Even though it appears as though smartphones and smart home accessories are leading this smart age revolution, automobiles are not left out. Learn all about smart cars and the different types available in this article.
What is a Smart Car?
The official definition of a smart car is an automobile with advanced electronics and microprocessor systems, built to provide increased comfort and a high level of autonomy. Enhancements such as GPS navigation, reverse sensing systems, and night vision are popular features of smart cars nowadays. More advanced vehicles boast features like assisted parking, voice control, advanced security systems, and even the ability to self-drive.
Types of Smart Cars
The beauty of smart cars is that there’s a classification that suits a wide array of needs. Some experts are not fully convinced, and they believe that machines still need human input. Others strongly reject the idea reasoning that human interference only worsens the matter, hence, it should be eliminated completely. We have smart cars that are considered fully smart and semi-smart and we shall see the different types in due course.
Cars with Partial Automation
Smart cars with partial automation make use of driver assistance technologies and they use the information collected in real-time to help drivers make informed decisions while driving. Even though the cars glean useful information from the environment to help with a number of tasks, the driver is still required to carry out the necessary actions.
Cars with Conditional Automation
This type of smart car will monitor the surrounding and then in certain modes, the car can make decisions based on some conditions. This means that the driver takes charge predominantly, but the vehicle can take action based on some minor driving conditions.
Cars with a High Level of Automation
This is a car such that the driving system is tasked with actions relating to dynamic driving, even when the driver doesn’t respond.
Cars with Full Automation
This is the ultimate level of ‘smartness’ a car can achieve and at this stage, the car is equipped with the technologies that allow it to respond to ALL the road conditions. Basically, a human driver is not required to man this kind of car as it is built to function properly without this.
Existing Applications of the Smart Car Technology
Automated Park Assist
This technology allows drivers to optimally utilize the movement of the steering when parking. This is particularly needed in densely populated cities with strict parallel parking requirements. Even though the car is equipped with features that facilitate parking, a human driver is needed to control the accelerator and the brake. Although advanced technology now sees this driver operating the vehicle from outside.
Adaptive Cruise Control Technology
The long-range radar and laser systems are being used to measure the distance and the speed of other cars in the same surrounding. This technology helps drivers dictate their speed and time gap through the steering wheel or the dashboard of the car. The exit and entrance ramps are identified automatically using the GPS technology and the decisions made by the vehicle depends on the conditions of the surrounding.
The future of Smart Cars
Automation has pervaded the automobile industry for a couple of years now, but the level of advancement smart cars offer is just beyond comprehension.
The first and most exciting feature of smart cars in the future is the ability to navigate fully without human drivers. Waymo has millions of autonomous miles under their belt and this technology is expected to spread to other brands soon.
Similarly, cars in the future will boast full mobile integration. What does this mean? If this is realized, not only do you have full control of your vehicle, you can even get upgrades for your car right from your phone.
Since electric cars are becoming the rave of the moment, a system that manages the car while commuting, gauging the battery life and identifying the nearest charging station is needed.
The future of smart cars is quite exciting and it will interest you to know that the future is now. Thanks to the growth of the internet of things network, smart cars can now help with traffic management. Artificial intelligence is also being used to effect drastic improvements in the way data is being analyzed. In a few years, we can assert that smart cars will become the norm in almost every household.