Written by Scott Huntington
In the past, cars were made memorable by their advances in speed, aerodynamics and style. However, technological advances have changed the face of personal transportation year after year.
What once seemed like science fiction is now commonplace in today’s cars. What’s more, people are becoming more tech-selective when it comes to choosing a new car. In just four years, we’ll see even more incredible bursts in development and trends.
What technology can we expect to be in our cars by 2020? Here are five of the upcoming trends:
- Driver Override Systems
While we may not see a fully autonomous car in the next few years, a feature dubbed “smart pedals” has already been in the works. In the cars of today, when a driver fails to brake correctly, the vehicle will still stop. By 2020, this technology will only get smarter.
This system, called driver override (or brake override), is designed to stop the car automatically if the car is accelerating at a dangerous rate (more than the driver would normally allow). Braking the car triggers sensors, and if they pick up that the gas pedal is being floored at an abnormal rate, they transmit a signal to an electronic control unit, telling the car to stop.
- The “Internet of Cars”
Heard of “The Internet of Things”? It’s a concept that predicts that soon, every device and appliance will have an on/off switch connected to the Internet (especially your fridge).
By 2020, the “Internet of Cars” will be on the rise — millions of cars will be connected to the Internet in some way or another. After all, cars are the epitome of a mobile device, and drivers are embracing their vehicle’s ability to be technologically connected. The great thing about this concept for cars is the potential for innovative features.
For example, drivers’ skills could be converted to scores that are sent to your car. You could observe nearby drivers and look out for the dangerous ones that have low scores. Navigation systems could actively monitor roads and provide safer routes for travel.
- In-Car OS
Cars of the future will sync your smartphone with the entire car so you don’t have to look at it while you drive. The apps that come with these in-car operating systems will be upgraded to fit the driving interface, and they will also make use of voice compatibility.
Apple’s Carplay and Android’s Auto are the current top competitors that are making their way into your dash. The biggest concern for these systems, however, is whether they will be proprietary or open-source.
- Fingerprint Scanner
You probably have seen the latest smartphones implement biometric authentication, which is fancy talk for fingerprint access. The scanner stores the data of your fingerprint to unlock the phone from the lock screen — ensuring premium security.
Just like how keys gave way to keyless entry, you’ll soon be able to open your car with touch alone. That’s something right out of a spy movie.
- HUD Windshield
By 2020, it will seem silly to keep all of your car’s information on the dash. There’s plenty of room on the windshield! Using heads-up display (HUD) tech is a great way to keep drivers’ eyes on the road. It can display information such as your speed, mileage, GPS and even safety notifications.
You can actually get HUD displays as an add-on by way of smartphone apps. One such example is Navdy, an upcoming wireless HUD app. It comes complete with gesture control and voice recognition. Phone notifications can even be displayed, and tasks can be completed simultaneously — such as calling someone while your GPS is running.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to car tech trends, but those seemingly futuristic cars aren’t so far off in the distant future anymore — they’re arriving here and now.