They say that “people fear what they don’t understand” which is why in a recent survey done, 43.8 percent of drivers don’t want self-driving capabilities in cars. While this is understandable from a somewhat safety point of view, there are other new technological vehicle capabilities already developed or still being developed that may take the market, and perhaps the world, by storm as early as 2017. So far, advanced car technology is still for luxury car models only, but that can soon change as early as 2020.
Gesture and Sensor Control
The new 2016 BMW 7 Series allows your hand gestures to control such things as the gear shifting, music volume, and virtually anything else on the dashboard screens controlled by infrared cameras. In the 2016 Corvette Z06, Arrow Electronics allows the driver to control steering using a pair of sunglasses with motion-tracking sensors. The driver can simply move the head to control the steering wheel. Speed can be controlled by blowing or sucking into a tube attached to the sunglasses.
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Hydrogen Fuel Cells
By the end of 2016 Honda’s Clarity Fuel Cell Sedan will go on sale for about $60,000. The Toyota Mirai will also be available for around the same price by early 2017. This is the new fuel cell technology that runs on hydrogen gas, produces only water vapor, and has a range of more than 300 miles. However, for now, they can only be driven in Southern California where there is a network of fueling stations. Last March, Italian Pininfarina unveiled its first hydrogen concept car, the H2. But again, the main problem of hydrogen cars going mainstream is the hydrogen stations needed to support them.
Remote Control Parking
We understand that almost all drivers have a hard time when squeezing into a tight spot. Again mentioning the BMW 7 Series, simply center the car in front of the space, hop out and press the remote-park button on your key fob. The car slowly glides and parks itself.
Upgraded Electric Vehicles
The big issue with full electric vehicles (EV) in comparison with hybrid vehicles (cars that can alternate with electric or combustion power) is the very limited range of only 100 miles on a single charge. That’s not much when you consider the early limited number of charging stations that will soon go up. But both Tesla and Chevrolet have recently made battery upgrades on their Model S and Bolt car respectively, so that the former can now run more than 300 miles on a single charge while the Bolt exceeds 240 miles. Both will be priced at a consumer-friendly price of $37,500 and will be available by early 2017.
This technology has to be included because this was only the stuff of sci-fi movies as early as 5 years back. Today, most car manufacturers are coming out with their own driverless cars, even including Google and Apple, making this the new form of technology race as to who can come out with the first ever commercially viable driverless car. Uber is the first to ever commercially bring out self-driving cars on a test beta mode, but of course, with a standby driver at the wheels, just in case.