Technology, such as computers and cellphones, has been an active part of Generation Y from birth to adulthood. So it’s not surprising a recent Deloitte survey of Gen Y drivers found that in-car technology is one of the biggest factors when choosing which vehicle to buy.
Automakers have taken notice by incorporating such technological inventions into their models like GPS and touchscreen displays. However, no matter what generation you’re part of, you’ll be begging for luxury, comfort and safety that comes from the following car inventions that are on the horizon.
One of the best methods of dealing with traffic is to put yourself in a Zen-like state by picturing yourself in a peaceful place; maybe with flowing water and soft sand. Well, that place of peace just could be your very own car.
Ficosa International, a car design firm in Spain, took that sentiment and designed an interior based on a Zen garden. Their Senzai concept car features a lighted stream—behind glass, of course—of real water that comes down from the dashboard to the floor. And to top it off, under each seat is a lit sand garden shaped in intricate, soothing designs.
The closest thing to a Transformer, BMW’s GINA Light Visionary Model is made out of a fabric rather than a metal, giving the car the ability to reconfigure itself under the controls of the driver. It has no doors, and lacks a trunk, engine hood or roof—at least not in their normal faculty.
The car skin that embodies BMW’s latest creation can be manipulated by the driver as it rests over a light aluminum subframe that changes shape with electric and hydraulic controls. The headlights open like eyelids, while the rear can grow a spoiler at the driver’s whim.
Automatic Safety Monitoring Systems
Admit it: you’re too busy sending a text message and changing the song on your iPod while taking a sip of coffee to make sure you’re staying in your lane. You don’t have to worry—at least as much—about that when radar technology has your back.
Automatic safety monitoring systems, utilizing radar and cameras, are starting to make their way into cars, giving drivers peace of mind as they sense when the car is traveling too fast or is close to colliding with another object. And when a crash is inevitable, the system will automatically engage the brakes and tighten your seatbelt.
Driving at night is dangerous not only because of the people traveling the road at that hour, but also because of your impaired vision. Currently found in a few luxury car models are night-vision systems that let you see beyond the reach of your headlights.
Picking up infrared light or heightening the natural light left, night-vision systems display the road on the dashboard so that you can be prepared for what lies ahead.
Uninterrupted Cruise Control
One of the annoyances of cruise control is getting stuck behind a pack of slow drivers forcing you to hit the brakes, and then reset your speed all over again. Just hitting the market are radar-powered cruise control systems capable of maintaining a safe distance from the cars ahead, letting you actually sit back and cruise.
Wish your car wasn’t so shy, and would interact more with other cars? Well, the technology to get cars to talk is on its way. Under development by Ford is a Wi-Fi powered system that will allow cars to constantly transmit data to each other such as your current position and condition.
Such communication will be invaluable in alerting drivers of oncoming cars while passing, when a car has come to an abrupt stop ahead, or if another car has blown through a traffic light. Now, wouldn’t you just like your car to be one big chatterbox?
Driving at a steady pace without accelerating swiftly and maintaining a constant internal temperature are a couple things that can make you a green, environmentally friendly driver by conserving gasoline.
However, just try doing those things amongst the rat race of city streets or highways. Luckily, green buttons are on their way to becoming standard features. Pressing the button will save you gas, and money, as your car implements automatic acceleration and climate controls.
Picture Your Future Self Driving
These inventions, both practical and fantastic, embody what you want most out of your car—a smooth, safe ride. While you are likely a good driver, the open road is full of unexpected events that can destroy your car—or worse. That’s why many inventions are being designed to keep your car, and yourself, moving. Meanwhile, other inventions are sure to create a driving experience like nothing before.