6 Innovative New Tech Features Coming to Cars Everywhere

Technology is rapidly advancing across almost every field, and the automotive industry is no exception to this trend. From self-driving cars to virtual assistants, our vehicles are becoming more capable and more innovative. But these aren’t the only exciting and innovative developments headed to automakers’ latest models. Even better tech features – both confirmed and rumored – promise to significantly improve your experience on the road.

The following are six of the most innovative new tech features coming to cars everywhere in the near future.

1. Inter-Vehicle Communication

It may seem like something straight out of a science fiction story, but your car could soon be chatting with other cars while on the road. With the increasing automation of cars, inter-vehicle communication is starting to undergo testing.

Designed for self-driving cars, communication between cars could create more efficient traffic flow and prevent accidents. This could result in shorter commutes with fewer delays. While, initially, it’s likely that inter-vehicular communication will be used primarily for accident avoidance and efficiency increases in traditional human-piloted vehicles, the possibilities of this technology are nearly endless. In the very near future, our cars could talk to each other in order to organize traffic flow or travel in convoys on their own.

2. Facial Recognition

Facial recognition is taking off in the smartphone world, and it may not be long before it ends up in your car. The technology has numerous applications for security and convenience. Facial recognition technology could make it possible to unlock your car or start its engine with only your face. This could make auto theft a lot harder for would-be thieves, and could even make losing your keys a thing of the past.

However, the technology isn’t yet to the point where it can become widespread for vehicular usage. Facial recognition can still be tricked by photos and strangers with similar faces – but it’s something to keep an eye out for in the coming years.

3. In-Car AI

Until this year, AI assistants were limited to your phone, computer, or smart home hub. That’s changing fast, though. In-car AI is still relatively new, but more and more auto companies are putting AI technology in vehicles. This year, Toyota partnered with Amazon to put Alexa in its cars; Ford, BMW, and Volkswagen are doing the same. Hyundai and Kia will begin selling cars with their own AI assistants next year.

Synced with your smartphone and other smart devices, today’s in-car AI can respond to voice commands to make phone calls, control music and other entertainment features, and even prepare the GPS with your destination. In-car AI won’t stop there, though. It’s expected that virtual AI assistants will serve to function alongside future cars’ self-driving features. While you relax, the in-car AI system will handle the navigation and driving as well as entertainment and other useful functions.

4. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality was once little more than a pipe dream, but it could soon become mainstream or even integral in our driving experience. At CES 2018, automakers revealed that it may not be long until your car no longer needs a dashboard. Instead, you’ll get a car-wide screen featuring augmented reality.

The cars of the near future won’t have a small control panel; the entire front of the car will have the warning lights, speedometer, fuel meter, and everything else necessary displayed directly on your windshield. Another possibility with augmented reality in vehicles is the direct display of other camera views. For example, with a simple gesture, you could view your vehicle’s rear camera without taking your eyes off the road. From the seamless display of navigation data to real-time views of the road, augmented reality is one near-future feature with a lot of promise.

5. Brain-To-Car Communication

What’s even more innovative than cars talking to one another? The possibility that you could communicate with your car without saying a word.

The capability to control your car directly with your brain sounds almost unbelievable, but it isn’t as far-fetched as it might seem – and the technology may be a lot closer than you think. With recent advances in neuroscience and breakthroughs in technology, our understanding of the human brain is greater than ever before. Brain-to-car communication is likely to be one of the most exciting innovations ever. In the not-so-distant future, you could simply think of a command to start your car, navigate city streets, or park.

6. Huge Infotainment Screens

Finally, to round off the list, we have a technology that’s already starting to appear in some automakers’ cars: enlarged infotainment screens. With the prospect of driverless cars implying that you may not need to worry about keeping your eyes on the road, companies have begun to develop larger and more feature-packed infotainment screens.

While today’s infotainment screens are meant to minimize distractions, the screens of the future promise to provide more information on navigation and the status of your vehicle as well as utilities like rear-facing cameras. And these larger infotainment screens will be all about distractions; you’ll have the ability to watch movies or play games during your ride as your dashboard becomes a huge screen.

These are only a few of the innovations coming to the automotive industry in the years ahead. Imagine what your next car will look like – it might be able to drive itself, speak with other vehicles, and allow you to relax, unworried about what’s happening on the road.

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chombosan / Shutterstock
chombosan / Shutterstock