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How smart technology is going to innovate the driving experience

09 January 2020

Car manufacturers are constantly trying to stay up to date with new innovations - so what's next?

A car dashboard with the concept of smart technology superimposed on top

Over recent years, for many of us, smartphone technology has revolutionised our everyday lives, making aspects of our lives much easier.

One industry that is no stranger to technological advancement is the automotive industry. Car manufacturers are constantly trying to stay up to date with new innovations. At the rate that smart technology is advancing, companies have to work hard to avoid being left behind. We’ve already seen huge advancements e.g. in-car Bluetooth systems, dash-cams, and key finders. But what’s next for the world of automotive tech? The smart technology predictions over the next few years are set to totally revolutionise the way people drive. These new ideas will focus on safer driving, easier driving, and adding more fun enhancements to your driving experience. Here, Audi dealership Vindis investigate:

Gesture technology

The way we wind down our windows could well be innovated with a mere wave of our hand. Like magic, you will soon be able to control many other elements of your vehicle with mere gestures too. As well as being futuristic and fun, this tech is set to make driving easier and safer. Instead of jabbing at buttons on the radio, or being tempted to reach out for your phone, you will soon be able to point at the screen of your infotainment system to accept an incoming call — a simple solution that means you’ll never have to take your eyes off the road.

The rules on using your mobile phone while driving

Augmented reality dashboards

The information on our dashboards can be enhanced through augmented reality. Giving your dashboard a video-game aesthetic, AR displays will show any information you need to know about the car itself. They will also give you other vital information about the road, such as how quickly you’re approaching another car, and how best to avoid collisions. 

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Car communication

It has become fairly common for cars to now connect to the internet. Soon however, these internet-enabled cars will have the ability to communicate with one another, transforming our driving experience. Communication between cars will help prevent collisions, with precision that human error has never before allowed us to achieve. Before a collision can occur, the car-to-car communication system will foresee the accident and alert the driver to the potential consequences. They will then be able to react quickly to avoid a catastrophe.

Leading names in the car industry are implementing this technology to create autonomous vehicles. Which leads us on to our next smart technology…

Self-driving vehicles

What once seemed a futuristic prospect is becoming real life in the 21st century. This idea once seemed far-fetched, but the tech is now being developed and tested by leading automotive companies such as Audi. Similar to the idea behind inter-car communication, self-driving cars are set to reduce the risk of human error on the road. The result? A safer and more reliable way to travel.

The Google Self-Driving Car project was initiated in 2009 and has since been rebranded as Waymo. After ordering a Waymo on an app, a self-driving car will pick you up and take you where you need to be — a journey which promises to be both extremely safe and very comfortable. The idea behind Waymo is that you can ‘ride with confidence’; these vehicles have been branded as ‘the most experienced drivers’. Embracing self-driving cars feels like taking a leap of faith, but in the next few years, this tech is likely to feel much more commonplace.

Self-driving cars: closer than we realise?

Full integration

Already we can connect our cars to our smart gadgets, but this is still to develop further. Recent innovations have seen car manufacturers such as Hyundai pair up with the Android Wear app, which allows users to complete a number of commands from your smart watch. From your watch you can start your engine remotely, lock your car’s doors, sound your horn, and turn the headlights on and off.

Build-in app integration is expected in new vehicle models. Many models now integrate popular apps into the infotainment system, making it look just like the usual screen on your phone.

Automated parking assistant

For those who are fearful of scraping their cars when parking, you’ll be pleased to hear about automated parking systems. Parktronic systems that allow cars to find parking spaces and navigate to them already exist, but with new infrastructure around automated parking systems forecasted, the future looks bright for those who hate parking. This infrastructure will allow passengers to drop off the car at the entrance to a garage, allowing it to venture off and find its own parking space. And when you’re ready to be reunited with your wheels? A simple tap on an app will signal to your car that it’s time to journey back to the drop-off point.

Although some of these developments may seem like something out of a comic, we are edging closer and closer to a world of self-driving cars. Although there’s still lots of improvements and research needed, it’s certainly in our future.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.