By Banwari Lal Sharma, CEO, CarWale & BikeWale
When it comes to smart cars, the price can often be the determining factor in how ‘smart’ a car is. The more expensive the car, the more tech-heavy it is likely to be. But as technology reaches newer heights, the most avant-garde of these innovations will trickle down to the most basic models. What is now defined as smart will possibly become more and more commonplace in the next few years. In a nutshell, more cars are going to get smarter in the future.
By definition, smart cars of today are already safer, more comfortable, and functional than any of their predecessors. Broadly speaking, we can divide smart features in three categories: safety and function, comfort and convenience, and driving aid. Of these, safety, function, and comfort get the top billing. Features like Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), airbags, brake assist, Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Traction automatic climate control, and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) have made cars both safer and more functional.
The budget seems to make the most obvious impact in the comfort and convenience category. Tools, such as remote sensing technology, are increasingly focusing on the consumer experience. The phone can now be synced to load music, ‘talk’ to the car, issue verbal commands, and pinpoint its location.
Driving aid is perhaps the category that receives the least amount of attention and headlines among smart features, especially in affordable cars. Perhaps the most anticipated feature here is remote driving. In the not-so-distant future, high-end cars will likely offer Level 5 Autonomous Driving where the car will drive to its destination on its own.
As smart technologies become more affordable, we can predict their standardisation, especially in safety features. With heavy investments from big tech in the automotive industry and given the pervasive use of AI and IoT, we will also see more disruptive technology in the near future, from personalisation to autonomous driving.