Although reality didn’t quite live up to our expectations with the flying cars that were predicted in Back to the Future Part II, technology has rapidly developed during the 21st Century with new and exciting accessories being brought to market. Cars are now far safer, more convenient and more gadget-centric than ever before. Motors.co.uk takes a look at what accessories we can expect to become regular features of cars in the future.
1. Voice recognition/command
Voice recognition in cars has now become the norm. Along with the use of Bluetooth, we can now listen to music, make phone calls and even change the temperature in our cars just by talking to it. This feature allows the driver to maintain their full focus on the road and not to be distracted by trying to change the heat setting or radio station. Voice recognition adds convenience and safety to cars and will continue to become more integral to how we drive in the future.
2. Parking aids
Parking aids are a feature in nearly all new cars. A rear view camera and sensors provide a detailed analysis to the driver as they are attempting to park. Offering a suggested route to follow when reversing and sounding an audible ‘beep’ when the car is coming into close contact with another object, parking aids assist the driver in making a more accurate manoeuvre. Cars are also now being developed that can park themselves. For those with older cars, sensors can be retrofitted. We’re not sure old cars can be taught to park themselves though!
Either built into the car, or a portable device that can be purchased separately, GPS has become commonplace in most cars. The majority of satnavs now even offer live traffic updates and will provide alternative routes to the one you’re on if there is traffic congestion ahead. This has revolutionised car journeys, removing the need for physical maps or the scramble for directions when you become lost down a country lane or in a city you’re not familiar with. In the future, all cars will be fitted with GPS. These devices will decrease in size and improve in accuracy, allowing the owner to keep constant track of their vehicle, which will improve security and benefit businesses who rely on monitoring deliveries.
4. Keyless vehicle access
Keys have started to become obsolete in cars. Ignition buttons can now be found in most new cars, as well as the use of a fob for entry into your vehicle, removing the need for a key. In the future it is possible that this will be developed further with finger print technology used instead. Keyless access also means doors and boots can open automatically. Never again will you have the problem of losing your keys!
5. Autonomous vehicle
This is the ultimate future for cars. The technology for a driverless car is currently being developed by a number of companies with prototypes, such as the Google Self Driving Car Project, already existing. Driver override already exists in some cars, such as the brake override system which helps to prevent an accident and makes the car safer, but an autonomous vehicle will combine all the accessories of those listed above and mean a driver is not always needed, drastically revolutionising the way in which people travel. We’re excited to see how these develop.