We’re pleased to bring you this guest blog post from our friends at MEMBERS AutoChoice!
Fifty years ago, when cars were first getting technology like Seatbelts and Airbags, most people would probably never believe that they would ever be able to talk to their cars or go 200mph down the road.
Fast forward to present day, however, and we have vehicles that can do all of that and more. Automotive technology, like technology in general, has exploded in the last few decades. At every turn of the calendar we are promised vehicles that are smarter, faster, safer and more reliable. Well, talk is cheap, why can’t cars drive themselves yet?
It is a tough journey to be on the cutting edge of technology. While it is a constant race for each manufacturer to see who can unveil the latest and greatest technology, it is also a race to see who can do it RIGHT. Reliability is a huge factor in technologies, as a car is quite an expensive item to have in the shop continuously for repairs. Some of the more luxurious options offered today can cost upwards of $3000 to add to a vehicle, and the price tags are similar for repair jobs. Until perfected, new technology must often times remain behind the veil of automotive manufacturers. For example, a side-view mirror in the mid 90’s would have cost you $100-$200. Add 15 years of gadgets and technology and you could now be looking at $1500 for the same part. That’s an expense that most people can’t handle, which is quite a hindrance to those looking to expand into newer technologies.
Not all of the holdup comes from the cars themselves, however. Self-driving cars can be a bit of a tough thing to believe in. Technology is always a step ahead of the consumers buying it, because of the exponential rate at which it grows. This poses quite a task to manufacturers, as they have to foresee the right time to unveil technology and when to pull the plug on some items that didn’t work out. Cruise Control, for example, has evolved well past what anyone could have foreseen it becoming. Active Cruise Control, especially the systems found in higher-end cars, can maintain lanes and speed, slow down, as well as even creeping through stop and go traffic automatically. Some of these systems are so advanced that the vehicle has to send a reminder to the driver to put their hands back on the wheel.
We have always been told that the newest model will have the best and latest features, so what’s next for automobiles? While it may not fly, the 2017 Mercedes E-Class is giving us a glimpse of what the future might hold for cars. The vehicle is equipped with more cameras and computers than any that have come before it. In total, there are 5 cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and 5 radars. It has the ability to park from a smartphone app – without a driver in the seat. It has an active cabin with built in airbags that direct a driver to the center of the vehicle to prevent injuries in an accident. Its headlights have 84 LED lights that are digitally controlled to illuminate things that need light and dim for things that don’t, which is a step beyond headlights that turn with the steering wheel.
While most of these upcoming technologies are well out of the normal driver’s reach, having them on the cusp of the market promises bright futures for everyday consumers. Features at first only available to luxury brands trickle down to all brands, and within a few years we may see a Nissan Sentra that self-parks and uses the owner’s cell phone as a key. There is no way to judge to coming technologies in the automotive world, all we can do is sit back and enjoy the show. For now, however, flying cars seem to be years, if not decades, out of reach. For additional information on upcoming automobile technology visit our website at MembersAutoChoice.com or contact a MAC Sales Professional.