The 21st century is filled with modern miracles like smartphones and computers that fit in the palm of your hand. However, the most intriguing development of this century so far is the invention of smart cars.
These smart cars have revolutionized automobiles as well as tech industries in a very short span of time. Smart cars incorporate the newest technologies to make the driving experience better, more fuel efficient, and safer for users.
The invention of automobiles in the late 1800s was one of the most important feats of science for the average Joes of the world. Its invention took the world by storm causing more and more people to purchase cars instead of other alternatives.
As the world evolved, cars had to develop as well. With the advancement in technology, cars got much better and safer at what they do. Along with phones turning into smartphones, cars have also transitioned into smart cars.
Components of Smart Cars
Smart cars are made with embedded intelligent devices, which are incorporated with complex algorithms and firmware that assists or sometimes replaces users. Smart cars range from autonomous to assistive to informative.
The assistive and informative smart cars have sensors, cameras and computer systems making them smarter than a normal car. Whereas an autonomous smart car is a mixture of the previous two.
Most smart cars have the same equipment under the hood. These equipments include instruments like video cameras, distance sensors, position estimators and LIDARs (Light Detection and Ranging); all of which enable cars to analyze their surrounding and take actions accordingly. Theses sensors and cameras feed the recorded data into a computer system which tells the car to perform respective tasks in real time.
Autonomous cars incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in their computer systems to improve their driving capabilities. In sight of that, there are also semi-autonomous cars that help people with certain features like parking or reversing. The range of choices the smart car industry provides has managed to give them an edge, which led to smart cars being popularized world-wide in a very short amount of time.
The Present Day Producers
At the moment, numerous companies have been moving full speed towards making smart car production. However, with multi-billion dollar companies like Google and Tesla working towards the cause, the race is quite competitive. Nevertheless, that hasn’t managed to keep newer companies from entering the race.
According to CBInsights, about 33 of the largest companies are working towards making smart cars. These organizations include car manufacturers like Audi, Toyota and BMW to more tech related giants like Apple, Google and Intel. Also, Uber announced in September that they have already started using self-driving cars in Pittsburgh. With the involvement of such companies, we can be sure that the car manufacturing game can and will change drastically in the coming years.
Advantages of Smart Cars
Smart cars have the ability to “think” in a general sense. They can utilize the sensors and cameras embedded in their system to perform tasks to avoid situations in which the car’s integrity is compromised. These smart cars have also managed to help people who cannot drive or are physically unable to drive.
The integration of advance computer systems allows smart cars to assist users for a better overall driving experience. Today’s smart car prototypes are able to assist quadriplegics by using brain scanners to recognize their movements and apply them to the car itself. These types of features make smart cars one of the most sought after commodities in the market at the moment.
According to asirt.com, nearly 1.3 million people die every year due to road accidents worldwide. Cars without any computer system integrated in them are becoming more and more hazardous due to human inefficiency.
With the invention of smart cars, these accidents can be minimized drastically. Some smart cars are equipped with sensors that retrieve data from the environment to enhance the driving experience. With these sensors, the user can receive tons of information about the car as well as the road, making their drive much safer.
In addition, smart cars containing assistive algorithms can detect surrounding threats and stop preventable accidents. Such automated vehicles, currently, are most often used in tasks that, with human capabilities, would take an excessive amount of time. Companies like Komatsu and Volvo create autonomous work vehicles for construction and mining.
With the invention of mind-boggling technologies like LIDAR and electric motors, it is likely that they will be able to, at least, come close to that number in the next 4 years. Moreover, with the involvement of technology giants like Apple, Tesla, Google and Intel, we can assume that roads and highways will be filled with smart cars in the near future.
Future of Smart Cars
Over the years, since the idea of smart cars emerged, these cars have been through a phase of continuous change both physically and technologically. Previously, only a limited amount of circuit-boards and computing power were used for making smart cars. Furthermore, the steep incline in technology today has helped make smart cars better than ever before.
The evolution of smart cars in the world has managed to make the idea of IoT stronger. Now, along with your smart thermostat and home security system, your car is also connected to the cloud. This will allow for cars, owned by millions of people to be a part of the IoT ecosystem, which will enable cars to connect to the cloud and, more importantly, to other cars.
In the future, with the ever-growing number of electronic devices connected to the cloud, it seems likely that smart cars will thrive. The smart cars that we see and hear about today will likely evolve to have better mechanisms as well as better computer power.
This growth of smart devices in the present shall lead to development of smart urban cities in which most of its infrastructures are connected to the cloud along with smart cars.
Additionally, with the increasing amount of smart devices, it is likely that regular objects will be transformed into smart-objects in the future.