The sale of electric vehicles surpassed 1 million units for the first time in 2017, and that momentum was expected to carry over into 2018 with sales hitting nearly 1.4 million. There are major shifts occurring and about to occur in the automotive industries and world of transportation, and electric vehicles are just one small niche of this market. From advancements in autonomous driving, new ride-sharing apps and even cutting-edge “brain to vehicle” communication, there’s plenty to see and talk about in the world of technology. Here are a few of the coolest things happening on the road and automotive tech this year.
New tech for safety
Of one of the many new technologies unveiled at the 2018 CES that Men’s Journal reported on, perhaps the coolest, most innovative one is the joint effort between Ford and telecom chip maker Qualcomm as they continue to develop what they call a C2VX technology (which stands for “Vehicle to Everything”). This technology is marketed as an X-ray vision of sorts for your car that will virtually scan your surroundings in order to transmit and receive data from infrastructure like traffic lights or road signs up ahead. The technology will allow your car to communicate with other cars as well as alert you to accidents and other hazards on the road.
Electric charging roads open in Sweden
Sweden’s target of achieving independence from fossil fuel by 2030 requires a 70% reduction in the transport sector, which is why they’ve recently debuted the world’s first electrified road that recharges the batteries of cars and trucks driving on it. Of the many innovative technologies involved in constructing this new type of road, one of the most beneficial is that this type of “dynamic charging,” as they’re calling it, means that electric vehicles will require smaller batteries, which reduce manufacturing costs immensely. And, seeing as each kilometer of roadway costs only 1 million euros to construct, the project is about 50 times less expensive than constructing an urban tram line.
Advancements in autonomous vehicles
As the automotive industry is being disrupted by emerging technologies, one of the most prominent advancements the auto tech sector has seen has been in autonomous vehicles, which undoubtedly raises questions about various types of liability and coverage to ensure driver safety. However, the auto insurance industry seems to be catching up to the innovations, which range from driverless deliveries to Bosch-developed autonomous parking capabilities to even fully autonomous vehicles that can handle over 320 trillion operations per second. These types of advancements mean that cars will be learning and be making accurate decisions about its environment on the road much faster and therefore increasing overall safety.
The future of road technology
As the automotive industry continues to be disrupted and revolutionized by emerging smart technologies, artificial intelligence looks to continue to dominate the scene with its wide-reaching capabilities to increase safety, introduce time and money-saving solutions as well as cut costs for manufacturers. The IoT is likely to begin introducing more cloud-computing technologies and applications that make the lives of drivers easier, that is if they’re not beat out by autonomous vehicles.
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