Motor shows are an ideal showcase for future technology and Paris 2012 was no different. Continuous improvements are what will keep cars on the roads – and ensure we drives continue to have a cheap, easy and interesting form of personal transport.
Even supercar makers like Lamborghini are taking note, fitting the 700hp 6.5-litre V12 Aventador hypercar with stop-start and cylinder deactivation. A drop in the ocean? Possibly.
But it’s these sorts of systems – along with new entertainment and connectivity technologies and safety measures – that help improve efficiency and performance. From our observations at Paris, here are the interesting features set for the cars of tomorrow.
Connectivity is the future of in-car entertainment. You can already get Twitter and Facebook in your car, but manufacturers were out in force at Paris with their latest and greatest gadgets to link you with your vehicle. Wi-fi in your car is already a reality and with these systems becoming more advanced, they offer the driver (and their passengers) more to do, see, touch and interact with.
Pedestrian safety is massively important, so expect cars of the future to feature a growing crop of devices to protect against collisions with people. This is what will make your next car special. Ultra high strength steel – as well as lightweight composite materials – are being used increasingly in new car construction, too. It improves safety but also efficiency, helping lower running costs.
Stop-start has filtered its way down onto most small cars these days, but cylinder deactivation is still generally the preserve of big, expensive German machinery. It won’t be soon. Even small vehicles will get the smart tech to help keep fuel economy up and pollution down. Aerodynamics are becoming an increasing importance on manufacturers’ agendas, too. Manage turbulence effectively and you can find valuable mpg.
Downsizing is a trend that’s been around for a while. Smaller turbocharged engines will benefit us all, though. In general, they’ll be more efficient and perform better under real world conditions. It might not sound special, but the technology behind the improvements is highly advanced.
So, whether it’s next year or in five years time, the motorcar will be getting some interesting and seriously clever features to make it all the more exciting, better performing and even safer.
For the average motorist, that can only be a good thing.