Do you have it? Good. Now, take just a second to appreciate the fact that you hold more computing power in your hand than did NASA when it first sent men to the moon.
However astounding that fact may be, it’s just one measure of the rapid evolution of computing technology. The fact is that computers are becoming smaller and more mobile; we carry them in our pockets, in our backpacks, and yes, even in our cars.
For a while, it seemed as if car technology was not keeping up with computing trends. But that will all change in 2013. Here are five ways my car is more technologically advanced than my PC was just five short years ago.
1. My car can drive a car.
Okay, maybe this isn’t my car…or even yours just yet. But driverless cars do indeed exist. In fact, they’ve been tested on roads for some time. Google has been relentlessly testing its driverless car system all over Nevada – where such intrepid behavior is allowed – and the results have shown that, thus far, the computing system is not only safe but also seems to be far more effective than most human drivers.
2. My windshield can talk.
In 2008 you likely used Google or a similar search engine to plan out a trip before you began. In 2013, as windshield technology develops, you’ll see your trip unfolding in front of you in real time. That’s what happens when windshields “talk” to you or, in the case of Autoglass® 2020 vision, show everything to you. The windshield displays everything from speed and location to the deals available at that corner pub you’re about to pass. The result: Googling your destination before you leave is so 2008.
3. My car can charge itself…
…to an extent. It’s a technology that’s being pioneered in Europe, where many manufacturers believe they can get cars to be both more energy-efficient and lighter by building batteries right into the frame of the car doors themselves. These batteries can be charged using the energy generated during braking; though, that doesn’t mean the car will be entirely self-sufficient, considering it takes more energy to get to a braking point than the process generates. Still, my 2008 laptop didn’t have that kind of raw energetic power.
4. My car knows where it is.
Maybe GPS technology isn’t anything new to someone who’s bought a new car between 2008 and the present, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Today’s cars not only embrace GPS technology, but also, they can offer additional features if paired with certain applications. For example, Find My Car is a piece of pure electronic convenience that didn’t exist in the days before cars merged with computers.
5. My car can park cars.
With park-assist technology becoming more prevalent across the industry, it’s no surprise that fewer and fewer people find themselves in fender benders caused by lax parallel parking efforts. If my car can do much the parking work by itself, it’s doing a little more than my computer did in 2008. With the ever-changing world of car technology rearing its head in 2013, we can only speculate at what will come next.
- Featured image credit: valentinarr / 123RF Stock Photo
Chris Turberville-Tully works with H.R. Owen, a car dealership specializing in luxury cars like used Lamborghini, Bentley, and Mercedes.