It's 2020, and the automotive world is entering a new future, one with incredible tech. Here are a few unbelievable new trends coming to a vehicle near you.
Carmakers have always pushed the boundaries of engineering, finding new ways to make vehicles faster, safer and better. Now, in the year 2020, things are looking more exciting for tech than ever before.
Many of us will always yearn for a big oil-burner and a manual transmission but, at the same time, we have to embrace the future whether we like it or not. Cars will, inevitably, be electric-powered and we'll all have recharging stations in our garages, but there are a few pieces of technology to get excited about.
Some of these unbelievable new trends in vehicle tech are covered by Nolan from Donut in the video below. First up is augmented reality (AR). How is that, you ask? Well, five cameras spread around the car send their photographs to the computer that then stitches them together to give you a 3D image of your vehicle. Audi calls it 3D Surround View, and it shows you what is around your car from all angles, even from above, so that you can avoid any unseen obstacles.
Staying with augmented reality, Hyundai has created an interactive walk-around manual of your car. Simply download the app onto your smart device and point it at your car. The screen then will populate as you pan across the relevant items, highlighting each engine part or button in the interior, and then tell you how it works. Pretty neat, actually.
Next up is the HUD – or Head-Up Display – which has been around for a while, but now there is a company that has evolved this tech into something much more fun. Now, using AR, your display looks more like a video game, with interactive navigation that indicates which lane you need to be in and where exactly to turn. If you head off to the track, it'll display all the track telemetry, show you the racing line, and even ghost cars to race against.
With self-driving vehicles making their way slowly into the public domain, manufacturers are playing with the idea of turning your windscreen into a large monitor so that you can stream movies and make video conference calls during your commute.
Something that car manufacturers are addressing after years of back and neck pain, are interactive seats that stimulate your body into thinking you're exercising, thus reducing fatigue on long road trips. Other nifty inventions that have been around for some time include UV lighting to prevent the spread of colds and flu, as well as anti-motion sickness car technology.
The next invention is pretty awesome. It's been around for a while, as always, in top-end vehicles for a short while, but with modernisation growing at the pace it does, thermal night vision for your car is now top class. It works by picking up thermal temperatures of things around you, such as pedestrians and wildlife, way before your headlights reveal them, thus allowing you ample time to avoid the danger.
If that's not futuristic enough for you, then you should check out Audi's AI Trail Concept. It's a fully electric off-roader that has five drones that will take flight and illuminate the trail in front of you when driving at night.
Sticking with Audi, this next feature allows your car to communicate with certain city's existing infrastructure, such as the traffic lights. It then gives you a timer for how long the light in front of you will stay red or green, and even show you what speed you should be travelling to make it safely through. It's designed to reduce congestion on the roads, which is handy.
Another cool feature that has also started going mainstream is self-park, which is a boon for those out there who can't seem to get their car between the lines. It's also hand for very tight spots, where it would be difficult to get in and out of the vehicle once parked.
Tesla has a nifty feature called Dog Mode, which keeps the climate control on when your pooches are locked in the car while you pop into the shops. It has a message on the display saying that "My owner will be back soon", as well as the temperature inside the car. It's to prevent anyone concerned about the dogs from breaking a window.
Then, it's time for some honourable mentions, such as the interlocking diamonds on BMW's Vision Next 100 that expand and contract as the car turns. It's called Alive Geometry, and it's pretty creepy. Then, there's the DS-X E-Tense Concept car has an open cockpit for the driver, a closed one for the passenger, and a glass floor.
There's a Reanult limousine concept that uses one-sided diamonds as windows, so you can see out but not in, but Ford takes the cake for ingenuity. They recently put out a marketing campaign for their new all-electric Mustang SUV called 'Shrimp In Da Frunk', which speaks for itself, really. We could think of way better things to put on ice instead of shrimp though.