Technology is advancing in every industry, including the automobile industry. Some technology, like GPS and rear view cameras, are considered a necessity and a normalcy to many drivers today. But can technology go too far? Here are four vehicle tech innovations in the making that may not be the best ideas.
1. Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications May Lead to Crashes
Avoiding crashes is the goal of many new innovations including vehicle-to-vehicle communications or V2V. This technology uses sensors to detect other vehicles, and surrounding objects. Some of the information transmitted include speed, location, and driving direction. When this information reveals a crash is about to happen, the car automatically responds, usually with brakes to avoid a collision.
It just so happens that the vehicle’s sudden action doesn’t take into account cars that aren’t using vehicle to vehicle communications. Human drivers in standard cars cannot respond quickly enough to the actions of the V2V car and may crash or need to swerve out of the way.
2. Self-Driving Cars May Get Lost and Run Out of Gas
Image via Flickr by loudtiger
A car that drives by itself sounds great. Its state of the art navigation system, and sensor-based steering can take you anywhere. That is, until the place you are going isn’t on the mapping program it relies on. Or worse, the car simply runs out of gas. For routine point A to point B trips, it’s convenient to sit back and take a nap. Just don’t get too comfortable on long trips. You might awaken suddenly, and violently as the car drives itself into a creek.
The unpredictability of self-driving cars make it difficult to insure and probably would be expensive to do so in the current market.
3. Augmented Reality Dashboards May Confuse Drivers
More and more information is available to drivers than ever before. Smartphone and tablet PC integration is already prevalent in most new automobiles. The next step is what the industry is calling augmented reality dashboard; a technology similar to pilots in fighter jets use in the air force. You would be able to see everything in front of you clearly through the windshield, but there will be a display containing information about the objects in front of you.
It might display the distance between you and the car in front of you, or even highlight the car with a red box and display arrows showing where you should turn. This could be pretty distracting if every object that you drive by appears on the windshield. It may even be disorienting for some drivers. This is one innovation to leave on the drawing board.
4. Proximity Warning Systems Get Annoying Quickly
Warning systems that beep or flash a light on the dashboard when you are too close to a car, or object can help avoid a collision. But if it goes off every time you drive too close to the bumper of a car or alert you every time you reverse the car to park, it’s effectiveness in alerting you decreases and eventually you start to ignore the warning altogether.
With each new model, manufacturers add new features to their cars. Hopefully, these features don’t distract the driver or take away from the driving experience.