Like many other industries, the automobile world has made great strides in technological advancement in recent years. For better or worse—petrol heads and tech heads may have different opinions on this—cars these days seem to be more computer than machine. With so many new features and gadgets being made available, it can sometimes feel like the car is driving itself, and that squishy lump of organic material behind the wheel is really only there to turn the key…or in some cases, push the start button.
For most of us though, the more new features the better, because by and large they really do enhance the driving experience. So, let’s take a look at five of the top automotive trends and technologies that are beginning to emerge in some of the newest cars to come off production lines.
1. Smartphone Integration
We should probably start with the most obvious one. For quite a few years now, smart phones have become more and more integrated into our lives, so it should come as no surprise that the same level of integration is becoming standard between our mobile devices and our cars.
Phones and cars have enjoyed some degree of connectivity for over a decade, but for most of that time your phone was pretty much only being used as a jukebox. Now, however, with a lot of cars coming standard with Apple Carplay and Google Android Auto, a whole new world of smartphone integration has opened up. These systems allow the driver and passengers to make and receive calls, send and read texts, play music or podcasts, watch movies, navigate to your destination and even do the shopping. Many of which can be activated by voice recognition so that drivers can keep their eyes on the road. Explore some options at https://www.skodaperth.com.au/.
2. Automatic Parking
We’ve all made a pig’s ear of a parallel park once or twice, so one of the more exciting automotive technologies to emerge has been the automatic parking feature.
Originally developed in 2006, this feature has slowly made its way across more and more manufacturers. Essentially, you just pull up next to the car parked in front, press a button and the car reverses itself into the parking space. I suspect many people may have some trust issues which could explain why it hasn’t become a standard feature among more cars yet, but now that people have come to accept that cars can pretty much drive themselves these days, I think we’ll be seeing this technology wholeheartedly embraced by drivers around the world.
3. Automatic Emergency Braking
As much as we all like to focus on the fun stuff, safety is still an extremely important aspect of automotive development. It’s not just gadgets that sell cars – the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you’re stepping into a car with the latest safety features is equally important to the average car buyer.
Automatic Emergency Braking is one of these safety features that has become quite popular in recent years. Braking distance was largely determined by the driver’s reaction time, but now we can cut that out of the equation and rely on the car’s computer systems and sensors to brake before hitting obstacles in front of us that we otherwise may not have been able to avoid.
4. Voice Recognition
Perhaps one of the more significant technological advancements in the automotive industry, voice recognition ticks both boxes as both a fun piece of gadgetry as well as a potentially life saving feature. Many car accidents are cause by drivers using their mobile phones or shifting their focus (and hands) to the head unit. By integrating voice control into a car’s head unit, drivers can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while obtaining directions, making or receiving phone calls and messages or selecting music.
5. Automatic Liftgates
Hear me out. Sure, this may seem like a silly one to end on, but it may well be one of those innocuous features that becomes so ubiquitous that we won’t be able to imagine not having it.
It’s a pain to be carrying a big heavy box or multiple shopping bags, only to have to set them down to unlock the car, open the boot door or liftgate, pick up again whatever it is you’re carrying and then place it in the cargo area. Okay, I suppose it’s not the end of the world. But now that with some cars, all you need to do is have your keys in your pocket and wave your foot by the sensor at the back of the car, using your hand to operate a door handle may well become rather outdated.
But aside from just seeming like a frivolous little creature comfort, it signifies a trend in which our cars are becoming like automated assistants to be called upon to complete tasks for our convenience. It shows that every aspect of a car’s functionality is being explored to find ways to just make life a bit easier for us. I, for one, am very much ok with that.
So, there you have it, five of the more interesting and significant automotive trends and technologies that are currently rolling off some production lines. But in the highly competitive automotive industry, new technologies will no doubt be coming at us thick and fast over the coming years.