To drive or not to drive?

The car of the future is already here

By Claire Marchand

Imagine someone who hasn’t driven a car in the past 30 years. Taking the wheel of a modern car today, this person would probably be lost trying to figure out all the electronics inside. Voice command, self-driving cars, and even GPS navigation were still sci-fi ideas in the 1980s…

connected car head-up display Connected car head up display (HUD)

CAVs are coming

The transportation sector has undergone, and is still undergoing drastic changes, especially road transport. Artificial intelligence is set to make our roads safer and more efficient; biometrics is bound to play a major role in facilitating vehicle access and security; machine vision and artificial intelligence also have a great future as the sector moves towards connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). 

Cyber risks

As road vehicles become computers on wheels, communicate with other vehicles and receive traffic information, the protection of these onboard systems against malicious attacks is becoming a major security issue. It is a daunting task than cannot be achieved in the short term and which will need close and constant cooperation between a number of organizations, automotive and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), software companies and security solution providers. 

Efficient powering

The future of the automobile is leading towards energy efficiency. All automakers are now proposing hybrid, electric or fuel-cell vehicles in addition to regular fuel powered cars. 

The number of electric vehicles (EVs) on our roads is growing but the main issues at stake remain charging and range. A few countries have already invested in the installation of enough charging stations to make sure EV drivers do not run out of battery power in the middle of nowhere. But much still has to be done to equip most of the world. 

Wireless power transfer (WPT) to charge electric road vehicles is emerging as an attractive proposition in many cases, such as for urban transport. Several WPT projects are underway in Europe, the US and in Asia that allow bus fleets to recharge while driving or at bus stops along the way. WPT should also prove to be an asset in the development of the individual car market. 

Standardization in these areas will require innovative approaches and working with other standardization bodies as the technologies bridge several areas.

Gallery
connected car head-up display Connected car head up display (HUD)
Wireless power transfer for electric cars Electric car wireless parking charge (Photo: NJo via Wikipedia)
WPT - How magnetic resonance works WPT: How magnetic resonance works (Infographics: WiTricity)
Claire Marchand, Managing Editor e-tech Claire Marchand, Managing Editor e-tech