We definitely live in an age of technology and automotive industry is a big part of it. Like always, the automotive industry is on the very forefront of developing technologies, finding new ways to incorporate new tech in the future solutions and concepts.
While some of these concepts are talked about pretty much everywhere you turn such as self-driving vehicles for example, there are also quite a few new technologies that are just as interesting but that somehow fly under the radar for most people. And that is what we’re interested in today.
Airbags on the Outside
Airbags have long become an integral part of the passive safety in our cars. Depending on the model of your car and the year it was manufactured, it will feature more or less airbags on the inside of the car, minimizing the risks of injury and doing their best to keep everyone alive and in one piece. More recently, however, we are hearing about airbags that will deploy on the outside of the car, or more precisely underneath it.
This is a concept Mercedes and some other manufacturers are tinkering with, putting airbags underneath the car; airbags that would deploy when sensors realize impact is imminent. The airbags are envisioned to double the stopping power thanks to the friction coating on the bottom side. In addition to this, these airbags would lift the car for about 3 inches, countering the dipping motion and improving the effectiveness of bumpers indirectly.
The concept of smart highways is another exciting idea that was popular for a brief moment when that section of a highway in the Netherlands was first opened, but since then, people have stopped talking about, for some reason. At the time, it was the coolest thing ever, a highway with glow-in-the-dark road markings that are solar-powered and provide increased visibility.
In future, smart highways have the potential to be much more. For instance, they could provide additional information for the drivers, such as information on upcoming turns and conditions on the road, giving warnings in cases of accidents or traffic jams. The potential uses are almost endless and while this is something that will probably require years, if not decades, it is definitely interesting.
For some reason, no one likes talking about tires. People do not give them any attention, when in reality; some of the most important technological advances are being made in the car tire industry. For instance, a couple of manufacturers such as Hankook and Bridgestone are working on puncture-resistant airless tires.
On the other hand, manufacturers like Michelin and Yokohama are working on tires that will improve fuel consumption of cars they are mounted on, doing good for the environment and our wallets alike. Goodyear is, for instance, working on two concepts, one for electric cars and other for improving performance, safety and fuel economy. In short, a lot is going on and you should get involved. This particular blog is a great starting point.
Vehicle Tracking and Marketing
Not everything that awaits us in the future is good, of course. For instance, there is talk that insurance companies and possibly governments might start charging fees depending on miles covered by a specific vehicle. It is all very bureaucratic and therefore probably part of our future.
It is also very, very possible that advertisements and marketing will also enter out car in the next few years. It comes with the territory when we are talking cars that will be online at all times. It is only a matter of time before a McDonald’s ad lights up your HUD. Let’s just hope it is not too invasive.
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