The global automotive industry has evolved at a staggering rate these past few years, making it clear that the technological development in this field is far from coming to a standstill. We already benefit from automated train systems and features such as ABS, intelligent parking assistance, and smart sensors that make driving experience safer and easier, for both drivers and pedestrians. And it keeps getting better: technologies like artificial intelligence, internet of things, big data or cloud computing are put to good use, and are bringing futuristic scenarios closer to reality.
The internet of things, in particular, has made quite an impact on the auto industry and has yet to reach its potential. Specialists predict that by the end of this year, more than 250 million cars will be connected with each other, by means of an IoT network. But it doesn’t stop here; these cars won’t only be interconnected, but will connect with road infrastructures, smartphones, and pedestrians too. In return, all this exchange and gathering of data though IoT sensors, will make the road a safer place and will ease traffic. Fire trucks will choose the best and fastest route, the number of car crashes will be diminished, petrol pumps queues will be avoided, and pedestrians will be more protected, through systems related to safe smart crossing, for instance.
And IoT’s implications extend even further, respectively towards the monitoring of both vehicle’s and driver’s state. Sensors connected to various parts of the automobile collect information about their status and notify the driver in the case of an abnormality. This way, the one who is behind the wheel will know exactly when any part or mechanism needs to be repaired or replaced. Drivers’ behavior will also be supervised, along with their health and heart rate, which will lead in a decrease in accidents caused by fatigue or medical issues.
Having the driver’s well-being in mind, technology has and will continue to have an impact on comfort as well. Self-driving cars, that portray the ultimate comfort, are no longer sci-fi fantasies, and will probably become the norm sooner than we anticipate. Companies are racing to be the first to introduce self-driving cars to their clientele and have already made important steps towards manufacturing a fully autonomous vehicle. Google and Tesla have made significant advancements using radar-like technologies that do not use radio waves, but light, and high-tech camera sensors respectively, and along with artificial intelligence and 5G, all of these technologies will make self-driving cars a reality soon.
But until autonomous cars become standard, tech savvy drivers can indulge in electric vehicles that are already available. Not only are they cost-efficient, but they are also more environmentally friendly, and can reduce global carbon emissions by 0.8 gigatons a year, which is the equivalent to Germany’s emissions. Moreover, since many manufacturers have started to build electric motors, powered with clean, renewable energy, buyers now have a wider selection of car brands to choose from, depending on their budget.
The automotive industry has seen many changes in the past decade and continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, 5G, and the internet of things are revolutionizing the driving experience, optimizing our roads, and bringing safety, comfort, and lower fuel emissions, while at the same time, getting us closer to the concept of smart city.
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