How Technology Has Changed In-Car Experiences: Since Ford released its Model T in 1908, the in-car experience has evolved beyond recognition.
From Bluetooth connectivity and self-parking to Blind Spot Monitoring, some of the technology found in today’s modern motor would’ve only been seen in a sci-fi film, even just 10 years ago.
To keep you updated with the latest advances, Moneybarn has had a look at the way technology is changing your driving experience…
Safety in cars has advanced dramatically over the years. From the three-point seat belt and airbag developed in the 1950s, safety technology in cars is now centred around a more self-aware and smart thinking motor.
For example, Blind Spot Monitoring systems help drivers be aware of what’s in the adjacent lane to their vehicle using a radar system to scan the space around the vehicle. It will use a bright LED light in the side view mirror to visually alert drivers if another vehicle is in their blind spot.
Manufacturers are now required by law to install Electronic Stability Control (ESC) in all new vehicles. ESC helps drivers avoid loss of control around bends and during emergency steering manoeuvres by reducing the chances of skidding.
Not only is it illegal for drivers to operate a phone or sat nav while driving, seven percent of drivers state being distracted by a sat nav has nearly caused them to have an accident. However, in-car dash control, steering-wheel buttons and voice command are now making it safer for drivers to access external devices or use built in guidance systems on-the-go.
We now also have the capability to control our car with smartphones, tablet device or a computer. Some car manufacturers have developed apps to let motorists operate and monitor information, entertainment and communication settings. For instance, with the Volvo Sensus, you’re able to check if you’ve remembered to lock your car (and lock it if not).
Volvo also allows you to start the car remotely up to 15 minutes before you get behind the wheel. With remote start and parking climate functions, this is great if you want your car warmed up in winter or cooled down in the summer.
Cars are now more self-aware of their surroundings and many now have sensors mounted on the bumpers to detect the distance of obstacles in front or behind. An audible beep gradually becomes more panicked the closer it gets to an object.
More advanced versions of these sensors can generate a birds-eye-view image using cameras. Some cars allow you to switch between each camera individually, so you can, for example, select the camera looking down at the kerb to stop you hitting it.
Cars are now able to park themselves with minimal input from the driver. Combining cameras and sensors, park assist systems can judge the size of a parking space and inform the driver whether it’s a suitable size and – with the driver controlling the speed – steer its own way into the space.
We can now start to imagine what the future will be like for drivers. For instance, many car manufacturers are working on self-driving cars, with 2020 the projected release date of Google’s self-driving car.
We can look forward to displays responding to gesture control, instead of touchscreen. Seen in some high-end models already, fingerprint access will soon become common place.
With advancement in technology, comes risk. Guaranteeing public and driver safety when it comes to autonomous vehicles, and protection against cyber-attacks where criminals can gain control of a vehicle remotely, will be a top priority for car manufacturers in the years ahead.