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These Tech Innovations Could Change the Driving Experience as we Know it

While all the attention at the moment is being devoted to autonomous vehicles and the next generation of fuel technology, numerous auto makers, manufacturers and technology companies are working on other plans. Some of these developments have even made it into our vehicles already, although they are yet to progress to a mainstream level of adoption. We take a look at 5 innovative technologies to keep an eye on.



Connected Vehicles

One of the emerging areas which developers are looking into is the way in which vehicles are able to communicate between one another, as well as with key infrastructure. Some car makers have already begun to roll out vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems, with uptake only set to become more prolific as self-driving vehicles appear on our roads.

The systems are primarily intended to help coordinate and plan the safe movement of vehicles. However, until such time that all cars and traffic lights are using the technology, it is being used to deliver information about road and weather conditions. Locally, the AAA is advocating for the technology.

Elsewhere, manufacturers have their eyes on delivering software updates like maps ‘over the air’, meaning you won’t have to visit a dealer or find the updates yourself. This comes courtesy of another emerging trend in vehicles, the introduction of Wi-Fi and mobile network connectivity.



Various manufacturers are looking into health monitoring systems that track the vitals of a driver behind the wheel. This includes technology that would identify if a driver was having a heart attack, before safely bringing the car under control. Meanwhile, some companies are looking to address the same issue by investigating the role that seatbelts or steering wheels could play when connected to mobile phones and autonomous vehicles. In other cases, it is biometrics that provide added security to the vehicle or those that help you address journey management and trip planning.


Your New Heads-up Display

To date, several manufacturers have already had a go at developing electronic heads-up displays that project onto your windshield. The next level of progression however, will be a much more intelligent level of technology. Not only will you have access to typical vehicle instrument readings, but developers intend to advance the roll-out of features like night vision, eye and distraction tracking systems (to monitor a driver’s alertness), and even the prospect of augmented reality for navigation.



App Store and In-car Payments

As car manufacturers look into the issue of motorists accessing their phones while driving, some have adopted the belief that the solution lies in accommodating the behaviour of motorists rather than trying to change it. Accordingly, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are being fitted into more and more cars so that drivers have access to certain features found on their phone.

On top of that, however, our in-car dashboards are set to be equipped with payment capability so that you can have greater access to pay things on the go. In the current environment where there has been an acceleration in the shift to digital payments, motorists could soon be looking at a range of efficient means to pay for groceries, takeaway or other goods through their car.