Technology is all around us, in our refrigerators, our shoes, even our bodies (still waiting for an artificial brain, btw). The products we use and the world we know are constantly changing and innovating. Our cars are a prime example of technological innovation at work.
An automobile is pretty simple as a concept. You push the pedal, it goes. You hit the brake, it (hopefully) stops. You turn the wheel, the car turns, and so on. Inside that hulk of metal, however, there’s a lot going on.
I am constantly amazed with how cars are evolving. Many cars now sync up wirelessly to your Bluetooth, so you can have a phone conversation with someone through your radio speakers. You’ll also start noticing more and more cars with a rear view video feed, allowing drivers to literally see behind them as they back out of a difficult spot.
Of particular interest to me and anyone else who gets a little “performance anxiety” when parallel parking with an audience in the car is the Lexus LS 460 L, which actually parallel parks itself. No bailouts or lame excuses necessary (not that that ever happens to me!)
I am also closely following progress on Google’s attempt to build the first ever self-driving car. The concept alone would make any geek drool. The fact that Google actually has a functioning prototype zipping around California is just about mind blowing.
I eagerly await the “next big thing” in the car market. Most likely it will involve drastically increasing both fuel efficiency and functionality through electrical or hydrogen-powered fuel cells. While this sector is certainly booming, and all the major car manufacturers are scrambling to offer their own electrical-powered vehicle, I don’t think we’ve found the Holy Grail just yet. What’s currently on the market either relies on gasoline to some degree (Toyota Prius), has a restrictive mileage limit (Nissan Leaf) or is far out of the price range of the average consumer (Tesla Roadster). One day soon these challenges will be overcome, and we’ll truly put a dent in our reliance on technology of the past.
Personally, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a long-distance, electrically-fueled, sporty, self-driving coupe…in my price range. A guy can dream.