We all know that the automobile industry is always releasing and showcasing new technology in the market. For instance, ten years ago, society would’ve never thought that the traditional rear view mirror could be improved by adding a camera with sensors on it to make sure that the driver does not back into anything. Someone in a research and development market surely thought up this idea, the company tested it, and found it to be a new feature that would help drivers to be safer. Now, this is standard equipment on new cars, and teenagers learning to drive today will come to think of it the way that the past generations have come to think of regular mirrors. That is, something that was always there.
Now, the new rear-view mirror is not the only new technology around. There are concept cars being displayed that look like dream vehicles from the future. This can also be seen with other methods of personal transportation, such as with the new hover boards that have taken over the world by storm. Of course, some jurisdictions have found that these new modes of transportation do not meet safety standards, and have therefore made them illegal, which is actually quite a shame. Moving on, though, another form of new automobile technology is the new in-dash computer systems that are becoming standard in new vehicles. These information centers do everything from give directions via GPS to select a station or other medium to play audio and music from. Again, roughly 15 years ago, this was just a dream, with some tech experts experimenting with car computers, such as the “Clarion Auto PC.” This was the cream of the crop in the 1990’s,. It did not sell very well due to its high price, and it contained either a 486 or original Pentium-class CPU. It basically ran a modified version of Windows CE or experimental Linux. However, as mentioned above, the price prohibited its widespread adaptation, and it was essentially an experiment to show the world that the concept of an in-car computer system was a possibility. Now, again, it is a standard feature with all new cars, with very powerful processors and the capability to do just about anything you can imagine or would want to do while driving. It is truly amazing how far we have come. What’s next, I wonder? Will we see these best floor jacks in the market that lift themselves at the push of a button? Will we see robotic air wrenches that remove tires without human intervention? Who knows what is next.
With all of that said, the trends of new technology in the automobile industry just about match the pace of technologic advancement in other fields as well. Of course, it will always be just a tad bit behind the pace of computing technology in general, as the technology must become available first and then be adapted to real-life driving applications. Let’s look at this from a different, simpler point of view. We already have self-driving cars. We already have sensors that let us know if we are about to make contact with an object. We already have information centers that have all but eliminated the need to ask for directions. As the questions was asked above: What is next? Will the futuristic visions of Hollywood soon become reality? Will we soon have garages in the sky to park our flying vehicles? Will we soon do away with cars and planes altogether in favor of a matter transfer device (“Beam me up, Scotty!). We do not really know the answer to any of this, but one thing is certain. As long as there is human innovation, there will always be technological advances, and these technological advances will seem foreign to the generation in which they are made, but standard to the generation afterwards. For sure, this process is a perfect visual example of natural human evolution in its most raw of forms.