If there is anything that is evolving more rapidly than everything combined together on this planet Earth, it definitely is the Technology! And technologies from various walks-of-life touch us in some way or the other. Be it Information technology, electronics, artificial intelligence, healthcare or be it the Automobiles. And this is why we are here! To talk about technologies in automobiles.
It's been not more than a century since a common man got access to four-wheels, that could transport him/her to any place, opening the possibilities to explore the world. And we have come a long way since then to say the least. Come On! Google has already made a driver-less car. A car that eliminates acceleration, braking, and steering from a car, taking the control out of human control.
But is it a true automobile after all? Aren't automobiles meant more than just transferring people from point A to point B. While the much talked about obvious future development is towards autonomous driving, some of the lesser known, yet essential technologies are in the development phase too. We are giving a list of top 5 future technologies in automobiles.
1. Virtual Windscreen
Expected Launch - 2018
Technically speaking, Virtual windscreens are not things from future anymore, and who better than Jaguar to prove it right. In a recently revealed video, Jaguar-Land Rover has showcased the 360 degree virtual windscreen that gives important information to the driver without looking down at the infotainment system.
The basic purpose for the virtual windscreen to make things exciting as well as easy in a car. Look at the Ghost Car tech from Jaguar. Breaking the mundane, one can find the route or navigate the route via more exciting ways. A virtual car pops up on your screen which looks like a real car on the road and you have to follow that car and not look at the map all the times. While it increases safety by converging attention, it also helps the driver understand the route better.
Important updates like phone call, music tracks and everything else will be shown in front of us. Infact, Jaguar's concept extends itself and offers to replace rear view and external mirrors with cameras and virtual displays. Gesture based control will improve safety and help build an overall conducive environment.
2. Energy producing body panels
Expected Launch - 2020
Ever heard of term Nori? Nori in Japanese means seaweed, but no, we are not here to talk about seaweeds! We are here to talk about a car named Nori from Toyota. A rather unconventional attempt from the Japanese manufacturer, Nori uses seaweed with carbon fibre body and chassis to produce energy. And how is that? The combined body and chassis format is incredibly strong and light, and with the addition of the solar cells, actually generates supplemental power.
While this may come as a new information to you, as it did to us during our research, energy producing body panels are the next big things. We are losing sources of conventional energies very rapidly and hence body panels are required to produce energy. They majorly depend on solar energy and channelizing the never ending source into something productive, which has never been really successful since it is expensive to build as a whole. This technology could very well make its way into cars like the Prius and Tesla by 2020 we bet.
3. Oxygen Emission
Expected launch - 2050
What our environment is facing more than depletion of natural resources today, is pollution. And nothing causes more harm to the environment than automobiles. According to reports, there are over a billion vehicles on the road today across the globe. That is a lot of air pollution and it is severely denting our environment and that has been proven time and again. This is why every other manufacturer is trying hard to get best out of non-polluting sources of energy.
What if the cars of the future can emit pure oxygen, breathable oxygen, instead of hydrocarbons. Toyota Mirai, a futuristic hydrogen fuel cell powered car from the Japanese auto-giant, which was launched recently actually emits oxygen in the atmosphere. Another such future vehicle is Mercedes Biome and it’s almost as if the trees are used in the car’s body panel construction. But as hopeful as we are - and as much as they’d dig it in Los Angeles - we can’t imagine it before 2050.
4. Turbine Electric hybrid power
Expected launch - 2025
Consider this - In the near future, you will have options to power your car without any conventional diesel and petrol engines. There are all sorts of weird combinations on work - CNG, LPG, Electric hybrids, Fuel cells, solar vehicles, and lastly turbine hybrids. Stunned? Turbine engines in cars will indeed be a revelation for cars as it is for airplanes. The thrust is high, the pollution is less and usage is simple. Just move the car from the heat produced.
And believe us, this technology has been in existence, though, not in production form. Jaguar’s C-X75 Supercar concept, which will soon find its way in the famous James Bond upcoming movie, is powered by a stunning engine. While the electric motor is at each wheel powering the car, it is the C-X75’s twin gas turbines that sets it apart. Summon their power and Jaguar claims 0-100 in 3.4 seconds and a 330 kmph top end speed. The only real issue is to find a way to dissipate the turbines’ massive heat without melting cars behind the C-X75 in traffic.
5. Interchangeable carbon fiber body panels
Expected launch - 2020
As much as technological efforts go into designing a car and doing the complete R&D, much effort is also required to choose the right body material for it. And why is that so? It is actually body material which defines weight and strength of the car, deciding the performance and safety at the end. The less the weight, the better the performance and the less the weight, the thinner the material and hence less safe. So the whole game is about finding the right combination and material.
And none could match the sheer ability of carbon fibre in this case. Used for almost every Supercar and high performance car, the Carbon fibre is the strongest and lightest material found till date. And like they say, technology comes at a cost, and hence it is damn expensive. You won't find carbon fibre in cars under Rs 1 crore. And hence the need to make it affordable can be the next big technology. If successful, it can solve many issues for transportation.