• New Technology Coming Soon

    Automakers, engineers, scientists, and dreamers continue pushing forward the capabilities of the automobile.  Here is a look at what they are promising for the future.

    Mapless Navigation
    In development

    MIT has a new system to allow self-driving cars to navigate without a map, potentially opening up the nascent technology to millions of miles of roads and helping to prevent future accidents. Many autonomous vehicles on actual roads rely either on highly detailed 3D maps or upon systems that allow the vehicle to navigate well-marked lanes in an urban or highway environment. But the vast majority of American roadways haven't been 3D-mapped in detail and/or can't be reliably counted on to provide consistent lane markings. So MIT is working on a solution.

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    Mild Hybrid (48 Volt) Electric Vehicles
    May be available in 2018

    Additional power capacity provided by a 48V system will enable more capable semi and fully autonomous systems. Also, 48V systems can enable energy recuperation, sailing at highway speeds, and engine shut-off at higher speeds before the vehicle comes to a complete stop. They can also provide sufficient power for electric superchargers and the electrification of ancillary systems such as oil and water pumps.  They should help to wean us off of gas-powered cars, and assist in the migration to electric vehicles.  Some 2018 models are already providing this system.

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    Augmented Reality Heads Up Displays
    May be available by 2020

    Head Up Displays with Augmented Reality  (HUD AR) overlays graphics in the driver’s line of sight displaying such information as navigation aids with turn indicators directly on the road way, and street name and location callouts, object detection, and driver warnings. This technology will not only assist drivers' with their driving tasks today, but it will also increase the drivers' trust in the automated systems, smoothing the transition to autonomous driving.

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    More Augmented Reality
    Prototype

    Augmented Reality Goggles also overlay graphics in the driver’s line of sight displaying navigation aids, street names, object detection, and driver warnings. They can also 'see' through the solid parts of the car, thanks to strategically placed cameras.  The goggles are portable, so they are also able to provide navigation guidance outside of the car.

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    Solar Powered Cars
    A work in progress

    With the price of solar and electric vehicle (EV) batteries predicted to continue falling, and the cost of fossil fuels rising, many industry experts are forecasting the inevitable rise of solar power in consumer and industrial markets. The dropping costs, coupled with advancements in efficiency, may very well lead to marketable solar-powered cars.

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    Flying Cars
    We are still hoping for

    An article in Forbes, indicates that flying cars may be on the horizon.  Take a look at some of the prototypes that are flying now...

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