Night vision camera

A round-up of some of the most exciting new car technology available

New car technology is constantly evolving and changing the way that we drive every day. Here are four new developments in car technology that are not only exciting, but that will also become more commonly used in the near future.

It is easy to think of flying cars and other futuristic things that seem out of reach, but remember; electric windows were cutting edge technology once. So while some cutting-edge car technology may seem like something from the future it may well appear in your own car sooner than you think. Another aspect of motoring technology is the tools and apps we can all use on our phones. Mobile phones, whilst not something to be used while driving, are computers and as such can offer some great driving aids and tools when used safely.

Night vision

While headlights are certainly much better than they were even ten years ago, there are still some instances where we may not see as clearly as we would like when driving at night. The car brand DS has launched a night vision system that uses an infrared camera mounted in the front grille to detect sources of heat up to 100m in front of the car.

It will pick out, as well as many other things, pedestrians walking on the side of the road and animals that may be about to run out. It is combined with an alarm system so drivers get plenty of warning about any potential hazard waiting in the dark.

Waze

While many of us still rely on a trusty satellite navigation (sat nav), more and more people are turning to Google Maps on their mobile phones to get around. Often this can be synced with a screen in the car or just viewed using a phone holder. Recently, however, a new app called Waze has been gaining more and more prominence.

Waze is a GPS mapping app with a difference. It is fed by the locations, speed and information from other users so it creates a live, constantly updating map. Users can flag up road works and accidents by adding them to the map. But they are also contributing to the information flow just by driving a route they have chosen. The idea is that Waze is totally up to date so you will never be caught out by an incident or closed road. You can even send friends live information from your journey so if they are waiting for you they can follow your progress.

Wireless car charging

While we are now seeing wireless phone chargers in the home and in cars, BMW has launched a wireless car charging system. This means the car is parked over a charging plate and the electric batteries are replenished without any need for plugging in. This might seem a little too out of reach at the moment, but as electric vehicles become more mainstream, this kind of technology is likely to become more commonplace than you might think in the near future!

Head up display

A head up display is the area where driver information is projected onto the windscreen in the driver’s view. It is something fighter planes have had for many years and there have been a few attempts in the past to make this happen in cars, but it hasn’t properly been implemented until very recently.

The idea of having your speed and sat nav info projected at just the right point on the screen so you don’t need to move your head is a great safety feature. Accidentally drifting over a 30mph speed limit is a lot harder when the speedometer is directly in your line of sight. Car makers like Vauxhall have really got this right with adjustable brightness and positioning.

While some people might worry it gets in the way of the view of the road, these systems are designed to be looked through as much as looked at and are not a big distraction at all. Head up displays are likely to appear in more and more cars in the coming years.

While some of this tech may seem like the kind of thing you will only see in very expensive cars, it won’t be long at all before it spreads across different manufacturers and models for all budgets, so watch this space.

Want more motoring technology articles?

If you’d like to read more articles about modern technology and how these developments can help aid mobility, explore our motoring section in news and views or read some of the related articles highlighted below.


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