COMPILED BY Dyan Seneviratne
Ingenious ways of using technology are being unveiled with regular frequency and the progress in the car manufacturing industry is exhilarating. The avant-garde motor industry never fails to amaze us with wondrous innovations in the areas of safety, entertainment, driver friendliness and so on. It’s filled with examples of spellbinding creations that have revolutionised how we see transportation and travel today.
TEEN DRIVERS If you’ve been fretting over handing the keys to your teenager, let some crafty tech ease your dilemma. Many cars these days come with built-in teen driving limitations that will send alerts to you if the car exceeds a certain speed, switch off the audio setup if the seatbelts are not used while driving and even keep the stereo volume restricted to the legal limit.
CONNECTIVITY Here’s another example of how smartphones have transformed everything… including how we communicate with our cars. Most carmakers render a connected smartphone app. Some of the most rational ones are those which let you lock and unlock doors, check the status of fuel and tyre pressure, and even start the car remotely to let the engine kick in and get the air conditioner purring on a hot day before you get in.
Even insurance companies are offering services to keep insurance simple and convenient. One great example of a connected mobile app is Reliance Self-i. It’s an app from a general insurance firm that aims to speed up and simplify your insurance claims, as well as the policy renewal process. It also assists with speedy processing of claims through live video calls with experts and helps you track its status in real time.
ILLUMINATION A better head–light tech is crucial for night driving as it’s the only thing between you and a crash. You could opt for LED bulbs that rarely need replacement; or even older but still excellent xenon headlights to light up the roads and avoid nighttime collisions.
Some inventive vehicles are equipped with swivelling bulbs that turn with the road to flood the corners with light. And then there are automatic full beam systems that maximise your view of the surroundings without blinding other drivers. So instead of singing ‘you light up my life,’ try ‘you light up those corners.’
TRAFFIC ALERTS Where do most low speed but costly car crashes occur? In parking lots! Rear Traffic Alert is a brilliant solution for those drivers who find it difficult to back out of a parking spot… even with a rearview backup camera!
With sensors built into the back of the car, you’re alerted when vehicles are approaching or pedestrians wander behind you. Many systems provide loud beeps but some vehicles even brake automatically before a collision.
While we’re already using and experiencing some of these awesome innovations, one can only imagine what’s in store for future cars. Based on those that are being tested currently, some will work towards safety, many will use IT (lots of it) and others will enable us to simply sit back and enjoy the ride!