Blog January 08, 2018

The Evolution of Connected Vehicles

Connected cars are evolving fast – to the point that nearly every device in the vehicle can be digitalized with sensors. And the data gathered from these sensors can be harvested to facilitate many things, such as for example autonomous driving, co-pilot functions, head-up-displays, and quadrascopic multispectral camera vision (so the car can see what you are not able outside the car due to fog or darkness). Other examples are cameras inside, complete vehicle diagnostics, interactive infotainment and steering out of trouble- and emergency brake assistance.

Some of the features described will be in vehicles soon, others will take a few years. Nevertheless, the development of software systems and sensors are moving very fast, so look for them in your favorite brands in the very near future.

The cars will have wellness energizing and comfort modes, auto-climate control, seat heating, cooling, massaging functions, ambient lighting, auto-audio system programming, auto-therapeutic aromatherapy fragrance dispensing. These mini spa-sessions while using your autonomous driving car will be designed to make you feel fresh, give you warmth and increase vitality.

Some vehicles will have simple training functions and, or muscle relaxation, video on demand for your children, augmented reality, satellite-enabled find-a-parking-spot-assistance, instant Bluetooth, and many more future features.

Personally, I cannot wait for self-cleaning and super-hydrophobic bio-mimicry inspired paints and window coatings. (The Biomimicry Institute – Inspiring Sustainable Innovation https://biomimicry.org)

The Lotus Effect which refers to self-cleaning properties is a result of ultra hydrophobicity exhibited by the leaves of the Lotus Flower. Dirt particles are picked up by water droplets due to the micro-nanoscopic architecture on the surface, which minimizes the droplet’s adhesion to that surface. These types of paints will keep your car clean. Love it!

Diagnosing vehicle issues will be easy and triaged with precision. Troubleshooting technicians will be able to isolate problems down to minutia, even the single cells in batteries, brakes, fluids, air quality inside the vehicle, CO2 sensors, emissions, cabling, metal fatigue, etc.

Nano-Technology sensors are becoming the game-changing sensorial catalyst, which will radicalize our cars completely in a few years. The cutting-edge research at places like the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory in Braga, Portugal offers a facility for world-class development by resident scientists from all over the world, not only for automotive but other areas as well.

Breakthrough research and development on the management software, orchestration, security, and connectivity analytics of all these in-vehicle devices is exciting, and I cannot wait to see how these systems will act as a connectivity catalyst to enable the driving experience of the new cars being made. Connectivity will be a the center of it all, and cost of bandwidth will make or break projects. Imagine what could be done if the cost of connectivity was not an issue?! I have some ideas around this. Please reach out to find out more.

Upcoming vehicles will interact with its users and understand what you are doing, what you like, where you are going, how you are feeling.

Imagine your Uniti Electric Car talking to you and asking you, “Where are you going today?” “Going to the Mall to buy a new jacket”. Since you have agreed to consensually become a brand ambassador for a few of your favorite jackets, you will get discount vouchers directly to your Uniti Car and, or your phone, so that you can capture the latest deals, and the car will of course automatically guide you to the least congested routes. All this data aggregation will be farmed and harvested to give the best rifle shot targeted advertising tailored for you and me.

Another breakthrough technology is AI-based emotional detection systems and software. Your car will know which mood you are in based on your facial expressions. If you’re a feeling blue or angry at the world in heavy congestion, your car will automatically play Happy by Pharrell Williams, and of course know how much you enjoy the experience, what music you like most and how you emotionally respond to various songs or adapt to enhance and change your emotional state.

The in-built interior cameras and systems will automatically analyze what clothes you wear, what colors you like, etc.

The car can detect if you are stressed or distracted and perhaps the co-pilot function will engage to a higher level of sensitivity, or even to full autopilot for added safety.

Having a road rage attack and giving the finger to every other driver, your car will stop and not move until you cool off. Wouldn’t that be phenomenal? Play this scenario – someone cuts you off driving like a maniac, you beep, and the person gives you the finger and swears at you. The car pulls over and shuts off until the person takes a deep breath. Hehe, so no more crazies behind the wheel! Insurance companies will love to endorse these functions and hopefully make them compulsory for drivers who want to be insured.

Emotional facial recognition AI software and algorithms coupled are rapidly improving, so expect to see massive changes and new applications of this technology. Emotionally aware cars will help the path to full autonomy and make them more intuitive and efficient.

The drivers, passengers interactions will become more personalized, conversational, consensual and relational, with emotional AI used for discovery, much like the devices we use daily.

The infotainment, advanced driver assistance, in both human or self-driven cars will radically enhance the driving and commuting experience in years to come.

So in other words, your connected car of the future will provide value by interacting with you on a positive level. It will give you feedback on how you look. It will cheer you up, persuade you to live a healthier life and eat better, to buy smarter and improve your emotional health. It will also provide you with the data you need to learn new subjects and why not review your kid’s homework with them on the way to school?

On a personal note, I am extremely happy with the electric car development. And I am especially excited about all the cool projects and people sharing a common concern for the environment and the sustainability of our planet. I see a bright future for the electric, and fuel cell connected vehicles.