keep everything cool and running to power trains that boost our speed, they all make a difference. Here are just three hidden but important parts of your car that make sure it keeps running, even if you don’t know they are there.
Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
This is one innovation that has been discussed in automotive circles for quite some time now. This year will see the beginning of its realization, and most of the hardware to produce it already exists in many models. V2V or vehicle to vehicle communication will allow small vehicles on a highway to be aware of how far away the nearest car is, how fast it is going and avoid a collision before it even happens.
Right now, many cars already have this technology, using it to avoid blind spots and eliminate problems when backing up into invisible areas. As more cars come online, this will be the next big evolution of driving. As part of the pre-collision technology that most automobile manufactures are working on, the recent announcement by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to enable the technology will move this forward quickly.
We are already half way there these days, with our smartphones plugged into our radios to give us handsfree phone calls. The next steps are inevitable and most of the hardware to realize it is already in our cars. We will soon see software that gives us not only our current position using GPS, but also tells us upcoming weather and road conditions automatically.
As our dashboards continue to evolve, we will see new uses for them including entertainment masked as information. News reports, the latest sports scores and local venues telling us we can stop in now will just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this new development. Expect to see commercialization quickly follow suit.
While they aren’t here yet, they are on their way according to several car makers. We may all be used to the luxury feel of heated seats and even power seats to adjust with ease. The next innovation will be seats that read our well being, adjust for it and help us to stay comfortable as well as alert. Some will offer vibrations to parts of our back that have grown tired. Others will have alerts built in in case it notices our heart rate is veering towards sleep. These seats will do so much more then just hold us, and the software to do this is already in the works.
Soon you will have your dashboard telling you where to turn, your seat encouraging you to rest up before that next long drive and your car talking to other cars, letting them know you need more space. As we move towards driverless cars and automatic steering, we will see the inside of our cars change to give us more flexibility in how we relate to our cars and why.