Already, cars are learning to drive independently, are able to connect to the Internet and are becoming safer and more convenient. Since the beginning of the year, automakers have shown the world a dozen interesting technologies that may well become serial in the near future. Many of them are already appearing in production cars in one form or another, and things will get even more interesting from now on. The Autonews.ru review contains something that can be used quite well tomorrow.
Honda and Hitachi have developed a breathalyzer key that can detect a driver’s blood alcohol level within three seconds. The measurement of the concentration of ethanol in the driver’s exhalation is carried out by semiconductor sensors that determine the presence of ethanol, hydrogen and acetaldehyde decomposition products. If the system detects that the driver is intoxicated, the electronics will block the ignition and prevent the engine from starting. The result of the breathalyzer will appear on the screen of the car’s multimedia system, but there is no question of automatically informing the police. In the near future, Honda and Hitachi will begin testing the device, and then they plan to bring it to market. The device is unlikely to become mandatory, but it can be used in those countries where cars caught in the drive while intoxicated must be equipped with alcohol locks.
For the centenary of BMW, the company has introduced the innovative Vision Next 100 concept, which implements a gesture control system.
Even earlier, Jaguar Land Rover engineers talked about the concept of gesture control when they unveiled the Discovery Sport prototype last year. And the first production car with this technology was the BMW 7-Series sedan, presented in the fall. The Bavarian Gesture Control system allows the driver or passenger to swap their hands in the air to change radio stations, adjust the sound volume or accept and reject phone calls, as well as operate the media system menu without touching the touch screen. At the end of 2016, the updated Volkswagen Golf will receive a similar system, in which, using gestures, it will also be possible to adjust the air conditioning settings and control the position of the sunroof.
Smart headlights are nothing new, and so are light sources that can dim certain areas of the road. Now the technology is coming to the mainstream with Ford offering Glare-Free Highbie headlights. The system works with adaptive LED headlights, which can change the direction of the light flux and its intensity, taking into account the speed, angle of rotation and information from the front camera that monitors the presence of oncoming or passing vehicles. The device monitors the headlights of oncoming vehicles at a distance of up to 800 meters. For the first time, the new development will be applied to S-Max and Galaxy vehicles.
Audi has previously introduced a laser-based matrix head optics called Matrix Laser, which will appear on all production vehicles of the brand in the future. In each headlight module, the company’s engineers installed four laser diodes with a diameter of 0.3 millimeters. By turning off the diodes, the electronics darken individual areas without switching to low beam.
Toyota is going to turn the windshield into a display for displaying information. Unlike projection systems known now, which use only a small part of the glass, the Japanese intend to project information onto any point of the glass through which the driver looks. A special camera will track the position of the driver’s eyes and issue data on the glass on those objects that fall into his field of view. What’s more, Toyota will use steering wheel position data and navigation information to generate trajectory guidance.
Today, Toyota SUVs are already able to show the driver on the console display an image of a road with virtual wheels. And Jaguar Land Rover has patented the idea of a “transparent” hood and a navigation system that displays the silhouette of the car on the windshield, showing the correct trajectory.
Chinese automaker SAIC Motor is working with online retailer Alibaba to develop a new vehicle that is being marketed as the first vehicle to integrate internet technology. It is not only about the constant connection to the network, but also the participation of the car in the systems for the exchange of data on the traffic situation. In addition, the car will have an autonomous control function and will be able to transmit information about its movement to other vehicles. Finally, the car will provide access to the Web for its passengers and will be integrated into social resources.
According to preliminary data, the novelty will be named Roee City and will be built on the basis of one of the Rowe brand models belonging to the SAIC concern.