The future of the automotive sector will be characterized by increasingly intelligent means able to interact on the Internet. Here are the trends of the future
The mania for technological gadgets and high technology in general has long plagued the world of automobiles. Beyond the various security devices controlled by the computerized control unit of the vehicle, it is increasingly common to find cars of all kinds on board, which allow the driver to interact with smartphones and other hi-tech devices.
In short, the future of the automotive sector will not be distinguished only by electric cars, such as the Tesla of Elon Musk , or from cars that drive themselves, such as those developed by Google in Mountain View , but by cars that are increasingly intelligent and increasingly able to offer digital answers to the needs of passengers and the driver.
An example are the many touch control systems that, now, make a good impression at the center of the dashboard of cars in each band. Thanks to these devices you can control the car’s multimedia system, obtain information from the on-board computer and much more. In some cases, thanks to a technology-based connection system 4G LTE , you can connect to the web from inside the car, thus being able to access online satellite navigators, e-mail accounts and social network profiles.
The trend in this sector should lead, at least according to what was shown by Audi during the CES 2015, to the development of control tablets that, thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, will also allow passengers to manage the car’s multimedia system.
The technological frontiers of the automotive world could be much wider. Ford has recently shown an intelligent car park search system that could soon simplify the lives of many people. Thanks to some microcameras mounted on the car, the brain that controls the on-board computer is able to recognize free parking and send all data – geographic position, images and so on – to a shared database in the cloud. To find out if there are available parking spaces nearby, simply connect to the database using specially developed apps and park within a few minutes.
In short, cars will always be more smart and connected, becoming an integral part of the Internet of things .
The trend in the sector, as one could also admire among the various stalls of the CES 2015 in Las Vegas, should be a sector represented by cars that drive themselves. An industry where Google has been a trailblazer, but which now sees the presence of some of the major brands in the automotive universe. Mercedes, for example, presented a futuristic prototype of driverless cars – called F 015 – in which the interior, but also the exterior appearance, of the vehicle were remodeled according to automatic driving without the need for assistance. In the previous weeks, however, Audi presented a model much less futuristic, but able to shoot in the streets of Palo Alto (near San Francisco, California) for about 700 kilometers without requiring the intervention of the driver .
However, car manufacturers do not seem to be the only ones who believe in the potential of cars that drive themselves. Also during the CES 2015, NVIDIA unveiled the new SoC Tegra X1 , able to manage an automatic driving system able to “learn” new behaviors and new driving styles by exploiting the data coming from the various sensors mounted on the car.
Beyond all the assumptions and hypotheses that can be advanced, the future of the automotive sector may not be very different from what we are used to today. Alongside the research linked to vehicles driven by electric motors, in fact, the big names in the sector are engaged in the development of fossil fuel combustion engines – derived, therefore, from oil – increasingly lighter and more efficient. A double line of research dictated, in most cases, by legislative requirements. In fact, several national governments have enacted directives that require car manufacturers to equip their creatures with engines capable of consuming less and less gasoline and, consequently, emitting less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
In the United States, for example, cars in the next decade will have to double – or almost – the kilometers covered with a liter of petrol, going from the current 12 km per liter to almost 20 km per liter of fuel. For this to happen, we work on engines that burn more efficiently petrol and diesel: today, at best, only about 40% of the energy released by combustion is translated into kinetic energy, while the remainder is dissipated in the form of heat. The objective, therefore, will be to increase the percentage of kinetic energy at the expense of the dissipated one, by testing new types of fuel injection in the engine’s combustion chamber.