We'll spare you the far-future pomposity and flying-car jokes, but the truth is for the 200 million automobile owners in America, the future looks bright. In fact, we've already made some attractive imposing headway. The 2008 Mercedes S-Class can change lanes on the highway mechanically, and both the Toyota Prius and the Lexus LS-460 can self-park at the push of a button.
But that's just a plunge in the bucket compared to what's in the works. With eyes wide and mouths astonished, we peeked under the drape at the cars of the future. Here's what we can tell you about what you'll be heavy in 2020.
Your car will predict the future
Self-parking cars are great and all, but there's a big difference between features of expediency and the kinds of security technologies on the horizon. We're talking about cars that can see into the expectations and react on a dime whether that means detecting a person crossing the street or swerving to avoid approaching traffic.
There's no doubt the artificial cleverness necessary to protect you from those dangers is incredibly complicated, but it's becoming more widely obtainable every day. Vehicles ready with hundreds of sensors will be able to monitor their environs, both from a short-range viewpoint (to detect things like barriers and stop signs) and a long-range viewpoint (to detect things like a truck barreling toward you). But they won't be operational alone.
Cars of the future will also utilize video monitors situated at intersections. Currently intended for many towns and cities across the United States, these monitors will nourish data to your car over a wireless network. From as far as 30 miles away, they'll be able to spread video imagery right to your dashboard. So, if you didn't see that walker walking into the street, the video system would know where you were, know about the walker, and warn you to pay attention.
It's similar to Google's new road View maps system. Already obtainable in larger cities like San Francisco and New York, the request shows fluid, 360-degree video images of nearly every chunk in the area. And while it's only accessible from computers now, similar real-time images will soon be obtainable right on your rush.