There is a lot of new vehicle tech coming… some of it is already here. To name a few:
- Predictive Vehicle Technology
- Self-Driving Technology
- Smart Car Rentals
- Better GPS
- Shared Vehicles
- Brain Assisted Vehicles
- Intelligent Dashboards
- Driver Health Monitoring
- Voice Commands
- Mechanics on Wheels
Let’s look at the upsides, the downsides, and the unknown about future vehicle tech.
The Upside of New Vehicle Technology
- Fewer deaths (hopefully): More than 35,000 people died in the U.S. in crashes in 2018. Any technology that reduces the number of vehicle accidents brings a welcomed change to road safety.
- More advanced GPS features mean more efficient routes: Advanced GPS features are already being used in vehicles. As automated features and even more advanced maps become the norm, we will see routes that are quicker and less congested.
- Responsive vehicles: From intelligent dashboards to thought-assisted vehicles, experts speculate that a number of user-friendly technologies could not only make our commutes safer, but also more enjoyable.
- Improved energy efficiency: Several technologies are already making vehicles more energy efficient. But more might be on the way, including lighter engines and hybrid vehicles that use less fuel and emit fewer greenhouse gases.
- Money Savings: Better fuel efficiency and ride sharing should decrease costs.
The Downsides of New Vehicle Technology
- A difficult transition for some to smarter cars: Many people are not “techy” and have been driving “normal cars” for a long time. Every year it will get more difficult to buy a car without smart features. Some people will no doubt have difficulty with the transition.
- Hacking poses a more serious threat. The more that new technologies are integrated with vehicles, the more vulnerable they are to hackers. Many cars sync with your phone, and many people have their entire life on their phone.
- Less-skilled drivers. The less time drivers spend operating their own vehicles, the less prepared they’ll be to take over in emergency situations.
- Self-driving cars, also known as autonomous vehicles, are scary. It is hard for many of us to imagine trusting our lives to driverless cars on the interstate going 70mph.
The Unknown: Could Vehicle Ownership Become a Thing of the Past?
Think about how often your vehicle isn’t being used. Chances are good that most of the time your car is parked, just like your neighbor’s car. As self-driving vehicles become more common, we could see self-driving car services take over.
Smart vehicles are likely to be incredibly expensive. Shared ownership or vehicles-on-demand services could make vehicles more attainable but create a future where fewer of us own the vehicles we drive.
The Dangers of Placing Our Trust in Automakers
Automakers have a sordid history of selling dangerous products. Takata is still reeling from the massive recall that included more than 40 million vehicles. GM’s defective ignition switches resulted in 2.6 million recalled automobiles. The list of dangerous vehicles and vehicle parts is a long one, and it highlights just how bad things can get when manufacturers sell dangerous products.
Few products require the trust of consumers more than automobiles. Not only are vehicles an investment, they also affect our safety in a way few other products do. As we become more reliant on vehicle technology, we place even more trust in vehicle manufacturers.
Like it or not, vehicles are changing rapidly. The next car you buy is likely to be far more technologically advanced than the one you’re currently driving. With this change comes hope for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience. Unfortunately, not all changes come without risks.