Technology is more than fancy screens, shiny dashboards, and smart keys to open doors without handles. Innovations have put the automotive industry at the forefront of environmental-conscious changes. Thanks to technology, cars have become more eco-friendly, they have become centers of entertainment, and vehicles almost don’t need drivers -at all.
According to a report by PWC, the car industry is in an electrifying moment, a point in which anything seems possible. These ten technologies prove it.
10 Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communication
The concept behind this technology is simple: cars will communicate with each other and alert drivers to roadside hazards ahead. Also known as V2V systems, these technologies don’t take control, they just warn the driver of any issues or dangers. It’s a wireless network that connects cars and sends them information such as speed, location, and loss of stability.
Vehicle-to-vehicle communication can gather traffic conditions a mile ahead and some prototypes include a red alert for escalating problems. The alert (or alarm) indicates the direction of the threat and sometimes cars brake and steer to avoid the obstacle.
9 Škoda Diagnostics App
This app works by listening to the car, which explains the name Skoda Sound Analyzer. It’s a health diagnostics app that detect the smallest irregularities in the vehicle. It detects the noise from a running engine and it compares it with previously recorded sounds. If they differ in any detail, Skoda’s analyzer finds the issue and it suggests solutions.
Stanislav Pekař, Head of After Sales at ŠKODA AUTO, said, “We will continue to consistently use artificial intelligence technologies to offer our customers an even more personalized service, thus enhancing the customer experience even further.”
8 My Mitsubishi Connect
Born from a partnership with Aeris and Dealer-FX, this app enhances customer service. The owners of a Mitsubishi vehicle will be able to schedule appointments with dealers to view real-time maintenance needs and to react quickly to any issues. Through My Mitsubishi Connect, drivers know right away when their car has a mechanical problem, and the app schedules the appointment to fix it.
The app works through the barcode of the vehicle identification number (VIN), which the drives have to scan with their smartphones. Once the VIN is recognized, the app is able to connect with the Mitsubishi.
7 Green Hydrogen
As Reuters reports, “Green hydrogen, low-carbon aviation fuel, and electric trucks are among 55 clean technologies that can help the European Union to reach its goal of climate neutrality by mid-century.” The concept behind this technology is to make hydrogen gas, generated from solar and wind power, available to the automotive industry. There are already Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) that combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce the electricity that runs the vehicle, but an all-hydrogen car might travel much further.
This technology works by extracting the hydrogen and compress it in fuel tanks. Manufacturers expect to use green hydrogen to make eco-friendly vehicles last longer, go faster, and with a better battery.
6 The C-V2X, Cellular Vehicle-To-Everything
As the name suggests, this technology includes it all: vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-roadside infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) communication. The goal is to connect cars with each other, with the traffic on the road, with people who are on those same roads, walking or driving. It is a way to reduce congestion by suggesting alternate routes and even to create a safer world by detecting possible threats and troubles.
One way C-V2X works is via cellular networks to send direct information among vehicles, infrastructure, cyclists, and pedestrians. The second way this technology works is via network communications and the car receives information about road conditions and traffic in the area. Some benefits of C-V2X include improved non-line-of-sight performance, congestion control, and more comprehensive GPS.
5 Volvo’s Advanced Air Cleaner Technology
This technology provides Volvo’s drivers with better, cleaner, and even more perfumed air. A sensor inside the cabin measures PM2.5 levels, which measure the amount of fine particulate matter to determine air quality. Thanks to the Cleaner, the car keeps particles outside of the car to give better air. By keeping polluting agents outside of the vehicle, Volvo’s drivers will breathe better and they can even clean the air of their cabin ahead of the journey.
As IQAir writes, “Pollutant levels are often higher inside because cars take in emissions from surrounding vehicles and recirculate them.”
4 Tesla’s “Battery Day”
This special day, launched by Elon Musk, features new batteries for electric cars. It sounds like nothing, but if this technology works, batteries will cost less and last longer. The whole concept focuses on new, larger, and cylindrical cells with a 16 percent greater driving range. During “Battery Day” Musk said that Tesla is planning to recycle battery cells while reducing cobalt to almost zero.
This chemical is a reason why batteries are expensive and reducing its amount will ensure a lower price tag. The design and the production process are still in the early stages, but Tesla has revealed a fat lithium-ion battery called a 4680 which might change the automotive’s industry.
3 NASA’s Navigation Doppler Lidar
It might sound like sci-fi, but NASA’s technologies could help more than Mar’s exploration. This laser-based technology can help self-driving cars navigate rush hour traffic on this planet. Lidar uses light waves instead of radio waves to detect objects, characterize their shape, and calculate their distance. All these applications explain how NASA technology might help the automotive industry.
The laser has a higher frequency than any radar, which is been developed for terrestrial use by the company Psionic. When ready, Lidar can assist drivers in both navigation and collision avoidance.
2 Samsung’s UWB
This Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology is a wireless communication system that operates radio waves at very high frequencies. Through UWB, mobile devices understand their surroundings and navigate large spaces with accuracy. And everything in the palm of the driver’s hands. The smartphone turns into a tool for better and safer driving while sharing useful information such as the nearest Italian restaurant.
As Samsung reports, “We are excited to introduce future UWB functionality in our Galaxy devices that will help locate items more accurately with AR technology and unlock your home as a digital key that will make life easier for consumers.”
1 Ultium Drive By GM
In a September 2020 press release, General Motors announced Ultium Drive which, “combines electric motors and single-speed transmissions to apply power – generated by Ultium battery cells – to the wheels of GM’s upcoming electric vehicles.” The future EVs manufactured by GM will be powered by a family of five interchangeable drive units and three motors, aka the Ultium Drive.
The technology will feature a precise torque control for smooth performance and power density. In the press release, the manufacturer writes, “The GM Ultium Drive family covers front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive propulsion combinations, including high-performance and off-road capabilities.” A technology to make EVs better.
The automotive industry is constantly looking to improve. Manufacturers want to improve their vehicle and their driver’s experience, by connecting cars and people on the road, by providing clean air, and in the end, more affordable cars. Technology innovation is always in motion, hoping to change the future of the industry.
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