In-car technology is not just an upgrade in the automotive industry — now it is an expectation. From technology to help with a smoother drive to entertainment options for passengers, no one is buying a car just to have a set of wheels anymore.
In this article, we’ve teamed up with used Mclaren dealers Grange Motorparks to look into the future promises within this lucrative business.
Tech for efficiency
JLR’s weather adaptation system
The newest Jaguar Land Rover vehicles are set to come equipped with powerful weather adaption systems. The system allows cars to autonomously adapt to weather changes and situations to make adjustments to drivetrain, suspension, traction control and climate control for optimum efficient driving. The intelligent system will be particularly useful to Land Rover and Range Rover models, such as the new Land Rover Discovery Sport Hse, that drives on all terrains. The system is said to be able to connect to present and future weather data via telematics and GPS to sensibly adapt both inside the cabin and around the exterior. One feature suggests that the system will automatically close your vehicle windows if it senses that rain is forecast. Onboard rain- and terrain-sensing mechanisms will be used to control the temperature, pressure and humidity inside the cabin, whilst interior and exterior lighting will be altered depending on the circumstances.
When can you expect to see this technology available behind the wheel? The system is scheduled to arrive in 2020, alongside JLR’s autonomous technology and electrified models.
Nissan is bringing a one-pedal driving system to its new Leaf model. The electric automobile not only has double the mileage range of its previous model equivalents, but the one-pedal driving system allows for the accelerator pedal to be transformed into a multifunctioning e-pedal at a touch. The e-pedal functions as a start, stop, accelerate and breaking pedal when activated. Suitable for 90% of urban driving, the system means that the car will slow to a halt by itself with the ability to hold itself on an incline without the need of the brake pedal.
The new Leaf model is all about efficiency. Nicknamed the ECO-pedal system, the pedal controls the speed of acceleration to prevent revving up the engine. The level of fuel-efficient driving is displayed through a colour and flashing Eco-P lamp. According to Nissan, studies have proven that effective eco-driving with the ECO-pedal can contribute to an improved fuel efficiency by 5-10%.
EV Charging technology
Manufacturers have been working on developing faster charging EV batteries for several years now and the new quick charging batteries are said to achieve full power in just 30 minutes. Researchers claim they could have developed an ‘instantly rechargeable’ method that recharges an electric battery in the same time as it would take to fill a gas tank – a solution to the biggest headache of electric vehicles. This would revolutionise the EV industry, as battery life and its charge has been the biggest challenge for the industry. Electricity suppliers such as Northern Powergrid have also been providing essential services such as EV charger installation to help make things easier for EV owners.
Is it making our vehicles safer?
Long gone are the days of autonomous vehicles being only a sci-fi dream. Most manufacturers now offer self-driving technology as part of their latest models – with most used to improve road safety.
Lane-keeping systems are already found within many cars on the road. These systems keep you within your lane when driving on the motorway. When motorway driving, it’s vital that you stay firmly in your lane, unless you are overtaking. This system alerts you with a vibration on the steering wheel if your vehicle is unintentionally edging out of its lane – and in circumstances when the vehicle thinks you are reacting too slow, the vehicle will take control and provide steering torque to divert you back into the safe space on your lane. This is a safety feature to prevent drivers from veering out of their lane on motorways and dual carriageways where drivers around them are driving at high speeds.
Alerting you to blind spots
Blind Spot Information Systems (BLIS) acts as a second pair of eyes to check for vehicles in your blind spot when you switch lanes. When a vehicle enters your blind spot zone, the BLIS system will alert you. The detection area is on both sides of your vehicle, extending rearward from the exterior mirrors to approximately 10 feet (3 meters) beyond the bumper. The system alerts you via a small light on your side wing mirrors – when there is a vehicle in your blind spot zone, the light will illuminate. When your blind spot zone is clear, the light will switch off.
Intelligent speed assist technology (ISA)
By delivering audio and visual warnings, ISA safety systems can alert drivers when they are breaking the speed limit. By using GPS, the system is able to detect the vehicle location and reference this with a digital road map that is programmed with speed limit information for each road. The system can be used as an active speed limiter whereby it can take control of the vehicle and reduce the speed when travelling above the speed limit. It does this by reducing the throttle signal. Additionally, the system is also fitted with a speed limiting function that increases the pressure on the accelerator when you exceed the speed limit, so that it is harder to accelerate and break the speed limit.
It truly is an amazing time for in-car technology and innovation. With a positive future of technology ahead of us, we can expect to see the driving process, and experience, completely transformed in the coming years.