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Twenty Technologies That Will Become Common Auto Features in the Future

Updated January 28, 2017

Do you ever wonder which road the automobile industry is going to take in the next couple of years? We do and that is why we did a research to find out which 20 advanced technologies we can expect to see becoming standard car features. It seems that some of these are just around the corner, while we will have to wait for at least a couple of decades for some other.

#20. Remote Vehicle Shutdown

#20. Remote Vehicle Shutdown

The need for this kind of technology has been around since the invention of the automobile. The reason is that remote vehicle shutdown can put an end to car theft. The logic behind it is that an authorized person, such as a policeman, would be able to stop the vehicle from a distance. It seems pretty obvious that the world needs this technology, so we can’t help but wonder why it hasn’t been already implemented.

#19. In-Car Marketing

#19. In-Car Marketing

A good thing about the in-car marketing is that it still hasn’t become a common thing. The bad news is that it probably will, soon. Basically, the increase of the number of cars featuring computers created an opportunity for companies to use them for advertising.

#18. Airbags for Passengers

#18. Airbags for Passengers

When it comes to traffic accidents, pedestrians are those most vulnerable. Most of modern cars are equipped with airbags that keep the driver and other passengers protected, but what about pedestrians? It looks like that the next-generation cars are going to feature airbags for them as well. Mercedes and Volvo are already testing this technology, so we shouldn’t wait too long to see cars with external airbags on the roads.

#17. Smart Suspension

#17. Smart Suspension

Smart suspension is not a new thing in automotive industry, but we have yet to see when it will become a common thing. At the moment, only a certain number of luxury car models are equipped with smart suspension. If you’re wondering how it works, the point is that software decides instead of you, whether to raise or lower the wheels, based on the footage made by the rearview camera.

#16. Gesture Control Devices

#16. Gesture Control Devices

Fifty years ago, you had to use buttons to change music on your car radio. Today, touch screen is used for controlling it, while in the future we might be using hand gestures instead. Gesture control devices are becoming more and more advanced and it’s only the question of time when automotive companies will start using them.

#15. New Materials

#15. New Materials

Most of the cars in the world are made of aluminum, steel and plastic. We expect it to remain the case in the future, with addition of other materials that are these days considered exotic. We can’t say for sure which materials are going to be used for the cars of tomorrow, but we can guess that organic plant materials and duralumin are going to become very important for car makers.

#14. GPS Paying Systems

#14. GPS Paying Systems

By turning your car into sort of a credit card, you could use it to pay tolls, parking, maintenance, but also drive-through food orders. It seems a great idea and appears that people from BMW share our thoughts. According to come sources, the Munich-based company is already working on such technology.

#13. Advanced Driver Monitoring

#13. Advanced Driver Monitoring

The logic behind this proposed technology is that by alerting the driver when they lose focus or start sleeping, lots of car crashes would be avoided. Toyota is already working on developing a system that would monitor the driver’s eye movement by using a special type of infrared LED. If the system detected that the driver is sleeping or being drowsy, it would start beeping or flashing interior lights.

#12. Hydrogen Fueled Engines

#12. Hydrogen Fueled Engines

The fact is that the planet is going to run out of oil. So to avoid a Mad Max type of situation when that happens, scientists are actively looking to find a replacement for oil. One such technology relies on using hydrogen as the fuel source. It has been around for a long period, but until 2015, hydrogen was used only as fuel for rockets. However, last year, Toyota released Mirai, the world’s first hydrogen-fueled commercial vehicle. Children from the future might read about Mirai in history books as a car that sparked a revolution in the car industry.

#11. Solar Cars

#11. Solar Cars

Same as with hydrogen-fueled cars, solar cars have also been around for a long time, but are yet to become a common thing. It seems that we will not have to wait for the oil to dry out for that to happen, because many car manufacturers have already started producing solar vehicles. In fact, there are already some high-end cars with photovoltaic cells on the top.

#10. Night Vision

#10. Night Vision

Among the things that car makers pay special attention to, when working on new technologies, is safety. One of the biggest concerns since the dawn of automotive industry has been safety on roads at nighttime. It seems a solution is going to appear soon. A number of auto manufacturers are working on night vision systems and object-detection software.

#9. Fingerprint Access

#9. Fingerprint Access

Same as you can unlock your iPhone by using a fingerprint access technology, you will soon be able to do the same to get in your car. It’s a fact that traditional car keys are going to become a thing of the past, perhaps even sooner than you might think. It is reported that at the moment, several prominent car manufacturers are working on designing cars that will use the biometric fingerprint access.

#8. Self-Driving Cars

#8. Self-Driving Cars

We have already entered the era of autonomous drive cars, but we have yet to see how long it will take for these cars to become a common thing on the roads. Right now, only a couple of them exist in the whole world, but that will surely change in the next couple of years. The thing that is slowing down the development of driverless technology is its cost, so right now only the richest tech companies like Google are working on this project.

#7. Truly Green Cars

#7. Truly Green Cars

What would you say if we told you that in the future the term “green car” is not going to be used for hybrids and low carbon fueled cars? According to experts, around the year 2030, a concept of “greenest car” should come alive. Scientists from GM and the Shanghai Automotive of China are already working on it. The SAIC YeZ is a joint venture of these two automotive companies, which should use energy created with photosynthesis, same as plants do.

#6. Smart Heads-Up Displays

#6. Smart Heads-Up Displays

Imagine if driving a car was similar to playing a computer game. In not too distant future, you will be able to use the HUD technology in your cars. Heads Up displays that inform you about what’s happening on the road ahead have already been in use, but many drivers found them too distracting. That is why certain car manufactures, namely Toyota, BMW, and Volkswagen, are looking to develop smarter Heads Up displays for their vehicles.

#5. V2V Networking

#5. V2V Networking

According to some futurologists, vehicle-to-vehicle networking is a certainty. Driverless cars are not going to be able to function properly without V2V systems. Basically, this means that the cars will be able to communicate over a network, thus eliminating any possibility of a crash happening. It will also enable a faster traffic.

#4. Laser Headlights

#4. Laser Headlights

At the moment, LED headlights seem as a cutting-edge technology. The truth is that they are more durable and produce better brightness than traditional bulbs. However, it seems that something even better exists. It looks certain that in the next couple of years laser technology is going to replace LED headlights. Of course, the change will not come rapidly. Instead, we expect to see laser headlights on some supercars, before they become a standard feature.

#3. Air-Powered Cars

#3. Air-Powered Cars

If you thought that air-powered vehicles belong to sci-fi books, you were very wrong. In fact, a few of them already exist, most notably Cadillac Aera and MDI’s AirPod. These cars literally work on air, thus having zero emissions. Although the development of these cars is still at a very early stage, it isn’t stupid to assume that by the end of the next decade, air-powered vehicles will become a regular sight on the roads. The futurists predict that these cars will have better performances and a better mileage than their main rivals, electric cars.

#2. Magnetic Drive Technology

#2. Magnetic Drive Technology

The reason why car manufacturers started thinking about developing magnetic drive technology in the first place, was to find a way to simplify systems for power, steering, and suspension. Nissan has already come up with a concept that uses magnetic drive, thus joining all of these three systems. This type of drive would allow the car to have less moving parts and a lighter weight.

#1. Induction Charging

#1. Induction Charging

It is an undeniable fact that the future of automotive industry will be marked by the raise of electric vehicles. With the increase in their number, car manufacturers will have to come up with a few more new technologies. It seems that what stands on the way is the slow engine charging. One of the solutions seems to be induction charging, a type of wireless charging technology that should allow a faster engine charging.

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Meet Morakhiya
About Meet Morakhiya

I'm an all around content creator and technologist. After more than two years as an engineer in the auto industry I switched to writing about the industry. As a journalist, product communications writer and now industry analyst, I've covered the state of the business and technology and where it's going in the future.

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