Note: This is a guest post written by Jessie Thomas
Technology is rapidly becoming the most important part of our vehicles. Of course, the technology that makes a car run has always been important in determining the right car to buy, but these days, the conversation goes beyond just how powerful, efficient or safe your car is. Consumers want tech like you get from your smartphone.
Reviewing the last decade of automotive progress, tech has played a major role. Both running gear and accessories have evolved a great deal. Here are a few examples of the most impactful advances we’ve experienced since 2010.
1. Android Auto/Apple Carplay
Undoubtedly one of the most notable changes in today’s cars vs. cars of 10 years ago is the prevalence of these systems that integrate with your smartphone. It just makes sense to translate the intuitive UI of a smartphone over to your car’s infotainment system. You might think it doesn’t make that big of a difference until you get back into a car that doesn’t have it.
2. The Rise of Electric Cars
Whether we’ll all be driving EVs in the future remains to be seen. But this decade marks an important milestone in the progression of this new technology. EVs have become a regular sight in the major cities of the world, which is not something you could say 10 years ago. The precedent for them to become the car of the future has been set.
3. Driver Aids
Cruise control has been around for a long time, but cruise control in the 21st century has received a serious update. Cars can now speed up or slow down automatically to keep pace with traffic. Creep to close to the other lane and your car lets out a squawk to alert you. There are even manual transmission cars that can rev-match automatically. In short, your car does a lot more to help you out!
4. Turbo Time
American-market cars have historically used big and powerful engines that get poor fuel economy. However, in 2020, the majority of consumer vehicles now use smaller, turbocharged engines to deliver a practical combination of power and fuel economy. It’s only possible due to major advances in turbocharging technology.
5. Automatic Emergency Braking
The decade prior saw cars become bulbous and lose visibility as crash zones and pedestrian-safety measures were implemented. Today’s cars have been engineered to slam on the brakes if you venture too close to a large object, which may or may not be alive. Ultimately, it’s best that you don’t run into either.
6. Cameras Everywhere
What used to be a feature reserved for backing up can now display a 360-degree view of your car, assist with changing lanes and even help you see the trail on off-road vehicles like Ford’s F150 Raptor.
As fun as it is to wax nostalgic old cars, today’s technology cannot be denied. We have the best cars we’ve ever had, and they’re continuing to get better.
Will we see the transition to an all-EV world in our lifetime? Will self-driving cars become the norm and move us all into the role of passenger in our own vehicle?
The next 10 years will give us some valuable clues about both of these developing technologies.