Necessity is the mother of innovation….

Or… it used to be..! Nowadays the feature list of luxury cars can make you wonder whether it is even possible to think of an additional feature. But carmakers are always on the ball, from autonomous to flying cars, they never stop experimenting and surprise us with new, cool features. Here are some of the coolest car innovations of 2018 that you could look forward to.

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  1. Brain power….

First there were buttons… Then came the touchscreen (cause it took a lot of effort to push them right!?)…Next step…Gesture controls…Still feeling lazy? Voila! Voice controls. The evolution of the man-machine interface has sure been rapid and radical. Jump back 10 years and you won’t even recognize the black screen in your car’s dash. But now you could have voice controls in a 5 lakh Tata Tiago! Wondering what’s going to fall next from this tree?

The answer may blow your brains off! Nissan had a separate booth at the CES(The Consumers Electronics Show), where it showed off its new tech- B2V (Brain to Vehicle). And yes… it controls the car from brain signals. You feel like you are going too fast?… The car will automatically slow down. You feel tired? The car itself will switch on the seat massager. The possibilities are endless. You will literally not need to lift even a finger!

Nissan’s B2V tech demo at CES 20189
The concept car with the amazing tech

This tech maps out your brain waves using an EEG to sense what you think and sends commands to the car accordingly. Though this tech is nowhere near to implementation, it is safe to assume that you would see one in the future within your lifetime!

2. Bye bye ORVMs…

This tech was seen in almost all futuristic concept cars for a while now. Audi has took the plunge and now its e-tron becomes the first car to come out with a factory fitted video camera instead of a side mirror. The real time video captured by the exterior cameras are displayed on a 7″ digital display embedded in the doors itself. Still, this feature is not available in USA and a couple of other countries due to safety regulations. Once those are lifted, this feature will surely become the de-facto feature in all luxury cars.

High colour display screens on doors seem like sci-fi!

One may wonder what really this feature’s use is, but the shape of side mirrors play a sizeable role in the aerodynamics of any car. So really, this tech could make your Lambos and Ferraris sprint a quarter mile a couple seconds faster than before!

3. Variables of the engine..

Pure petrolheads will surely love this one. IC engined cars are mounting a final stand in their fight against the electric ones. Behold the VC-T or the Variable Compression engine!!!

The new Infiniti QX-50

Though introduced by Infiniti in their model QX-50 during 2016, this innovation has its own significance. Because for many a carmaker this was their final dream in the development of IC engines. This tech changes the compression ratio of the engine on-the-fly, giving the best of performance and efficiency. More cars could adapt to this tech in 2019.

4. Dancing spoilers…

Though not known well, Zenvo is a Danish car maker with some outrageous supercars on its arsenal. Their latest track tool, the TSR-S, was unveiled at the Geneva motor show this year. It has the proper textbook supercar specs- a 1000+ horses under the hood, 0 to 100 sprint in under 3 seconds and a carbon fibre body.

That wing though!
The red dragon… Image credit :AutoBlog

But what sets the Zenvo TSR-S apart is its monstrous rear spoiler, dubbed the “Centripetal wing”. Aero trickeries such as adjustable spoilers and side air inlets have become common among supercars now, but this swinging spoiler could do a lot more than just provide more downforce. The huge spoiler is pivoted on the rear, and can swing towards left or right to specifically improve the downforce on either side wheels. Lateral grip is crucial to cut down the times on racing corners, hence it wouldn’t be a surprise if this tech soon starts to appear on more supercars and even race cars!

5. The new Audi A8

Yes…Really the name alone is enough as this car contains a staggering amount of new techs plonked into it. The luxury king Mecedes S-class is about to face some serious heat from this new Bavarian. The sheer amount of tech is too high to tell in a sentence, so lets list out..

  • An electromagnetic active suspension that scans the road forward for bumps using sensors and adjusts the stiffness, before you even feel the bump.
  • A quirky safety feature- the car slightly rolls over to one side if it detects a side collision (kinda like showing the underbelly), so that the base platform absorbs all the impact.
  • The suspension system is too much active- maps the road surface ahead, lowers the car during passenger entry, raises car during side collisions… whew..!, hence the battery pack is updated to a larger 48 volt unit.
  •  Auto detects pedestrians and vehicles coming from the side when you are about to open the door.
  • An all wheel steering to steer this 5.3 metre yacht to its deck!
  • Level 3 autonomous driving which can fully control the car upto speeds of 37kmph.
  • The Audi signature Matrix headlamps- 138 LEDs, auto directing beams taking inputs from navigation system itself, frickin’ cool laser light beams…!
The super suave dash of the A8

The fact that Audi is now in talks with some governments to just allow these tech in their respective countries, speaks volumes about how much futuristic tech is present in this car!

2018 gave us a lot of cool tech toys in our cars to play with, and lets hope that 2019 delivers on that front too. With the blistering pace in which auto tech is developing, the difference between science fiction and reality may soon become a blur!

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