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The Future of Connected Cars

For the majority of automotive history, safety features were limited to seatbelts and, later on, airbags. Today, however, computers and other technological marvels have led to the development of vehicle safety features that seem like they belong in a science fiction novel. As technological innovation filters throughout the new car market, many mind-blowing safety features are likely to become standard on all models. Below are four recent developments that take safety to a whole new level.

Crash-Prevention Systems

Instead of equipping cars with features designed to minimize the impact of collisions, today’s manufacturers are designing vehicles that avoid them altogether. Some experts believe that crash-prevention technology will eventually become mandatory per federal legislation. Currently, some luxury vehicles boast options that prevent the driver from drifting across lanes or backing into other vehicles or pedestrians. With global positioning systems and radar, a handful of automakers also produce cars that brake automatically upon detection of a close threat. Others have designed cars that autocorrect if a driver brakes too hard or swerves unexpectedly. Combined, these features can stop crashes from occurring, which is good news for drivers and insurance companies alike.

Virtual Windshields

As cars become more advanced, drivers tend to become more distracted. If your dashboard resembles the inside of an airplane cockpit, you probably understand the perils of driving while trying to adjust myriad switches and controls. Eventually, this might all become a thing of the past, as engineers are working to develop so-called “smart windshields” that display controls and buttons as a virtual film in front of the driver’s eyes. Some companies have also explored the possibility of incorporating heat-detection technology in windshield glass, which would alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians and animals.

Net-Based Traffic Data

Instead of driving down a busy highway, guessing at the state of traffic miles ahead, you soon might be able to ask your car what to expect down the road. The idea behind using network applications to forecast traffic conditions is that your car’s computer can access data about your surroundings and send it to you in the form of alerts. This can help drivers plan or adjust their routes, which will hopefully ease traffic congestion and prevent accidents.

Autopilot Cars

Airliners have it, so why not cars? If the idea of sitting back and relaxing during your daily commute appeals to you, you might not have too long to wait. Several car manufacturers have already begun experimenting with self-powered vehicles, which have the potential to eliminate a great deal of human error on the roads. According to early reports, the technology will most likely require the driver to keep two hands on the wheel, which means you will still have to stay alert and engaged during your drive – perhaps functioning as more of a copilot rather than the main navigator.

With so many advanced technologies on the horizon, drivers can anticipate an exciting future when it comes to getting behind the wheel. As advances in computing and automotive technology progress, these changes might show up sooner than you think.

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