Car Technology Racing Ahead

How technology is helping new drivers and the motor industry

Image by Glen Wallace (Licence)

The automobile sector is an area where technological advancements are in high demand. And while the quest for green, renewable energy drives scientists to find an alternative to fossil fuels in cars, others work to make cars easier and safer to drive — reducing the risk associated with driving.

With the cost of living in congested cities already heavily swollen, young drivers can find it hard to justify the expense of driving. To combat this, the motor industry is finding ways to incentivise young people to drive. By finding ways to save inexperienced drivers money and make the experience safer, the industry can continue to thrive even as it faces new challenges.
The race for autonomy
Once a concept fresh out of science-fiction, self-driving cars are another focus of the car industry’s future. The technology blog Trusted Reviews reports that Ford predict the introduction of fully autonomous vehicles as soon as 2020. Making vehicles safer and easier to drive can only attract more drivers and may even solve congestion problems if driving becomes more standardised.

In addition, self-driving cars are powered using renewable energy sources, which could save drivers a great amount of money on fuel. As fossil fuels become less prominent, drivers will find the cost of operating a vehicle much more manageable, and may even be subsidised for opting to choose a vehicle that runs on renewable energy.
Black box
Buying and selling cars has never been easier, and with the traditional car dealership model becoming outdated, young people can purchase a vehicle relatively inexpensively at auto traders such as We Buy Cars For More, where the emphasis is on a quick and hassle-free transaction. One of the more strenuous expenses for young drivers is insurance —people are forced to pay an inflated rate for their insurance due to being statistically more likely to be involved in accidents. This is often criticised, as it does not take the specific driving habits of the individual into account, merely their age.

Car insurers have started using telematics to judge how drivers perform behind the wheel. A ‘black box’ can be fitted to the car which monitors speed, acceleration, cornering, braking, and even where a car is driven and at what time of day. Some insurers, such as Aviva, have even started trialling a telematics smart-phone app to monitor a young driver’s ability. By proving that their driving habits are safe, young drivers can achieve a much-reduced insurance premium, saving them money sooner.
The handheld sat-nav
Dashboard satellite-navigation systems were hailed as ground-breaking technology, but they proved to only have a short window in being a driver’s companion. The development of smart-phone GPS technology has led to a vast number of young drivers opting to use their mobile device as a sat-nav, instead of buying a specific navigation system. TomTom navigation software and its iPhone application once led the market, but has been made almost redundant by the free Google Maps application. This is available for free on both Apple and Android devices. And with the application now supporting an offline search function, as detailed in this article from Tech Radar, drivers can rely on GPS support even when not connected to mobile internet.

The motor industry is one of the largest trade sectors in the world, and with technology giants such as Google and Tesla now heavily involved in the industry, we can expect to see a string of weird and wonderful advancements in the field over the coming years. It is a very promising time for young people who are thinking about learning to drive.