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The Future of Cars

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The Future of Cars

New technology and systems are reinventing many of the fundamentals of the car, and the automotive landscape is going to change forever as a result.

Cars can already be operated via a mobile phone, or have their specifications changed through over-the-air (OTA) software upgrades. But increasing connectivity to other vehicles and infrastructure increases the risk of your family transport being hacked, so car makers are working with suppliers, such as Harman and Magna, to ensure that cyber security doesn’t become a problem for connected cars. New software will not only mitigate an attack but also log the details so manufacturers can spot patterns and fix any weak spots via OTA updates.

Cars will communicate with other nearby vehicles and share information about the road conditions and hazards ahead. The DSRC already fitted to the Cadillac CTS, for example, can handle 1000 messages per second from vehicles up to 300 metres away. When a V2V-equipped car engages its stability control, brakes hard or switches on its hazard lights, drivers behind are alerted to give them more time to react, in turn smoothing the traffic flow. In Honda’s Safe Swarm vision, DSRC-connected cars will move seamlessly and safely together, like a shoal of fish.

Advanced software originally developed for gaming is now being used to help designers and engineers use virtual reality to create the next generation of in-car displays.

Behind every great video game, whether it be on an Xbox, Playstation or PC, lies a software ‘engine’ on which images are created in real time, 90 times a second, rather than decided upon in advance and then stored for later use. It’s this technology that makes today’s computer games so compelling and dynamic.

Software company Unreal Engine Enterprises has made the jump from gaming to automotive. Using its technology, BMW has developed ‘mixed reality’ environments using virtual reality headsets to overlay images on basic 3D-printed models of car interiors. What users touch may be a simple and quickly produced rendition, but what they see is the finished thing. “This creates a relationship between virtual reality and the real world,” explains Unreal Engine Enterprise director Simon Jones. “When you open the door, you feel the weight of the door, when you sit in the car you smell the leather and feel it compress, and when you reach for the steering wheel you can feel it.”

The same high-speed imaging technology is expected to revolutionise in-car displays. Jones is seeing a move towards displays that occupy entire dashboard areas, with context-sensitive information more closely related to what the driver is doing.

 

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(Source: autocar.co.uk)  Posted – May 21st