Driverless cars and smart traffic lights: how digitization affects the automobile industry
Emerging technologies actively penetrate the automotive industry. Pilot driverless cars emerge and various services become more and more sophisticated. What does the future hold for the industry? How will digitization affect the car and the related infrastructure? Let us delve into the topic.
The European Commission has presented its recent survey on the global market of fully electric and hybrid vehicles. According to the organization, if the current growth rate remains the same, about 65 million of such cars will be annually sold by 2040. Today their quantity reaches 2 million.
That is why market experts consider electric vehicles to become the transport of the future. That is only a matter of time.
Due to electrification, a car carcass would be manufactured from lightweight materials. Why? The answer is simple: automotive batteries are very heavy, which makes the car bulky. So, lighter alloys would replace metal carcasses.
Even now, the manufacturers are beginning to create cars from aluminum. Some of them go further and use carbon fiber. Thus, the carcass becomes not only lighter but also rigid since this material is almost impossible to break.
Lighting and an electric engine give an excellent speed opportunity. As we know, unlike a petrol engine, the electric one can reach powerful torque out of nothing. The quantity of revolutions here is not important. Therefore, the car may start in mere seconds.
Modern electric supercars can accelerate to the speed of 100 km/h in less than two seconds, 300 km/h – 14 seconds. It is faster than the time needed for usual family sedans to accelerate to one hundred km.
Sooner or later, one will have to slow down the fast driving. To effectively use the acceleration energy, regenerative braking was invented.
This system stores the consumed energy and sends it back to the battery allowing the car to go a big distance without recharging.
Absence of exhaust gas
Electric engines have a zero emissions rate just because they process nothing. Therefore, no harm would be caused to the ecology. It is expected that electric vehicles would contribute to the unpolluted air in cities, and megalopolises would do away with their age-old enemy – smog.
Future electric cars would become smarter. Therefore, all possible driver-assistance solutions would sooner or later turn into the fully automated system. Even now, automakers conduct experiments with their cars producing mobile sonars. They are equipped with lidars, radars, ultrasonic sensors, movement and light sensors, laser rangefinders, and all existing around-view video cameras.
Hence, the emergence of both self-driving cars and electrification is just a matter of time.
Smart roads without traffic
Road networks would also benefit from digital technologies implementation. Traffic lights would be in the center of these changes. Currently, there exist developers who design special neural networks for traffic regulation. Due to artificial intelligence, a smart traffic light identifies the upcoming traffic jam or unloaded traffic. Using this data, it handles vehicles to prevent heavy traffic.
More than this, not far from Stockholm, there is a world’s first road allowing to charge a car. The point lies in the special embedded rail that transfers electricity directly to a current collector at the bottom of the car. Similar electric roads have been included in the Swedish state program. Within this project, by 2030, the country would reduce the number of cars with internal combustion engines by 70%.
Additional services and applications
Digitization would boost the appearance of diverse applications making the driving experience more convenient and cheaper. The examples include carsharing, parking lots finders, maps of charging stations, services of tariff and tax payment, telemetric apps, intelligent voice assistants, music services, navigators, insurance apps, flowmeters, etc.
Relying on automobile experts, the world would completely switch to electric cars in the future, at least hybrid ones. We are expected to use smart services where all you need to is to click a single button to adjust the car to your preference. Roads would become more intelligent and less loaded due to artificial intelligence. Prospective future, isn’t it?