Technology in cars is all the rage now. Automobile sales are at all time highs and I’m positive the new tech has something to do with it.
We purchased a 2015 model vehicle recently. Compared to our 2009 model that we had, technology has dramatically improved, leading to more fun rides overall. Some observations and wish lists:-
- Cameras – They are lot higher quality now. The angle of vision is improved and night time quality is also terrific. Cameras are also now installed in side mirrors (usually the passenger side). When I signal a right turn the camera display automatically pops up on the dashboard providing a much better view of the traffic on the right. This ensures that one can see bicyclists on the bike lanes and avoid blind spots. This camera display also color coded distances to other vehicles on the right, giving you good indication if it’s safe to move into the right lane.
- Object sensing – My vehicle is able to give a nice colored guide box that indicates how close I am to another object (a car, pillar etc) when one backs up. Very useful!
- Lane Departure Warnings – If you change lanes without indicating, the car thinks you are stupid and beeps at you. Seems to work quite reliably. You have to test it, right ? :-). I think they are using the cameras in the side mirrors to detect this.
- Blue tooth integration is a lot seamless. I was able to add 4 phones to our vehicle easily. Connecting is quick. In addition to playing music, contacts and call history are displayed, allowing me to use the phone in a safer, hands free way. If multiple phones are in the car, it just picks the alphabetically first one to pair with. My wife wins this battle every time.
- Smartphone App – While our vehicle does not come with a Smartphone app for remote control, I’m sure this will start making it’s way to the mainstream, affordable cars. Not everyone can afford to send their money to Elon Musk now 🙂
- Given that cameras in cars are getting ubiquitous, a XBOX style human detection and personalizing the car based on that would be awesome. This could also be used to detect if a person is looking down to text or extending their hand to play with their smartphones. Everyone is texting or peering down on their smart phones. With object sensing, a small beep to indicate if the car in front of you is moving, while you are still looking down on your phone would avoid the embarrassment and make one safer.
- Finally, my car has a built-in vacuum. With two dogs, this is the most thoughtful feature for me. I can visualize roombas (carbas?) automatically sense dirt level and scoop to clean my car while not swallowing my pets.
Parallel Parking Assist, Self Parking, Autonomous driving, Internet Connected Dashboards are other features that many cars sport today.
What interesting tech does your car have or one that you want?