The Latest Car Tech Innovations You May Not Have Heard About
Despite a global chip shortage, the car tech market is booming. Recent estimates place its total value at $217.86 billion, and it is expected to grow at a rate of 7.9 percent year-over-year, according to Grand View Research. Given that current market demand trends towards more tech-led auto design, this is only par for the course. Road travel is the most common -- yet most dangerous -- mode of travel available to us, and consumers have come to realize that investing heavily in car tech is the only way to improve this status quo. So, in every car tech subsector, from car safety and accident avoidance to sustainability, innovations of every form imaginable have been cropping up at an unprecedented pace.
Advanced Lightweighting Practices
The right material composition for vehicles has always been a difficult thing to get right. On one hand, you want a durable car to protect against light to medium damage. On the other, durable materials weigh more, which is an issue when you want something to move fast. Plus, in the event of a bad crash, you would want your car to crumple in order to distribute the force throughout the car and away from the people inside.
Advanced lightweighting is going to be the answer to issues like this. With strong yet light materials, car manufacturers can strengthen their designs without having to increase weight, and still allow crumple zones to collapse as needed. Thanks to advancements in material science and additive manufacturing, materials like carbon fiber, aluminum, and titanium have been made accessible and adaptable enough to be applied in a wide array of components.
Fully software-based dashboards
The dashboard of the future may be more interactive than ever before and be controlled by a grand total of zero buttons. Pioneered by smartphone-like infotainment interfaces, dashboards in vehicles may have many times the functionality they once had thanks to software-based interfaces such as smart screens, gesture sensors, and speech recognition.
With the rise of concepts such as the Internet of Things, it only seems fitting that our cars would also be enhanced to the fullest by software and interconnectivity. More and more vehicle components are becoming compatible with software control, from common implements such as windshield wipers to engine features such as adaptive cruise control, ignition, and even engine valve timings. Theoretically, one could even develop rudimentary software that could merge the simple construction and utility of manual transmission with the convenience of an automatic. With software-boosted car tech, a lot more options and information become readily accessible to the driver, giving them better control over the vehicle than ever.
Solid-state EV batteries
There’s all this talk about electric vehicles finally arriving to take the throne from fossil fuel cars. But there’s surprisingly little mention of the main obstacle in the way of that future: Long charging times and low charge capacities. The best remedies to this issue can only be found in luxury EVs like the Tesla Model S. That isn’t to say that modern Li-ion batteries haven’t improved over time, but the most cost-efficient Li-ion EVs are still quite expensive compared to traditional vehicles.
With the amount of car tech being developed and launched right now, it can be said that we are undergoing a veritable renaissance of automotive technology. It should come as no surprise if the nature of automotive travel becomes fundamentally changed by the 2030s.