Vehicles currently on the market with features such as dual-DVD player dashboards and the FAA-approved flying car (2012’s Terrafugia Transition) may whet your palate for the future of car technologies, but you haven’t seen anything yet.
Cars of the future will monitor your heart rate, recognize street signs to take over the wheel if you’re drowsy, drive a pre-set route, and utilize wireless technology to drive themselves (with drivers behaving more like passive riders).
It’s time to face reality. The future of car technology is just around the corner:
Ford develops sensor-based seat to monitor heart rate
Health and safety may be prime factors in the future of car technology. Ford recently announced the prototype of a sensor-based driver’s seat, aimed at measuring drivers’ heart rates. At the unveiling of the technology, “Researchers demonstrated that there are no electrodes attached to the body with the special seat. Instead, the heart rate is monitored through six electrodes embedded into the seatback — similar to technology used in beds in intensive-care units.” Targeted for mature adults, if an instance of heart palpitations or heart attack occurs, not only will the driver’s doctor(s) be alerted, the car will pull itself over.
Future cars will identify street signs based on color, shape
Back in 2009-2010, both BMW and General Motors began collaboration on a system where cars would automatically recognize speed limits and road signs. Unfortunately, the system had plenty of kinks—particularly the inability to recognize digital signs—and the technology was stalled. If perfected in the future, however, a voice would alert you when certain road signs (ex. Stop signs) and speed limit changes occur.
The concept has not been nixed completely, and is entirely possible as a future technology in the next few years.
Video game or car?
GM’s EN-V, a two-seated bubble-shaped (some prefer the term rocket ship) car of the future, combines sensing technology, wireless communication and GPS-based navigation to autonomously drive itself. Additionally, the EN-V can communicate with other vehicles on the road via a social network that will help reduce accidents. The driver, meanwhile, can literally nap during long road trips. It looks like self-driving cars are not far out of reach.