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The latest and greatest in new automotive gadgets usually arrive at the top end of the market, but here are some innovations that could find their way to your next car sooner rather than later, if manufacturers’ promises at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the North American International Auto Show materialize.
Aston Martin’s Rapide S sedan will be coming equipped with infotainment tech from China’s LeTV. Gone is the old dashboard, only to be replaced by a Tesla-like 13.3-inch HD touchscreen, while the conventional instruments are replaced with a 12.2-inch info-display.
Audi also is improving its existing offering of virtual dashboards in cars like the TT and Q7 and introducing HS, curved OLED screens. More exciting, however, are the plans to enhance its autonomous driving research by leverage traffic light information. This should help their cars to stop and go at the appropriate times.
It seems like Audi is concerned not only with our safety, but with our health as well. They’re introducing a clever fitness tracking feature: the Audi Fit Driver seeks to incorporate a wearable bracelet with an analytics platform that will determine whether driver and occupants are stressed or fatigued.To ameliorate these driving risks, the system will adjust the vehicle’s climate control, activate in-seat massage functions, or demand the driver take a break.
Audi will also allow using your AppleTV to talk to your car.
Gesture control tech is already present in BMW’s 7-series, but the company plans to expand on this offering. BMW used an adapted i8 to demonstrate how occupants will soon be waving, brushing, pinching, and flicking at the air to control the car’s infotainment system using a system called AirTouch.
The company is also looking into replacing traditional rear view mirrors with high-def cameras.
Hyundai is to release an augmented reality app to help people better understand how their cars work. This should help make vehicle maintenance easier, as to understand what each bit does you simply have to point your phone at it, and presto – all the info is on the screen.
Microsoft and Harman worked on modifying a BMW to show how well business software can live in a car. Microsoft Office 365 (or newer) could well make your future-self-driving car a mobile office on the go.
But the coolest of the lot is Rinspeed’s offering. The maker modified a BMW i8 sports car to create the Rinspeed Etos that comes with its own drone, with helipad of sort at the rear. We’re not sure what the drone is for, but we really want one.