Car technology: Like many other boys when I was 8-years old, I had dreams of becoming a fighter pilot. Dreams change with life experience, and new aspirations replace them. One thing that didn’t change all of these years was a desire to get my hands on some of the same tech used in multimillion-dollar aircraft. Thanks to the Pentagon’s D.A.R.P.A. (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and other engineers from around the world, many of the same technologies used on and over the battlefield have trickled into consumer products. With that, here are the top five technologies that utilize related systems as their military counterparts.
#1 Heads-Up Display
Known to flyers around the world as a HUD, this technology can cut down on the chances of an accident due to the reduction in time that eyes aren’t looking down the road. Instead of speed, navigational or entertainment data being displayed on the dashboard, that info is relayed to a designated spot directly in front of the driver on the windshield.
#2 Active Cruise Control
Borrowing technology from aircraft auto-pilot programs, Active Cruise Control takes things a step further than just “regular” Cruise Control, now ubiquitous in new cars. Instead of just maintaining a specific velocity, Active Cruise Control systems use a forward-looking radar to determine how far ahead the next car in your lane is ahead. If the lead car slows down or speeds up, your car will do the same, keeping a safe following distance. Unlike Autopilot in an F-16, the car won’t steer itself over a predetermined route. Search the keyword, “Google Car” for that tech.
#3 Active Lane Departure System
Active Cruise Control might keep your car a safe distance from the one in front of you, but it won’t keep you in your lane. Thank goodness for the Active Lane Departure System. Utilizing a forward-looking camera and some snazzy recognition software, tired drivers will find this technology beneficial. Chiefly, it can keep you from veering over lane dividers into oncoming traffic, braking the opposite side of the car to bring you back into your lane
#4 Night Vision
The Delta Force, Navy SEALs, Green Berets and the Audi A8 all have something in common — the ability to see in pitch black night. Utilizing infrared and/or thermal imaging technologies in conjunction with a camera and your infotainment screen, seeing in the dark becomes a reality. Yes, you will be able to see deer as they jump out 300-feet ahead of you. And yes, this is generally a pricey option only had on more expensive marks — for now. Expect your Sonata or Camry to get this type of technology within the next ten years.
#5 Blind Spot Warning
Using side-view mirror cameras or ultrasonic sensors mounted on the side of the car, Blind Spot Warning systems produce an audible chirp and visual warning to let you know that if you continue your lane change, you’re going to have an accident with the car next to you. A God-send for anyone too stubborn to turn their head and check their blind spot.
Not enough tech for you? Check out this video which illustrates technology born from
laziness luxury. Oh, and while you’re at it, tell us what technologies made your Top 5 list.
Ryan’s passion for automobiles began at age eight when his father brought home the quintessential sports car: A Guards Red, 1974 Porsche 911 Targa. Ever since, his free time has been consumed with following the latest developments of the automotive industry.