Technology taking cars to driver-less experiences!!

Technology taking cars to driver-less experiences!!

As cars manufacturers race to outdo their rivals with new gadgets, the latest technology is the Holy Grail. Every manufacturer wants to have the “next big thing” in terms of technology in their new cars. Looking to sci-fi magazines and films is not a ridiculous research exercise for any designer. Knight Rider was a series on our TV’s in the Eighties about a car that could do anything imaginable. But, to everyone’s dismay KITT could only ever be driven by David Hasselhoff.


It was not going to be the car we would ever get to drive and impress all our friends with. As a young boy all I wanted was to have that black Pontiac Trans Am car. The nearest to owning it was a replica model that I pushed around the sitting room floor with my hand and made the “woo-woo-woo” wind like sound to emulate the noise the front red LED lights made. Thanks to recent breakthroughs in technology that very car may sit on our streets in the not too distant future but in a very different style.

Car manufacturers all over the World have made leaps and bounds to bring this dream to reality. Already, we have parking sensors on front and rear of cars that indicate when we are too close to another object before causing damage to our bumpers. The Audi Assist where, a driver forgets to look in the mirrors before overtaking the car in front, the Assist kicks in and pulls the steering wheel from the driver and slows down the car back into the original position, saving the car and driver from a fatal accident with the car passing from behind. GPS devices have given us directions to our destination and told us exactly where in the world we are at any given moment in time! As long it is not too cloudy, the satellites beam data down to the dashboard and a disembodied angelic digital voice tells us to take a turn ahead. Our Anti-Locking Braking Systems and Traction Control have been standard in most modern cars for a number of years now; this takes a certain bit of control out of the drivers’ hands. When the driver slams on the brakes, the ABS decides which wheels will brake hard or soft; both wheels or separate sides and letting go when necessary. These were brought into bring a car to a safe stop or a method of straightening up a skid that the driver would normally have no idea how to stop. Cruise control allows us to take the foot from the pedal and let the car remain at a set speed while we still hold the steering wheel. This prevents the temptation to speed on a wide open road.  A new edition to the Cruise Control setup is Adaptive Cruise Control. Using radar sensors in the front of the car, it will scan the car in front and keep a set distance away from it. If your car is set to drive 100 KPH and you’re coming along the road and in front of you a driver is only doing 80 KPH, then the Adaptive Cruise Control will kick in and slow the car down to the same speed and keeps a safe distance from the car in front, preventing a possible accident.

All of these ingenious concepts seem so “everyday” to car owners. Think back 10 years ago. These were dreams and prototypes of inventors and designers. The same will be said in 10 years’ time again. This series of articles will bring together information of what will become of the domestic car in the next 5-10 years.

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