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Every aspect of our lives is now subject to a digital facelift — from the watches we wear to the massive processing engines we now carry around in our pockets, the world today would be a virtually unrecognisable place to someone visiting from 2006.
Given the rapid technological evolution, vehicle manufacturers are also working hard to up their game and fit out their latest offerings with the types of digital advancements that could keep them ahead of their competitors. With Bluetooth and on-board navigation now somewhat standard offerings in today’s market, what does the next generation of smart cars hold?
In light of increasing fatality rates and all-too-regular fuel price hikes, it’s unsurprising that safety and fuel efficiency are emerging as top priorities for this era of vehicle manufacturers. With features like ‘traffic-jam assistance’ and ‘adaptive cruise control’ becoming more commonplace, and bold engineering developments imminent from the likes of Google and their Silicon Valley counterparts, the roads as we know them could look very different in the decade to come.
So what are some of the innovations we can expect to see on our highways and byways?
Cruise-control and lane-assist have now been combined to create the ultimate smart car accessory – traffic-jam assistance. This new technology works by monitoring the vehicle in front of your car to maintain a safe following distance, and mimicking its actions in the event of a sudden swerve or brake. Using automatic braking technology and fitted cameras, traffic-jam assistance will not only come as a relief to stressed commuters, but will also make the road a far safer place in years to come
Electric cars? Yesterday’s news. Google is currently pioneering a project that might soon enable seamless vertical take-off and landing, revolutionising the driving landscape entirely. It’s believed that this game-changing technology could be launched within the next decade, taking traffic off the roads and into the skies, revolutionising safety and fuel efficiency in the process.
Autonomous vehicle technology has already entered the testing phase, with various degrees of success reported, and it’s believed that by 2020 we might no longer be required to pilot our own cars. While it’s unlikely that we’ll ever reach a point where we can take our eyes off the road entirely, autonomous driving will undoubtedly enable a far easier commute and allow the vehicle to make smart decisions regarding fuel consumption and safety on your behalf.
In the meantime, remember that your driving style and behaviour on the road is of vital importance to both your safety and your finances, and aggressive driving can lead to accidents, which will in turn affect your insurance risk profile. To keep your monthly premiums to a minimum and to keep our roads safer, remember to maintain a safe following distance, adhere to the speed limit and never drive under the influence.