Progressive, Emerging Automotive Technologies July 2011
Car and tire manufacturers spend millions of dollars researching and developing automotive components every year. They focus on bringing customers the next generation of technology to make vehicles safer, more efficient and appealing to prospective buyers.
Staying on top of new automotive technologies Advancements in technology do not just affect car owners. Significant changes to car components impact automotive service shops and tire dealers as well. Tire stores and auto service centers stay on top of new technologies to confidently service new vehicles properly.
Two emerging technologies that continue to progress:
# 1 Active Safety / Anti-Collision Avoidance Systems It might not be long until cars are talking themselves. An increasing number of car manufacturers, such as Volvo, are including active safety systems in their vehicles. These systems can be used in a variety of different ways and alert drivers of the following:
Closing speeds of an oncoming obstacle that automatically engages
the car’s braking system
Lane change monitoring and road departure warnings that alert
driver vehicle is swerving away from road
Mercedes-Benz “Braking Bag” A couple of car companies have even come up with their own unique accident avoidance systems. Mercedes-Benz has developed a “braking bag” for some of their vehicles. This specially designed airbag is deployed from the vehicle’s floor onto the road if a sensor in the car determines an impact is imminent. It tries to help stabilize and decelerate the vehicle.
Nissan Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Nissan on the other hand has patented a Forward Collision Avoidance Assist Concept. This system detects vehicles or obstacles in front of a driver through radar in the car. If the system feels a collision is unavoidable then it starts applying the brakes.
If the driver fails to react brake with enough force then the system puts more force on the brakes to help the car avoid the accident altogether. Nissan claims the system can avoid rear-end accidents at speeds up to 36 mph.
# 2 Hybrid Engines Government mandates for fuel efficiency and falling prices have made cars utilizing hybrid engine systems. These systems that combine a gasoline, ethanol or diesel internal combustion engine along with electric motors are becoming increasingly popular.
Hybrid systems feature voltage levels in their battery packs that far exceed the voltage levels in conventional cars. Training on these systems for technicians is extremely important so they can run the proper diagnostics, avoid injury and correctly service these cars.
The trend toward hybrids should continue for the foreseeable future along with advancements in hybrid vehicles’ engine technology. General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, BMW and other major auto-companies are all working to improve the fuel economy of these vehicles.
Servicing Smarter Cars Cars are getting smarter and the people servicing them are too. New components mean new repairs and jobs at service shops and tire dealers. For example, service shops and tire dealers learn the video, radar and sonar systems that power these anti-collision technologies to service new vehicles.
Staying on the frontline of emerging technologies will help smooth the transition between old and new technologies maintaining cars of the future. Tell us on Facebook- What are some of the latest features on your new car that you like?
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