Interested in Online Automotive Courses? Check Out the Best Futuristic Car Features Available Today
The future is now, car lovers. Although we won’t be getting anywhere close to the Jetson’s flying cars any time soon, there’s already plenty of futuristic auto features either in development or currently available on the market. From solar panel technology to automatic emergency braking, there’s plenty to be excited about with regards to how car companies are pushing the technological boundaries of what automobiles can be.
Although some future-forward features have mostly been limited to luxury vehicles over the past number of years, they are slowly making their way into mainstream cars — and who knows how much further they can go from there? Here are some current car features that will make you excited for the future of the automotive world.
Solar Panels: Powering a Vehicle Through the Energy of the Sun
When Elon Musk says cars are the “least efficient place to put solar” and then decides to have solar panels added to Tesla’s Cybertruck, you know it’s a car technology worth reading about. Automakers have been toying with the idea of placing panels outside of vehicles to use and absorb power, while taking energy from the braking system to be reused to power the car.
Toyota has been working on automotive solar panel development since 2010, and a Prius Prime equipped with 860 watts of solar panels has already been tested in Japan. Meanwhile, Hyundai released a version of the Sonata last year in South Korea with a solar panel roof charging its battery.
Heated Steering Wheels: A Must-Have While Driving in Winter
This feature is an example of a technology that was only available in luxury cars just a few years ago, but has made its way into mainstream vehicles more recently. Heated steering wheels can now be found in mass-market SUVs, and models such as the Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Kia Soul have them available today.
This is especially helpful in winter, as a cold steering wheel can make a driver’s hands numb and have an obvious impact on their ability to drive. As many in auto careers in Canada may know, driving with gloves on can be a hassle, so wood-covered or leather steering wheels with heating capabilities are extremely useful during colder weather.
Automatic Emergency Braking: Saving Time for an Automotive Worker
As any automotive worker will tell you, improved braking technology can prevent many damaging accidents. While it might feel like the feature has been around for some time, automatic emergency braking has only been earmarked by approximately 20 automakers as a standard feature for passenger vehicles by 2022. Nonetheless, four manufacturers — Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Volvo — have already equipped their vehicles with it.
Automatic emergency braking detects any possible collision automatically for the driver, and hits the brakes by itself upon sensing that one is imminent. If impact cannot be avoided, it can mitigate its severity. Although drivers will still want to hit the brakes fully if the system only provides some of the braking power, it’s comforting to have this as a safety net!
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