Manufacturers are always adapting their vehicles in order to make us safer on the roads and improve efficiency. But with new innovations being unveiled all the time, what’s next for automotive technology? Here we’ve teamed up with Grange, who offer luxury cars including the McLaren 720s, are here to show you what’s new in the industry…
Most people will already be aware of autonomous driving features. Most manufacturers now offer self-driving technology as part of their latest models – with most used to improve road safety.
The first feature we’ll look at is the lane keeping system. These intelligent systems keep you within your lane when driving on the motorway. When motorway driving, it’s vital that you stay firmly in your lane, unless you are overtaking. This system alerts you with a vibration on the steering wheel if your vehicle is unintentionally edging out of its lane – and in circumstances when the vehicle thinks you are reacting too slow, the vehicle will take control and provide steering torque to divert you back into the safe space on your lane. This is a safety feature to prevent drivers from veering out of their lane on motorways and dual carriageways where drivers around them are driving at high speeds.
BLIS stands for blind spot information system. When a vehicle enters your blind spot zone, the BLIS system will alert you. The detection area is on both sides of your vehicle, extending rearward from the exterior mirrors to approximately 10 feet (3 meters) beyond the bumper. The system alerts you via a small light on your side wing mirrors – when there is a vehicle in your blind spot zone, the light will illuminate. When your blind spot zone is clear, the light will switch off.
Using audio and visual warnings, the intelligent safety alert will let drivers know when they have gone over the speed limit. By using GPS, the system is able to detect the vehicle location and reference this with a digital road map that is programmed with speed limit information for each road. The system can be used as an active speed limiter whereby it can take control of the vehicle and reduce the speed when travelling above the speed limit. It does this by reducing the throttle signal. Additionally, the system is also fitted with a speed limiting function that increases the pressure on the accelerator when you exceed the speed limit, so that it is harder to accelerate and break the speed limit.
It was recently announced that Jaguar Land Rover would be including weather adaptation tech in all of their new models. The system allows cars to autonomously adapt to weather changes and situations to make adjustments to drivetrain, suspension, traction control and climate control for optimum efficient driving.
The system is said to be able to connect to present and future weather data via telematics and GPS to sensibly adapt both inside the cabin and around the exterior. One feature suggests that the system will automatically close your vehicle windows if it senses that rain is forecast. Onboard rain- and terrain-sensing mechanisms will be used to control the temperature, pressure and humidity inside the cabin, whilst interior and exterior lighting will be altered depending on the circumstances.
We can expect to see this interesting piece of kit by 2020, along with JLR’s electric vehicles.
Nissan have also been leading the way when it comes to eco innovations. The new Nissan Leaf not only has double the mileage range of its previous model equivalents, but the one-pedal driving system allows for the accelerator pedal to be transformed into a multifunctioning e-pedal at a touch. The e-pedal functions as a start, stop, accelerate and breaking pedal when activated. Suitable for 90% of urban driving, the system means that the car will slow to a halt by itself with the ability to hold itself on an incline without the need of the brake pedal.
Nicknamed the ECO-pedal system, the pedal controls the speed of acceleration to prevent revving up the engine. The level of fuel-efficient driving is displayed through a colour and flashing Eco-P lamp. According to Nissan, studies have proven that effective eco-driving with the ECO-pedal can contribute to an improved fuel efficiency by 5-10%.
Electric vehicles have surged in popularity over the past decade or so. With news of how air pollution is negatively impacting our planet and quality of life, automotive manufacturers have been striving to develop all-electric models. An increase in EV charging services from suppliers such as Northern Powergrid and the widespread availability of charging points has meant that the market looks set to take off once again.
It seems as though the automotive industry has a bright future ahead. With a positive future of technology ahead of us, we can expect to see the driving process, and experience, completely transformed in the coming years.