If you want a good overview of where consumer technology is heading, look no further than the automotive industry. It’s interesting to think that at one point, technology like windshield wipers and power locks, which are benign to us now, was once the cutting edge. Which of these upcoming car features will we eventually take for granted?
Potholes are a pain for every driver. Not only are they startling to run over, but they can also cause serious damage to your vehicle. The 2017 Ford Fusion V6 Sport addresses this problem with pothole sensors that can read the road ahead of the vehicle and adjust the car’s suspension if it detects any upcoming potholes. That’s not even the most exciting part. Ford is currently working on getting that data up into the cloud so that drivers will have a “pothole map” of sorts, which will be capable of alerting drivers to potholes that have caused problems for other drivers.
If you’re a parent, keeping your eyes on the road while keeping control of the kids in the backseat can prove to be difficult, distracting, and sometimes futile. That’s why Honda is including an in-car camera, called CabinWatch, in its 2018 Honda Odyssey. At the touch of a button, the driver can see what exactly is going on back there, with no need to turn around. That should help parents keep their eyes on the road, and hopefully, keep the kids in line, too.
We’re living in an ever-increasingly connected world, and it’s becoming less unusual to expect Wi-Fi wherever you may be, even in your car. Of course, drivers have long relied on mobile connections to keep their cell phones working properly, but what about those other devices that can’t, such as tablets and smartwatches? Big-name phone service providers have begun teaming up with auto manufacturers to offer in-car Wi-Fi hotspots, meaning that whatever (and however many) devices you bring along for your road trip, everyone can stay connected.
Automatic Valet Parking
No matter how you slice it, automated cars are coming, and barring any left-field developments, they’ll be here within a few decades at most. For now, though, we can already see automated technology start to work its way into cars that are already on the market. The Tesla line of cars has a lot of great things going for it–not the least of which is its electric engines–but one of the coolest features is its automated parking capabilities. Once drivers reach their destination, they can leave their car to park itself, and when it’s time to go, they can hail their car to come pick them up. Imagine how much easier grocery shopping would be!
Fingerprint Unlock and Start
Imagine getting rid of your car keys all together. We’ve already seen fingerprint-reading technology come to our phones, and it might not be long before we can unlock and start our cars with our fingers. As we rely less on traditional lock-and-key tech to work our vehicles, replacing it with wireless fobs, the biometric reader is the next logical evolution. Whether it’s completely safe is up for debate, as hackers have shown that they can duplicate fingerprints based off high-resolution photos. Is it cool, though? Most definitely.