Automotive technology has historically been defined by the various eras that constitute its growth. These include
- The Malaise Era
- The Tailfins and Chrome Era
- The Muscle Car Era
- Other categories for some things that do not fall into the above eras including Pre-Radial Tires, Pre-seatbelts, Pre-bankruptcy GM among others.
Currently, there has been little potential energy as regards the automotive industry, since there is a rapid change in technology. In the future, automotive technology may take various directions. Today, features that could be seen as science fiction ten or more years ago, are now becoming more and more common.
Unlike the period before 2005, where turbos were common only in sports cars, currently the turbocharged engines are common and are increasingly smaller and more fuel-efficient.
The following are the predictions of features we expect for the automotive future as from 2016.
1. Gesture Control
With the incoming BMW 7-Series, there has been seen an introduction of the standard gesture control function . this enables the driver to use body motions in controlling the HVAC, stereo and Bluetooth systems. It greatly challenges the Mercedes that has, for a long time, been used to determine features of its preceding ten years. Currently the 7-series has this feature. Soon it seems that the 2025 Honda Civic will have it too.
- Lighter weight
Unlike the past two or more decades where safety features and new gadgets have been making cars gradually grow heavier, currently, automakers have began reducing this weight due to new designs and construction. An illustration of this is the 2015 Ford F-150 which, in comparison with its predecessor, has been seen to shed 700 pounds. For 2016, the new Mazda Miata and Chery Camaro are observed to be lighter by 148 and 190 pounds respectively.
- Apple CarPlay / Android Auto
Initially, cars were fitted with counterintuitive systems that were complex. Currently, the Apple’s CarPlay and Google Android Auto have an instantly levelled playing field that can run drivers’ phones, regardless of the car into which they are installed and not necessarily the pre-programmed software. For 2016, some of the models like Chevy and Hyundai will become fully compatible with this systems. Later the other automakers will ensure they do the same.
- 4. Increased Automation
The current BMW’s 7-series allows the car to park itself. The driver does this by holding the key fob while he is out of the car. This is a step above the Mercedes S-class that is being preceded by this BMW’s 7-Series. The Mercedes S-class only had an active parking assist system and an advanced cruise control. This could only enable the car to more or less drive itself. By 2016, Tesla’s autopilot system will be in place and this will enable driving without necessarily touching any controls for some given long distance.
Just like in the ‘80s, automakers are now adding forced induction to smaller engines . they are replacing the naturally-aspirated mills with those that are turbocharged. An example is the incoming Ferrari 488 GTB that has a twin-turbocharged 660 horsepower mill. It is evident that natural aspiration will soon be done away with.