The automobile has come a long way since Carl Benz demonstrated the three wheeled Motorwagen in July 1886. Today’s cars are safer, faster, more powerful and packed with technological and luxury features than Benz could possibly have imagined. And the evolution of the automobile is just starting, with an exciting array of new technology currently finding its way into new vehicles.
Here are nine of the most exciting new car technologies.
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1. Teen driver technology
Few countries place as much emphasis on young driver safety as Australia, so expect to see this technology all over Australia soon. Teen driver car tech is the equivalent of parental controls for your car. It can be set up to notify parents of dangerous driving behaviour, or limit what a teenager can get up to while behind the wheel of their parent’s cars.
2. Lane departure warnings
You’ve probably seen other drivers casually wandering out of their lanes while engrossed in their smartphones. This sort of dangerous behaviour is the target of lane departure warning devices, which pick up when a vehicle has drifted out of its lane without driver intent. Once this happens the system sounds an alert for the driver to steer back into their own lane.
3. Lane keeping assist
Lane keeping assist takes lane departure safety to the next level. This technology is able to momentarily take control of a car’s steering to correct for lane departure and keep it on track. This further reduces the risk of accidents by preventing cars from steering out of their lanes without the driver using appropriate direction signals.
4. Pre-collision systems
Pedestrians and cyclists are about to become much safer with the rollout of pre-collision systems. These systems are specifically designed to identify potential collisions with pedestrians and cyclists and stop these accidents before they happen by automatically activating the car’s braking system. At present pre-collision systems are effective enough to detect pedestrians at night.
5. Automatic high beams
Drivers will soon be spared the experience of being blinded by inconsiderate road users who don’t dip their headlight beams at night. Automatic high beams take headlight brightness out of the hands of the driver and instead automatically adapt the level of beams to the environment. This not only improves visibility on darker roads, but also ensures lights are dimmed when traffic is around.
6. Super cruise
Partially autonomous cars are already being rolled off manufacturing lines. Super cruise uses adaptive cruise control technology combined with lane keeping technology to allow cars to self-drive on highways. While in super cruise mode a driver can take their hands off the wheel entirely, although the vehicle monitors eye position to ensure the driver’s eyes stay on the road.
7. Telematics apps
Think you need to install an expensive telematics unit into your car to qualify for usage based insurance or to track your driving performance? Think again. Apps like UbiCar use your smartphone’s movement and location sensors to turn it into an advanced telematics device that can measure your vehicle’s speed, cornering, acceleration, braking and location.
8. Advanced telematics systems
Advanced telematics systems offer various benefits. These systems can quickly detect and report car problems ranging from mechanical faults to decreases in tyre pressure to manufacturers, ensuring they are addressed promptly. Crash notification sensors allow advanced telematics systems to send automatic crash notifications, preventing delays in notifying emergency response teams when accidents occur. Advanced telematics systems also allow for remote car software updates.
9. Parking identification software
This technology is designed to end the search for street parking in busy urban centres. Units installed in participating vehicles measure and map spaces between parked vehicles on city streets. This information is then used to update a live map of available parking, which can be accessed by members of the network.
The future is here
UbiCar’s telematics app tracks and scores your driving and rewards you when you drive safely.