The Future of Vehicle Features

September 13th, 2012
Future road sign

We can all agree that the future of automotive development will most likely be alternative fuel sources, hybrids, and electric vehicles. What about new vehicle features? The small things that make modern vehicles more like a traveling living room.

Currently being referred to as infotainment, newer and future vehicles will be loaded with gadgets, technology and phone/device integration. We’ve put together a list of the most popular innovations we can expect to see in the near future.

The GPS has been a popular addition to vehicles for years. In the future, the majority, if not all vehicles will have some form of navigational elements. In an earlier article, we discussed Apple partnering with major automakers to incorporate iPhone integration. This innovation adds GPS navigation and turn by turn directions.

Which brings us to our next feature that is destined for future vehicles, voice activation and commands. Apple’s SIRI has opened up a world of opportunity. But it wouldn’t surprise us if beyond iPhone integration we see voice activation built into vehicles. Law enforcement vehicles are currently in testing for voice activation as well.

First, vehicles were equipped with radios. Next, came 8-tracks, cassette tape decks and eventually compact discs. Newer vehicles are taking advantage of mp3 players such as ipods, zunes and smart phones via an AUX port. In the future, you may be able to play your home music library utilizing cloud computing. No cords, no devices, just a simple stream of all of your home music library.

Cloud computing also opens up a wealth of other possibilities. Streaming videos to screens mounted behind the front seat head rests for passengers to watch your home movie collection, collision detection systems and even the ability to monitor the video cameras in your home or business while on a road trip. Of course, we hope everyone would do this while parked.

Heads up display is increasing in popularity amongst luxury vehicles, and it may be embraced as a standard as technology moves forward. It may not replace standard gauges for obvious reasons. “Do you know how fast you were driving?” “No officer, my heads up display is on the fritz.”

We’re seeing a wealth of improvements in vehicle amenities. Which ones will become a staple and what are just passing trends have yet to be determined. One thing is for sure, completely self driven vehicles will open up a Pandora’s box of entertainment options.

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