Modern vehicles have come a long way from horse-drawn carriages and vintage cars. Today, they have evolved to become sleek, stylish, and multi-functional vehicles that come with tons of added features — such as Bluetooth connectivity, gesture controls, and augmented reality displays. While we’re worlds away from flying cars, contemporary cars are nonetheless exciting and packed with cutting-edge specs. So below, we have listed some trends that reveal what the cars of the future might look like.
Non-gasoline vehicle fuel
Sales of new fossil fuel cars are slowly being banned by various countries in an attempt to be more environmentally friendly. This has pushed manufacturers to focus on innovating cars that will run on greener fuels. Electric cars like the Mini Cooper SE and Nissan Leaf, for instance, are already becoming competitive. Aside from lower battery costs, they’ve also become easier to refuel since there are now more charging stations available. Prototypes for robots that can autonomously charge these cars are already in the works as well. Plus, there are hydrogen-powered vehicles too, such as the Hyundai Nexo and Toyota Mirai. However, scientists are still working around the challenges of producing and storing these vehicles.
Advancements in AI and machine learning are very slowly but surely helping manufacturers create a level 5 autonomy car, which means it can drive itself completely with no issues. So far, no cars have reached this level, though Tesla claims to be close. However, in terms of mainstream production, level 2 autonomy cars like the Tesla Autopilot and Cadillac Super Cruise are the best that have been rolled out. This level signals partial driving automation, which means the car can control steering and acceleration/deceleration — but it still requires a person in the driver’s seat who can take control at any time. Designers are in the process of testing and looking for ways to improve a car’s environmental detection capabilities and making informed decisions independently.
Better PCBs and functions
Most consumers equate innovative cars with futuristic, modern designs — but the magic actually happens under the hood. Smart cars are essentially computers composed of circuit boards that power the entire vehicle and dictate its functions. Lately, more models have been using multi-board PCBs, which allow manufacturers to pack even more features into tinier and more flexible packages. And instead of designing them board-by-board and correcting them later on to work together, design cycles are now being shortened with CAD tools to keep up with advancing technology. So whether a car has additional tracking features or interconnectivity, we have these rigid-flex and high-density PCBs to credit.
Connectivity with devices
Connected cars don’t just mean having Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity for its passengers. With 5G and IoT, these cars will also be able to communicate with other cars and their manufacturers. As a result, you’ll both be able to warn each other of possible roadblocks or hazards beforehand. Meanwhile, connecting to manufacturers allows your car to update and integrate with the latest hardware and software developments directly. You won’t have to replace your car as often because of outdated technology. As such, the cars of the future may be more cost-efficient, too.