Technology is transforming the auto industry. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect when it comes to technology in cars of the future – innovative features on display at this year’s LA Auto Show.
Have you ever wanted to relive your favorite drive – something along California’s famed Pacific Coast Highway or BC’s picturesque Sea to Sky highway? Now you can – without leaving the comfort of your home thanks to technology in this Karma SC2 concept. Attach a smartphone to the rear-view mirror to wirelessly charge and its no longer a regular phone. It uses the cameras and lidars around the vehicle to act as a rear-view mirror and record the drive ahead. You can later replay the drive using the built-in projector on the vehicle’s front windshield and project the images directly onto the garage door.
Have you ever lost your car keys? Now, you don’t need to worry about finding your keys with Ford’s new “phone as a key” technology. Download an app onto your smartphone and your cell becomes the key. Not only can you lock or unlock the doors with your phone, you can raise the liftgate, start, and drive the vehicle without a traditional key in sight. Don’t worry – if you’re using valet there’s no need to hand over your cell to a stranger – you can give them a temporary passcode to enter and drive the vehicle. This technology is in the 2020 Lincoln Corsair and will appear in Ford’s new Mustang Mach E SUV.
Other manufacturers are opting to skip the cell phone in lieu of a key option for something even easier. This Karma concept has sensors built into the driver’s seat. The sensors are programmed to recognize the driver’s height and weight so it instinctively knows when the driver is behind the wheel and will start the vehicle automatically and let the driver take off – no key necessary.
In the future, how will you know if a vehicle is self-driving or being piloted by a driver? This Lexus LF-30 concept has the solution to warn other drivers when a vehicle is in the self-driving mode. If the lights at the front appear in bright blue the vehicle is in autonomous mode – when it’s not, the driver is in control of the wheel. It’s a smart way to let other drivers sharing the road know if technology or a human is in control of the wheel.
There’s no need for driving enthusiasts to worry about the autonomous future. It doesn’t mean the end of driving. Many manufacturers are planning to give drivers the option to take the wheel. In this Infiniti Qs Inspiration concept, the steering wheel and pedals disappear into the dashboard and floor when not in use and in the self-driving mode. When the driver takes control, the steering wheel and the pedals extend out for a more engaging drive.
Rear-seat riders are usually left in the cold when it comes to controlling the radio or climate control system of a vehicle. They have little input or say once the front passengers pick their favorite tunes and set the temperature. But that changes because of the artificial intelligence in this Lexus LF-30 concept.It takes the infotainment system and projects it onto the rear roof so passengers in the back seat can change the temperature or radio simply by using hand gestures.
Say goodbye to side-view mirrors. In the future, cameras will replace them. Images of vehicles approaching on both sides of a vehicle will be projected onto a high-tech dashboard in the cabin. Several manufacturers are offering up many versions of the side-view cameras. This one on this Hyundai concept pops out when you’re driving and hides away when you’re parked, providing a seamless, sleek profile.
Door hands may be a thing of the past in the future. This ID. Space Vizzion concept from Volkswagen doesn’t have traditional door handles – in its place, is an illuminated light image of a door handle that’s flush with the side of the vehicle. To open, simply touch once and apply a bit of pressure and voila - the door opens easily.
The ID. Space Vizzion concept also has another cool tech feature that allows drivers to get around town easier and in a more environmentally-friendly way. In this case, the cargo area hides two electric skate boards complete with two helmets and a remote control so you can alter the speed of your electric skate board while you’re navigating crowded city streets. This multi-mode transportation system may be the future of mobility.
Don’t expect to see traditional buttons and dials for the radio volume or climate control in future cars. Expect a streamlined, clean and high-tech cabin with digital commands to perform a number of functions. You can change the flow and location of air vents in this concept, for example, by simply touching and dragging the circular icons anywhere on the dashboard to tailor the air flow to the perfect spot.
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