If you think you've seen it all, well think again. There is more coming with advances in the automotive industry - from application-based technologies to driverless automobiles. Here is a quick look at 2019's top 15 inventions in the industry.
1. Perfectly Keyless Entry
Keyless entry is not entirely keyless - we all know that. Despite dropping the traditional mechanical key, you still have to carry the short-range wireless transmitter. However, Bosch is changing all that with the perfectly keyless entry that will use your smartphone. The app-based key will lock or unlock your vehicle, whether your phone is in your hand, pocket, or purse, courtesy of the cloud connecting your phone and the car. With the app, you will have more control of vehicle security, unlike the previous keyless entries that are prone to hacking.
2. Biometric Vehicle Access
Even better than the cloud-based perfectly keyless entry, we have biometric vehicle access. Yes, even if you forget your phone, you will still be able to drive, as long as you have your fingerprints or eyeball. The smartphone industry has adopted this security feature for a while now, and the automotive industry is catching up. Sooner than you thought, you will be using your fingerprint to unlock or even start your vehicle.
3. Driverless Automobile
Let’s get done with this from our list as it has been long-awaited, but now it is more of a reality than science fiction. Although fully-autonomous vehicles that require zero human intervention or oversight may still take longer to arrive, autonomous automobiles that require minimal human input, such as the Bosch self-driving pod shuttle showcased at CES, is already a reality in 2019.
4. Other App-Based Functionality
There are numerous phone apps that you can download or connect to your vehicle, but there’s something more exciting. Car manufacturers have expanded what you can do with your phone by integrating more app-based functionalities. You can now remotely start your vehicle to start warming up in cold climates via your phone or check the fuel, oil level, and tyre pressure, among other things. The automotive systems can directly send signals to your phone as well as send reminders when your vehicle is due for servicing. The sensors in your car, e.g tyre-pressure sensor, can communicate with your phone via the vehicle’s computer.
5. Parental Control Features
The days of worrying when your vehicle is with a teenager or minor are a bygone era with the introduction parental control feature. This feature is similar to the guest mode on your computer, or parental control on your TV or home internet, where you control the limit of access. The parental supervision, such as the Teen Drive feature in Chevrolet, allows you to install limitations such as the maximum speed that the teen can drive, disable stereo until the seatbelts are buckled up, control the stereo volume when the vehicle is on a drive, among other things. The Teen Driver feature even notifies you when the car surpasses a certain set speed and gives a report of activated or triggered safety control features such as the collision alert. After the drive, some models even provide a report.
6. Advanced Cruise Control
If you’re familiar with cruise control, welcome to the 2019 advanced version. The earlier cruise control only controlled the cruising speed, and you had to continually apply the brake when trailing another vehicle to avoid hitting it when it slowed down. Conversely, the advanced cruise control is adaptive and matches the speed of the leading vehicle such that when it slows down, your vehicle also slows down without you even touching the brakes. Some of the latest controls are so advanced that they can even automatically bring the car to a halt. When the lead car commences driving, it also starts driving automatically - a useful feature in traffic jams. This innovation uses multiple sensors similar to anti-collision sensors.
7. Lane Keeping Assist
Regularly we get distracted when driving - whether it’s from our phone, the stereo, passengers' chit-chat, or a child seeking attention. It's quite common for us to find ourselves deviating from the drive lane, which can be very dangerous as you can drift off the road or into oncoming traffic. Luckily, the lane-keeping assist, also referred to as lane-departure warning, is here to save the day by giving an alert when you deviate. The signal can be visual, audio or even steering wheel/driver seat vibration. Some of the advanced systems can also prod your wheel back into the proper lane.
8. Mood Sensors
What about that weird vehicle that senses your mood and emotions, and tries to cheer you up as you drive to or from work? Well, Kia advances the Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving System or READ, an artificial intelligence tech developed in partnership with MIT. It applies deep learning to compile a database of human body language and facial expressions and their associated emotion such that the vehicle can interpret your mood and emotion and adjust the driving environment. It regulates the vehicle temperature, lighting, smell, and even the music playing and the volume of the music to soothe you, help you rest, or cheer you up.
9. Driver Override Systems
The era of the car having the final say is also here. The invention and adoption of sensors technology are making it possible for the vehicle to disregard the driver’s command if he is wrong and rectify the mistake. For example, if you’re reversing and something is behind you, the sensor will instruct the vehicle to stop to avoid colliding or running over the object. The car will stop regardless of how hard you push the gas pedal. Similarly, when the vehicle also senses you are about to bump into the car in front of you, turn in the wrong direction, hit a barrier or a structure, and your foot is still hard on the accelerator, your car will take over. The vehicle's control will override your command and bring the automobile to a halt or jerk you to the right direction the same way the Lane Keeping Assist works.
10. Interactive Features
Yes, the vehicle that senses how you are and communicates with you has arrived. The controls sense your condition - whether you are fatigued, drunk, angry, or unsettled. If you are tired or sleepy, the vehicle detects your condition, interpolates, and tells you to take a break. If you insist on driving, the controls start lowering your maximum driving speed, reducing it further if you persist before eventually bringing you to a complete halt. If you are drunk, the vehicle will advise you not to drive, and the systems block the engine from starting until you are sober or another sober driver takes over the driving.
11. Emergency Response Sensors
Talking of sensors tracking your status, this has been advanced to check not only your wellbeing but also your health. Ford spearheaded the idea of fitting sensors on the driver’s seat, steering wheel, and the seatbelt to track the driver’s vital signs. These sensors, coupled with signals from wearable technologies such as smart-watches, are capable of detecting a problem when it arises, such as a heart attack, asthmatic attack, and other health issues. The sensors paired with a smartphone will then immediately initiate a call to the paramedics giving even the specific location and vital signs. These sensors come combined with necessary autonomous technology that will enable the vehicle to slowly pull over or come to a stop and switch on the vehicle’s hazard flashers.
12. Smaller Engine Supercar
Super performances are not exclusive to the big engines. Innovations show that even the smaller V6 engines can make over 600 horsepower. Being lighter in weight, they are even more promising in performance. The new Ford twin-turbo V6 GT is an example of the smaller engine giving the big engine supercars a chase for the money. Projections even foresee four-cylinder engine supercar by 2020 that will be doing over 200 mph.
13. 360° Vehicle Self-Mapping
Navigation and reversing have also advanced with the Invisible to Visible - I2V tech. The new tech is similar to satellite navigation and uses multiple onboard sensors and multi-angle cameras to map every object within the vehicle's vicinity. This tech will improve driving in narrow driveways, garages and reversing in parking without bumping into objects and denting cars. Aligning the automobile in parallel parking will also become more effortless with this tech.
14. Windscreen 3D Heads-Up Display
The new windscreen 3D displays technology such as the WayRay’s Navion navigation. Imagine navigation that displays the next turn on your windshield in 3D with all places fully labeled. The augmented reality navigation gives the driver clearer navigation and a heads-up by posting alerts of the hazards ahead among other detailed information of the chosen route. The Genesis G80 sedan, a Hyundai sub-brand was the first to adopt it.
15. Exit Warning Technologies
It is a common thing for passengers or drivers to swing open doors after parking, oblivious of approaching vehicles or cyclists. This inattention usually ends up injuring people, denting the car door, or both. Luckily, exit warning innovations address this issue. The new technology uses sensors to check objects approaching from behind and warns the driver or the passenger trying to exit the vehicle. The warning will come as a series of bright lights, and in advanced vehicles, the controls physically lock the door until the object or person passes.
Expect more exciting, more useful innovations in the future. At Carparts, we keep you updated with the new trends in the automotive industry. Don’t miss out, subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on social media!