The auto industry is changing in bigger ways than we’ve seen since the days of the Model-T. Self-driving cars are just the tip of the iceberg, new technology is making a lot of surprising, fascinating and downright weird things happen in the auto trade. Here are a few of the most exciting new developments to look forward to in 2018:
Fully automated highways are still a few years away, but assisted driving may soon be a standard feature. With automation-assisted driving, you’re doing most of the work, you’re the one behind the wheel, determining speed and direction and so on, but the onboard computer will, at times, take over control from you to avoid a crash. The most obvious upside to this: When you’re about to get sideswiped by someone you never saw coming because they aren’t abiding by proclamations laid out in the newly announced National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, your car will see them coming, and dodge them. Of course, this could rely not only on immediate sensory information like obstacles in one’s path or oncoming cars, but GPS tracking of other cars and even weather reports should you be heading towards an icy road, and your vehicle will be able to warn you of adverse driving conditions up ahead. Basically, it’ll be like driving Kitt from Nightrider.
Image Source: Pixabay
That New Car Smell, Forever
Mercedes-Benz is exploring new ground in luxury auto making. The new S-Class lineup in 2018 will feature a full set of luxury comforts like massage chairs, ambient lighting and so on, but it will also include a fragrance-dispensing system, releasing scents like lavender and sage to help drivers relax. Essentially, the 2018 S-Class is going to be a day spa on wheels.
It may be awhile before we have holographic projectors built into the windshield, but in the meantime, there are a lot of cool things happening with AR phone apps. The Hyundai Genesis will feature an app that uses tracking technology to operate as a real-time user’s manual/auto mechanic. Point the camera at your spark plugs, and it will tell you what you’re looking at and how to replace them. The extent to which this will be able to help has yet to be seen. We don’t know right now whether this will operate as a simple user’s manual or a full-on diagnostics tool, but how cool would it be to hold your phone mic up to the engine and have the app tell you exactly what that clanging noise means?
Buy a BMW in 2018 and you’re probably going to be buying a pre-paid parking pass with it, reserving you special parking spots in cities across the country. We’re going to be seeing a lot of features like this in upcoming cars. A phone isn’t just a device, it’s a service you’re buying into, and cars are being treated in a similar way by manufacturers in 2017. You don’t just buy the product, you buy membership, access, a subscription.
Of course, good driving skills still count. We’re not fully automated yet, so taking the time to attend a defensive driving course can help you to save money so you will be ready when it comes time to buy your fully-automated robot car. A comedy defensive driving course can reduce your insurance by at least five percent, and get whole points knocked off your record. You might even get out of paying the full price of a speeding ticket by taking a course to prove that you’re a safe driver.