In 2015, global sales of passenger cars have been forecasted to hit 73.9 million vehicles. Along with China, the United States is counted among the largest automobile markets worldwide, both in terms of production and sales. About 7.7 million passenger cars have been sold to U.S. customers in 2014, and around 4.25 million cars have been produced the county in the same year.
The United States became a key automotive market when Ford introduced assembly line car production in the early 1900s to mass-manufacture its Model T. Today, the Ford Motor Company still ranks among the leading manufacturers of passenger cars, its most popular model currently being the Ford Focus, which was also 2013’s best-selling car worldwide.
Now, the auto industry has indeed gone a long way since it first started. The automobile is a primary mode of transportation for many developed economies. As technology becomes more advanced, so does the industry.
This advancement has indeed grown exponentially when it began to boom centuries ago.
When the automotive industry flourished in the late 1800s, the cars of yesterday were initially made of wood and metal sheets turned into horseless carriages. For several decades after that, the United States started to dominate the automobile production industry. The cars eventually became so popular that in 1929, before the Great Depression, there are already more than 32 million automobiles in use all over the world, and the U.S. automobile industry produced over 90% of them.
As the Second World War concluded, the United States’ automobile production rate declined to 75 percent. Until 1980 came, Japan rose to the top as an automobile manufacturer. People started to buy quality Japan used cars as well as brand new ones. As the demand for automotive vehicles continuously increased, the industry became bigger and bigger through the years as China, Germany, and South Korea joined United States and Japan in manufacturing cars.
In recent years, having a mode of transportation is no longer enough to their avid buyers. Consumers have become more particular with the features when buying cars. That is why it’s not enough for manufacturers to design functional and standard cars that can perform all of the traditional automobile tasks anymore. Cars have to be “smart”, comfortable, easy to drive and stylish.
This century has now become a witness to how auto and tech companies have collaborated in designing innovative car features, from holographic dashboards to rotating chairs. Consumers can now enjoy improved and safer driving experience, whether in manual or auto-pilot mode, and highlight what people can expect to see in the near future.
Tesla’s autopilot system
Tesla has rolled out its new Version 7.0 software last year, and it is definitely astonishing . The updates come with automatic steering, automatic lane change, side-collision warning, and automatic parallel parking. The autopilot feature is on point, with videos of it become viral on YouTube. Tesla is getting that much closer to perfecting a completely setting up a brand new system for land travel. It also shows the future for smart-car technology: just like a smartphone, owners can approve software updates to get exposure to new perks.
Steering wheel that transforms into a tablet
Everyone is still amazed as Nissan unveiled its self-driving, IDS concept car in October last year. It comes along with a steering wheel that has the ability to morph into a tablet. Although, there are no current plans to bring the car and its technology into production, the car highlights how its interior can change based on whether it is set in autopilot mode or not. Car enthusiasts believe that this innovation is the beginning of developing driverless cars in the near future.
Touch-screen display that allows playing video games or chatting with friends
Nissan has come up with another idea that most car enthusiasts consider to be too ambitious for a concept car. The Japanese auto manufacturer basically wants to develop a giant tablet that people can ride on and “drive.” The concept car allows the users to play with the seats the same way one would use an iPad. The touch screen displays can accommodate video chats and video-game playing, and provide information about the car itself.
High-tech car seat that can massage a stressed passenger
Dubbed as the Active Wellness seat, automotive-parts manufacturer Faurecia and Stanford University’s Center for Design Research has developed the car seat that can keep track of the passenger’s heart and breathing rate to ensure that they’re alert and comfortable. If it detects that the passenger is becoming stressed, it would recommend a back massage. The driver can then choose whether or not to accept the pampering.
A system that can integrate safety features into any dashboard
The camera-based collision-avoidance system developed by Mobileye can be integrated in any vehicle to help drivers avoid hazards. The system alerts the driver with a sound when he or she is starting to get out of the lane or tailgating, or if it detects that the vehicle might be on a collision course with a pedestrian or another object. It can also detect lane markings and traffic signs and read speed limits so it can alert the driver by beeping when they are speeding.
Augmented reality windshield
Tech company WayRay created Navion, a display that projects images onto the driver’s windshield as a hologram. Only the driver can see the full-color holographic image, which shows the car’s current speed, how far away the destination is, and the distance until the next turn. Green arrows also appear to guide the driver along their route, which could come in handy when it’s night and difficult to see the road.
Air Touch screen displays
Simply put, the touchscreen that doesn’t need to be touched responds to gestures similar to those used to operate smartphones that does not need to touch a screen. Sensors respond to hand movements and activate the surfaces of a large panoramic display.
Driverless concept car with four motorized lounge chairs
Mercedes-Benz unveiled their futuristic concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in the first quarter of 2016. The car’s seats can rotate to allow for face-to-face conversations. This is another innovation that shows how, as driverless cars become more of the norm, automakers can think of clever ways to preoccupy passengers while they cruise along.
A holographic dashboard
An all-electric concept car with a range of 250 miles that charges in just 15 minutes has been making its rounds over the internet, and it is definitely eye-catching. The car has eye-tracking technology that can detect where the driver is looking on the dashboard and open the corresponding instrument. The driver can then confirm the selection by pressing a button on the steering wheel. It’s another innovative feature that shows how cars will become more intuitive going forward. It also highlights an increased desire to create tech that cuts down on potential accidents.
Self-driving, auto-parking cars
There are now concept cars that can independently respond to road and traffic conditions. Furthermore, these cars have an awesome feature that allows it to parallel park on its own. It is considered as a useful feature especially for those living in cities where parking spots are notoriously tight. Every aspect of driving is about to become a lot easier down the road.
Volvo cars can now be able to use a Microsoft Band 2 to have their cars perform various tasks. It includes basic functions like locking the doors, flashing the headlights or sounding the horn. From setting the heater to a certain temperature, and programming the navigation, more advanced function are soon to come with this cool technology beginning in spring 2016.