Five motoring innovations from self-fixing cars to Alexa Autos
PUBLISHED: 08:54 04 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:54 04 September 2019
Once a ‘fool’s contraption’, the automobile inspired a vast industry. Now we look at the billion-pound ideas set to shape its future
1. In car payment systems
Your car could soon be a wallet on wheels as technology is being developed for cars which automatically pay for parking, toll bridges and congestion charges.
Jaguar Land Rover is working on the technology, which allows drivers to earn digital currency as a reward for sharing their data with third parties.
The drive-as-you-earn system means drivers can collect credit for reporting traffic jams, road closures, pot holes and so on.
These rewards are then saved up in your vehicle's memory and can be used when needed.
2. Car doctor
The Ford Motor company has already previewed the idea of steering wheels and seat belts with sensors in that can track a driver's vital statistics.
For example, a driver's heart rate could be monitored and when combined with basic autonomous technology, a car could call a paramedic for a driver suffering a heart attack.
Ford began testing in this area in 2011, and began by looking at a seat which measured a number of statistics.
Heart-rate monitors have so far proved the most useful source of information, as it can also flag to drivers when their heart rate is slowing to the point where they may fall asleep and will need to pull over.
3. Alexa Auto
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Alexa Auto launched in the summer of this year.
The gadget is just the size of a couple of match boxes and allows you to give your car voice commands and stream music through its entertainment system.
But you can also use the Alexa Auto for all the things you'd use an Amazon Echo for. You can ask the gadget to navigate you home, turn on your porch lights and have the garage door open and ready.
It can also text people to let you know you're on your way, add items to your shopping lists and set alarms.
On top of this you can also sync it up with smart devices like heating, so you can make sure the house is warm when you get in.
4. Remote vehicle shut down
Car chases are about to get a lot less exciting with in-vehicle security company OnStar launching a remote vehicle shut down feature.
The telematics company has already shut down hundreds of cars which have been stolen thanks to the owners signing up to the service.
5. Self-fixing cars
Lamborghini has aready created a car which has the ability to fix itself.
The Terzo Millennio can detect cracks in its bodywork and fill it with nanotubes to prevent the crack from spreading.
The supercar was developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
And chief executive of car-tech company Tantalum, Ozgur Tohumu, said this is just the beginning, with cars soon being able to diagnose their own mechanical problems and book themselves in for an appointment.
He said: "Cars will also be able to renew insurance and look for better deals too."
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