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Intelligent Cars Are Just Around the Corner

Our vehicles will soon be far more intelligent – and safer – than we imagine

The rate at which technology is transforming the very concept of personal transportation is accelerating exponentially. The car industry, which has caught the attention of tech-savvy consumers, is resolutely riding the wow-factor made possible by technological and telematics innovation. Vehicles are increasingly more efficient, comfortable and safe, both for others and us. And this is only the tip of the iceberg! Every year, the car industry showcases new prototypes with spectacular features and services. What, however, can we truly expect not only to see, but also to effectively use in the short term, say by the 2020 Olympics?

Intelligent Systems and Driving Aids

Cars are growing increasingly intelligent and every year we witness new sophisticated driving aides. In 3-4 years’ time, we’ll certainly be able to experience and enjoy some form of autonomous driving, probably more as a special feature than a fully autonomous vehicle, but we should clearly expect cars to have self-driving features that can be enabled on highways, for example, much like a 21st century version of cruise control.

Moreover, we can expect a further development of driver override systems along the lines of currently available systems such as: ABS (anti-lock braking system), EPS (electronic stability programme) and driver sleep alerts. As our cars become laden with increasingly sophisticated sensors, intelligent systems will be able to avert human errors such as not braking, entering a curve too fast and much more.


The next generation of drivers will probably not even fathom that vehicles once came with keys for door locks and ignition. The vehicle industry has already largely adopted automatic and/or keyless access to our cars, as well as push button car starters. We can safely predict that biometric access will be adopted sooner rather than later. Systems that already allow computer users to login to services with fingerprints and/or retina readers will certainly free drivers from the need of bringing keys or any type of digital devices to access and use their vehicles.

Similarly, we will see an extension of vehicle tracking technology and remote shut down systems that will significantly diminish car theft. In fact, most private vehicles equipped with telematics systems already have this option, although not all drivers are completely aware of this.

Telematics Insurance and Tracking

The usage-based insurance model will continue to attract not only the consensus of drivers, but will also serve as an efficient model for driving-restricted areas. As drivers grow more accustomed to complete telematics tracking, costs will continue to decrease for the most virtuous and safest drivers. Furthermore, it is not exaggerated to believe that full tracking may even be mandated by governments in the near future to better protect every citizen.

“Gadgets” and Value Added Services

It has been the dream of generations of children, but now so-called “Head-Up Display” Technology is literally around the corner. While car drivers will not be wearing air force helmets with information-laden visors, we can easily imagine the demise of the dashboard in favour of a plethora of information, including navigation services with “upcoming road previews,” appearing directly on our vehicles’ windscreens.

Another added value service that is literally around the corner is health monitoring. We have all types of gadgets to track our vital statistics when we bike or run and integrating them into seatbelts is child’s play. This will provide an invaluable safety service, such as automatic alerts or car stops, when our vital parameters indicate we may be about to suffer a stroke, heart attack or other serious health condition.

Finally, it is very likely that vehicles will be further integrated with our social media and web preferences, including far more powerful geo-location services that will provide both drivers (and businesses) with useful insight into nearby shops, restaurants, services and other amenities that we may need or may interest us. If we have to buy milk before getting back home, our car will remind us that we need to stop!

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