New technology – the future is here

Although in many ways a car is a car – a square metal box with four wheels, one in each corner, a power unit, some doors, windows, seats and storage space, manufacturers are continually investing in technological innovations.

 


Today’s New Tech for Tomorrow’s Driving


Whether we’re talking about Tesla’s new cybertruck that offers ‘better utility than a truck with more performance than a sports car’. Or, the Czinger Vehicles’ 21C hypercar, promising 0-62 mph in 1.9 seconds and a confirmed output of 1250 hp, manufacturers are always looking to develop their automotive products.


So, here’s an idea of what’s happening across three areas of the industry – autonomous driving, non-fossil fuelled vehicles and safety.


Autonomous Driving


Autonomous driving presents the entire industry with major challenges, but it is one that is taking more of its interest. Self-driving systems will further drastically reduce accident numbers, but the systems are still in the development stage.


Jaguar Land Rover has recently unveiled Project Vector, its vision of an ‘autonomous, electric, connected future for urban mobility’. They plan to collaborate with Coventry City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority to plan a mobility service from late 2021.


Last November, Nissan successfully completed the UK’s longest autonomous car journey using a LEAF as part of project HumanDrive. It involved various driving scenarios including country lanes with no or minimal road markings, junctions, roundabouts and motorways. And, Nuro – a company founded in 2016, has begun public testing a self-driving delivery vehicle in Houston, Texas.


Non-Fossil Fuelled Vehicles


With the UK government now planning to ban new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2035, there is a new focus on electric power – and other forms too. 


Renault will unveil the MORPHOZ, an electric concept car, illustrating its vision of tomorrow’s mobility. This model previews a whole new family of Renault electric models that will arrive in the coming years.


But every major manufacturer is now offering and developing electric models. If it’s not electric, then perhaps the new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is showing us the way. It’s achieved 67 miles per gallon in official US combined city/highway driving calculations, a distance further than for any other zero-emissions car on the market.


And, if you’re worried about high speeds in electric cars, then Mercedes-Benz are ahead of the curve with their range of police vehicles that includes electric, hybrid and hydrogen drives.


Safety


There are many driver aids featured in new vehicles that promote safety. You have the now standard airbags, ABS and stability control, active lane assist, cross traffic alert, collision avoidance and so on. Last year, Euro NCAP, the organisation that crash tests new vehicles, tested fifty-five cars representing 26 different makes before giving them a safety rating.


Much of the focus is now moving to develop infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) interfaces. The aim is to improve overall road infrastructure technology to increase safety for all road users. It’s a system that allows objects such as pavement markings, signs and other landmarks to ‘talk’ directly to cars and others.


Whatever the future holds, the tech teams across the industry are working on it today. Keep your eyes open, new tech is coming towards us and its coming fast.


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