In the ‘60s, Sonny and Cher sang, “cars keep going faster all the time.” Now, cars are changing faster all the time. Within five years, these emerging technologies will transform the automobile as we know it today.
- Driver Override Systems. Cars with this technology will actively disregard the driver’s actions and make their own decisions, such as applying the brakes even if the driver has the gas pedal floored.
- Biometric Vehicle Access. Forget the keyed entry. Soon you’ll be unlocking the door and starting your car simply by scanning your fingerprint. High-end cars may offer retina scanning instead.
- Comprehensive Vehicle Tracking. Insurance companies and state governments want to know how you drive and how much. By 2020, insurance companies will offer reduced premiums for drivers with full GPS tracking.
- Remote Vehicle Shutdown. OnStar is already using this technology to shut down stolen cars. Within a few years, car owners will have this option at their disposal as well.
- Active Health Monitoring. Automakers are already previewing seatbelt and steering wheel sensors that can track vital health statistics. Soon, cars will be able to pull over and call paramedics if you suffer a heart attack while driving.
- Four-Cylinder Supercar. Four-cylinder cars that can top 200 mph? They’re on the way with the advent of lightweight carbon-fiber bodies and redesigned engines.
- Active Window Displays. Window display technology isn’t new, but current advances are taking it to a whole new level. The next generation of window displays will be capable of displaying vibrant images, such as highlighting the next turn on your route as you approach it.
- Personalized In-Car Marketing. Anyone with a smart phone could see this one coming. By 2020, most cars will be fully connected to the Internet, allowing marketers to display personalized, location-based ads.
- Reconfigurable Body Panels. Want a truck and SUV in one car? They’re on the way with lightweight body panels, advanced motors that can retract the roof and side glass into the lower body panels, and minivan stow-and-go seat designs.
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The Future of Car Technology