Technologies applied to the automotive sector: what we will incorporate into our vehicles in the future

In 1985, many of us got hooked on movie screens watching the DeLorean allow the protagonists of “Back to the Future” to travel back in time thanks to the technology of the flow condenser. Obviously, that was science fiction and, to date, no one has been able to achieve such an achievement. Even so, technologies applied to the automotive sector continue to take giant strides year after year and, although we cannot move in time, some of the innovations that are appearing well could almost be described as science fiction.

These are some of the technological innovations that automobile companies are putting on the market – or are planning to do so in the coming months – and that, for more than one, they will leave with their mouths open.

Cars that connect with our emotions:

Seeking a more “humane” relationship with technology, focused on offering the driver and passengers a better experience, more suited to their emotions is the goal of Toyota’s Concept-i, which uses an advanced artificial intelligence system that anticipates the needs of the occupants of the vehicle.

The Concept-i’s powerful artificial intelligence system learns from the driver and progressively builds a relationship with him. The technology involved in this process measures the emotions of its owner, in relation to the different moments of the day or the places it travels.

In this way, it is able to offer a unique user experience. But not only that, because it also puts this technology at the service of security. In what way? With visual and tactile warnings, Concept-i enhances the pilot’s responsiveness. Whether in stand-alone or manual driving mode, the technology will constantly monitor the driver’s attention and road condition to enhance the driver’s involvement and assist in dangerous conditions.

The interface that supports this system has been christened “Yui” and, although at the moment it is no more than a prototype, it makes clear the basis for the future of the brand in this technological race.

Hello, my name is Sayer and I’m the steering wheel of the future.

With these words, Jaguar Land Rover has just presented its intelligent and connected steering wheel at the Tech Fest event in London. This new steering wheel concept, which we will be able to enjoy in a few years’ time – starting in 2040 – will live in the driver’s home and, applying artificial intelligence, will be able to carry out different tasks.

The concept entails a new driving system, where we would not be owners of the vehicle. “Imagine a future of autonomous, connected and electric vehicles where you do not own a single car but can choose the one you want in the place and time you need it,” said the brand managers.

That’s where Sayer would come into play, the only element of the vehicle that would be in our possession (either acquired in ownership or with the option of sharing the vehicle with other members of a club of vehicles on demand), and to whom we would share our needs.

“Do you need to be in a meeting two hours away from home tomorrow at 8 a.m.? Simply ask Sayer from the comfort of your home and he will work so that, when you get up, the autonomous car according to your needs will be waiting at your door and even advise you what parts of the trip you can enjoy driving yourself,” they added.

Wires out! Induction charging for electric cars with BMW Wireless Charging System

The idea of induction charging for electric vehicles is almost as old as the electric car itself, but from 2018 it will be a reality. BMW Wireless Charging is the technology that, initially, will be available for the BMW 530e iPerformance and, later, for other electric cars and hybrids of the German brand.

With the help of a special charging plate and a car equipped with the corresponding technology, the charging cable will be unnecessary. The prototype shown so far uses a base plate with an integrated primary coil.

The floor plate can be used both in a garage and outdoors, and can charge the car’s lithium-ion battery in combination with a secondary coil installed on the underside of the vehicle. This generates an alternating magnetic field between the two coils, with an output of up to 3.2 kW, which can be transmitted inductively. And the total charging time would be 3.5 hours.

Finding green lights with Ford’s Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory system

Waiting at red lights can be a thing of the past thanks to Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory technology, which Ford is already testing in its vehicles. This system extracts information about traffic light times from a unit installed on the roadways, giving drivers the optimum speed so they never have to stop at traffic lights, as they would always find them in green.

This innovation is being made for UK Autodrive, the UK’s largest connected and self-driving vehicle testing body. Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technologies are being tested with the aim of facilitating more dynamic, less stressful driving, favouring time management and improving fuel efficiency.

VISION, the new tyre concept from Michelin

Last June, at the Movin’On event in Canada, Michelin presented its VISION concept, an airless, connected, rechargeable, customisable and bio tyre in which all the group’s technologies converge to create an emblematic, sustainable and intelligent object for tomorrow’s mobility.

VISION brings together four major innovations, but incorporates up to 19 patents. On the one hand, it is a bioneumatic, since it has been created from materials of biological and biodegradable origin that, in turn, minimize the environmental footprint. Secondly, it is a tire printed in 3D and rechargeable, according to wear and mobility needs. With the help of 3D printers, it is possible to deposit just the right amount of rubber on the tyre and thus extend its life. The tread structure is optimized according to mobility needs (wear, weather or road conditions) to always ensure mobility and the depth is also reduced to use less raw materials.

Thirdly, it is an airless tyre thanks to its honeycombed interior architecture. It suppresses the air in favour of a honeycomb structure capable of supporting the vehicle, ensuring the solidity of the wheel and guaranteeing comfort and safety when driving, as well as a long duration. In addition, it can neither be broken nor punctured. Finally, it is a connected tyre, as it is equipped with sensors that provide real-time information on the condition of the tread.

These are just some of the technological innovations that are coming, but we are sure that many more will arrive, some of them as incredible as those incorporated in the DeLorean. It’s just a matter of time.