Not so long ago, the only bit of technology found in a car was the stereo system, but nowadays cars are becoming more and more complex and are offering technologies most of us cannot even dream about.
One of the technology leaders is the German car firm Audi. Its cars are getting more and more technically advanced and they are showing no signs of slowing things down.
Now Audi has announced that it is working on seven new tech-based features, which will eventually make their way into the cars we could buy from the showroom. They are:
1) Audi Wireless Charging: While Audi currently has no electric cars in their showrooms, that will soon change. Like many other companies who are offering or looking to offer electric cars, efficient charging solutions are big on their list. So Audi is co-developing a wireless charging system with WiTricity Corporation from Boston, MS. This system will have a coil-based receiver on the car and another mounted in your garage or parking spot. So when you drive your car into its spot, the car will start charging itself. According to Audi, the system will not be affected by rain or snow. Such a system will surely be a hit with electric car buyers.
2) Garage Parking Pilot: While self-parking features are already on the market, Audi is looking to go a step further with its Garage Parking Pilot. This system will not only help you park the car automatically, but will also help you find a parking spot in parking lots. When it finds that spot, it will guide the car neatly into the spot. Vehicle to vehicle networking will ensure that dings won’t be an issue.
3) OLED Lights: Audi was the first to introduce LED lights on its cars, now its looking to bring OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) to the market. While this technology is available on TV’s and cellphones, this organic polymer based semiconductor will see its first application on a car by Audi. This material is only nanometers thick, so hence is light and also uses less energy. They can also produce millions of colors.
4) Hybrid Body Materials: Audi has been at the forefront of reducing vehicle weights by using lighter materials since the early 1990’s. With their use of aluminum, their cars are upto 40% lighter than a similar cars made from steel. Now Audi is looking to combine steel with aluminum and carbon-fiber reinforced plastics to produce not only very strong components, but also very lightweight components.
5) FRP Coil Springs: A lot is riding on the springs in your car. To be exact, your whole car is riding on the springs. Thus springs have to be made from very strong metal. So how would you feel if we offer to replace your steel springs with ones made from plastic? Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) springs are being developed by Audi. These springs will be much lighter than their steel counterparts, but will retain the strength, in fact they’ll be even stronger. The first application of these springs will be seen on the Audi R8 e-tron, which will be out by 2014.
6) Multitouch Controls: While most luxury cars have some sort of multi-media controlling device on board, Audi was the first to introduce a Touchpad, which allows you to write your command using your finger. Now Audi is looking to enhance this feature by developing a new multitouch system similar to that of the iPad. This new system will allow the driver even more command options, and should also help in reducing distractions for the driver. The new system will work with voice command, touch, and the heads-up display system.
7) Predictive Suspension: Reading the road ahead is what many luxury car companies are working towards, and Audi is no exception. Audi will mount a camera ahead of the rear view mirror and a laser in the nose of the car to read the road 20-meters ahead and configure the suspension for what lies ahead. This photo-mixed detectors system will improve ride quality. The feature will probably debut in a future model of the A8.
Watch out for these new Audi developments to be on the road in the not to distant future. We’ll keep you posted on any further developments.