Automotive manufacturers must constantly strive to enhance their models with new and improved technology – designed to keep drivers safe on the roads, keep our carbon emissions down and improve the overall driving experience. With in-car technology progressing at such a rapid pace and self-driving cars becoming the next big step in autonomous tech, we’d like to know what features we can expect to see in the near future.
So, what are the latest innovative motoring developments?
Making the driving experience more comfortable
Jaguar Land Rover have been working on weather adaptation technology for their latest range. The weather adaptation 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.
Nissan’s new Leaf model debuts its new one-pedal driving system known as the eco-pedal. The electric automobile 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%.
Some manufacturers may surprise you when it comes to eco-friendly offerings – for example, a new Aston Martin model, the all-electric Rapid E, was announced in 2017. The British brand has been working on making luxury transport eco-friendlier and this new model is perfect for the modern day James Bond (who cares just as much about the environment as his top secret missions)!
Improving road safety
The BLIS (or blind spot information system) alerts the driver when another vehicle is occupying the blind spot. 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.
Lane departure warning systems are designed to make the driving experience safer overall by helping drivers to stay in their own lanes on the motorway. When driving on the motorway, 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.
Many drivers have accidentally gone slightly over the speed limit without noticing on the motorway, but this helpful system is designed to combat this. 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.