5 Innovative Ways Technology Improves Automobiles

October 9, 2016

12:45 pm

Does anybody need to remind us that we live in a wonderful, technology-fused time? I didn’t think so.

Unless that tech involved innovations in our cars. Saving lives. Saving money. Using less energy, which (gasp!) ends up saving the planet so our great-great-grandchildren can have a future.

A future that doesn’t include going to sleep with a respirator, among any of the other dystonia scenarios playing out right now – if we continue on our all-natural, Earth-killing ways we’re known for.

Read on for a sneak peek into these interesting innovations looking to change that.

1. Driverless Autos

Driverless cars are the future of automobile industry. That doesn’t take away their coolness factor, not to mention their usefulness in reducing the errors of human stupidity.

What makes this so innovative? Why do you have to ask? Cars that drive themselves! When in history has this ever been done, in any age or generation?

It’s not without backlash, though. Earlier this year in July, CNN questioned driverless cars. CNN broke the news that a man died while “driving” on autopilot. They go on to say, though, that the first death in this type of car was inevitable. And it was.

Even more inevitable was the fact that autonomous driving will save lives. 1.2 million lives, in fact, as TechTimes reports that number would have died thanks to… humans being humans. Face it, there are bad drivers on the road.

2. Cryogenic “Fuel”

Second up for revolutionizing the future is an innovation called the Dearman engine. This puppy runs on nothing but liquid nitrogen, eliminating emissions.

The engine was invented by an engineer named Peter Dearman, and it’s a piston engine that pushed cold, liquid air through it, much like liquid coolers in computers. This new system devised by Dearman has the potential to save companies (and more importantly than companies, regular, hard-working people) thousands of dollars (per month) on fuel.

Unbelievably, Mr. Dearman tested the engine at three UK universities and won a grant to build and install (on a vehicle, mind you) a refrigeration engine. How cool is that?

It’s been a dream of his since he was 15. Now he’s 64, and he eventually managed to develop a grid energy storage. Nothing but cryogenic liquids. Fueling cars.

3. In-Car Health Monitors

Advance systems (developed in 2011) prevent you from making bad decisions, but will also take care of your overall health. In a car? WHAT?

Yes, automobiles take care of your health. This is nothing new. As ComputerWorld reported in 2011, Ford developed Wifi tech that connects people to health services; allergen alerts, asthma management tools, and diabetes control. All tuned into the wonderful world of wireless technology.

With pollution on rise, you can’t believe how relieved I am (and hopefully you’re too) to finally learn about this. The best part about all this? It’s all been voice controlled. Hands-free. With the recent surge in hands-free calling, and the crackdown on driving while texting, nobody needs to spew anymore truth about the safety of not doing anything with your hands other than driving.

There’s another life-saving feature of this tech: Let’s say it’s late at night. You haven’t been sleeping well the past couple days, and unfortunately your eyes can’t take it anymore, and they collapse. You’re at the wheel, resting your fate in your hands.

What usually would be a horrible (or fatal) accident… would be avoided by these systems! How? The system works on previously installed detection systems. But this system tracks your important statistics.

This handy tech even picked up more speed two years later. In 2013, Telegraph reported that a monitoring device would not be just in the driver’s seat, but the steering wheel as well: detecting a driver’s pulse, perspiration levels, and oxygen saturation.

Did you know any of this? I didn’t. Note: if you can afford the $95,000 price tag (the most recent price quoted from 2014), feel free to go all out.

4. Night Vision

Cadillac offered nightvision in 2000. Mercedes-Benz had one too, its updated version is called the Night View Assist Plus – an upgrade from the Night View Assist, available in the S-Class for over 11 years.

In fact, the baby-booming introduction of this system first burst into the world all the way back in 2000. Thanks to the Cadillac Deville. (We’ve come a long way since then, haven’t we?) It’s installed in the Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Audis, Honda, and Lexus.

What’s new about Plus? Close your eyes and point your finger! Pinpoints pedestrians (highlighting them on a dashboard display; infrared!) Spotlight detection (spots pedestrians, in the dark, from far away so you don’t veer into them) And more.

This is big news for car safety, and for people who don’t know how to dress at night when they decide to go for a walk. Plus a warning sign appears right in the driver’s sights the closer the car gets to walkers.

5. Regenerative Braking

When was the last time you checked your motorbike breaks? Regenerative braking puts traditional braking to rest. Typically, in standard brakes, brake pads contact with the brake motor – creating friction. Heat. Regenerative braking puts an end to this, by switching the motor into reverse, countering the direction of the wheels. (Note, this applies only to electric or hybrid autos.)

As CarsDirect points out, up to 70 percent of the energy that’s normally lost by traditional braking methods is captured and stored by this new, innovative system. All saved energy is good energy, right?

Last Thought

This is an important part of history to be a part of — it’s never failed to amaze me how many innovations occur within a year span. You only have to take a quick look around to realise that this is an exciting time, a really awesome time to be alive.

With these innovations in the auto industry, it’s not hard to see that we’re only on our way up on this long journey called life — and I’m jumping off the edge of my seat, along for the ride.

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I am a reader, researcher, writer, editor, traveller, yoga-doer, meditation-practitioner & tech-freak. I am movie-buff, cricket-fan & nature-lover. I believe that technology has made our life comfortable and extended our reach but at the same time it has made us addicted to it.

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