This week our Friday Five is all about swanky car technology! From phone chargers to robotic cars, we’ve listed the five most advanced technologies in the automotive industry! Check ‘em out:
1. Fingerprint Starter
Losing your keys will never be a problem if your car starts with the scan of a fingerprint, yours to be specific. This technology has been available for a few years now and it can be used as a security measure as well as a key. With fingerprint identification technology, only authorised drivers can start the engine and enable/disable the alarm. One of the most respected brands of this technology is “Identisafe” whose head office is located in the birthplace of many advanced technologies, Silicon Valley.
[Image Credit – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwRd1cDRmfA]
2. Touch Screen Dashboards
With smartphone apps and access to countless sources of entertainment and information within reach of many people’s fingertips, car manufacturers are now creating ways for drivers to access practically everything from their car. These dashboards of the future do so much more than their predecessors. They allow drivers to easily view the status of their car (i.e. battery and fuel level), access the internet, use voice activation and navigate the roads, eliminating the small battle of sticking a satnav to your windscreen. It has reinvented the interior appearance of a car and makes small, bright LCD screens an increasingly common sight in everyday life. These dashboards are still under development to include even more tools and functions, so there’s no telling how much they can potentially do.
[Image Credit – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hVd_ABhNBA]
3. Semi-Autonomous Driving
This technology is surely bringing us one step closer to robots. For many years companies have been trying to create cars that essentially drive themselves with little input from the driver. The SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project has been funded by the European Commission to develop a semi-autonomous driving system that reduces congestion, fuel consumption and journey times in Europe. Using video and radio technology, a lead truck is driven which keeps a line of vehicles behind it that follow its entire journey. This allows drivers to sit back and read a book, enjoy a snack or simply watch the world pass by. SARTRE is reaching the final stages of development and should be completed at the end of the year.
In addition, the autonomous Google car has, just this week, been launched in Las Vegas – this literally is one big robot as it can drive itself. It makes use of a Toyota Prius with some very advanced tech. Will you be looking for a car insurance quote on a robotic car anytime soon?
4. Wireless In-Car Charging
There has been talk of cars featuring wireless charging for a while now but Mopar have made it a reality. The new 2013 Dodge Dart is the first car to feature a wireless charging area for compatible smartphones. The car dashboard includes a small charging bin with a wireless grid that charges your phone once the two are touching. Little has been revealed on the more specific details of this handy technology but it certainly looks like a promising feature. The fear of leaving your charger at home would no longer be an issue and it begs the question if wireless charging will be introduced to the home at some point.
5. Active Seat Belt Buckle
Now it’s not the most exciting technology, but it’s a practical one which increases passenger safety. It was developed by Mercedes-Benz and the buckle has a small motor that allows it to extend out of the seat and retract back into it. It activates during critical driving situations as well as when the rear doors open, so passengers can easily locate and lock-in their seat belt. The motor in the buckle will force the seat belt to reduce the amount of slack around the pelvis and thorax during moments of possible collisions, making passengers more firmly secured in their seat. It also lights up which is pretty cool!
[Image Credit – Mercedes Benz]