These proposals focus on the quest for greater safety, durability and ecology.
TREV: the fusion of technology and mobility
One of the most exciting innovations about to conquer the automotive world is the revolutionary concept of TREV (Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle system), a plug-in electric vehicle system using aeronautical turbine technology.
Chinese automotive innovation company Techrules presented the concept at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show.
The TREV combines the efficiency of an electric vehicle with aeronautical turbine technology.
At the 2017 and 2018 Geneva Motor Shows, Techrules surprised with the Ren supercars, equipped with this hybrid technology, featuring an 80 kW turbine generator capable of 96,000 revolutions per minute.
This generator produces 36 kW, of which 30 kW powers the battery, while 6 kW is used for auxiliary systems.
But most impressive of all is its autonomy, capable of traveling over 2,000 km on an 80-liter tank of aviation kerosene.
Techrules soon plans to mass-produce a 45 kW turbine, which will run on renewable fuels and can be used as an independent power source.
This technology not only offers outstanding performance, but also minimizes its impact on the environment, setting a milestone in the industry.
Voice-activated assistants: the future of interaction
Vehicle users are increasingly demanding, and technology is rapidly adapting to their needs.
One of the most striking innovations is voice activation of on-board systems.
Fathi El-Dwaik, Vice President of Machine-Human Interaction at BMW, argues that cars are becoming increasingly intelligent, so communication with users needs to be as natural and straightforward as possible.
With this in mind, Amazon has launched Echo Auto, a kind of “Alexa for cars” that installs in air vents and allows car systems to be controlled by voice commands.
Although not compatible with all vehicles, these devices can play music, adjust climate control, manage calls and activate other assistants.
The aim is to extend the capabilities of this technology to manage even more functions by voice, enabling the driver to remain focused on the road.
Natural interaction with the environment: the future with BMW Natural Interaction
Artificial intelligence is changing the way drivers interact with their cars and the world around them.
Among the technologies set to revolutionize cars is the BMW Natural Interaction system, unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2019 and due to be integrated into vehicles in 2021.
This system combines gesture recognition and eye-tracking using augmented reality.
Drivers will be able to interact naturally with their vehicle, for example, obtaining information about a building simply by pointing their finger at it.
These industrial developments are moving in the direction of intelligent interaction that makes the car an extension of the user.
Sensors that detect the invisible: LIDAR for safety
Road safety is a crucial issue that motivates innovative technologies. One of the most common risk factors in road accidents is the presence of objects not visible to drivers.
When drivers fail to see an obstacle in time, they make hasty decisions to avoid it, which doesn’t always produce good results.
LIDAR (Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging) is a laser-based object detection and measurement system, which calculates the distance between objects and other vehicles by measuring the time between the emission of a laser pulse and its reflection.
This interesting system should be integrated into autonomous vehicles in the years to come.
Although its accuracy and cost are still being evaluated, it appears to be a valuable ally for road safety.
Electronic company cars: the electronic revolution on the roads
In the wake of the smartphone revolution, electronics companies have set their sights on the automotive industry.
Steve Jobs was a pioneer in this field with the VVehicle, a project that has yet to reach the production stage.
Google has also taken a step forward with the Waymo autonomous car project, which can drive both in urban environments and on roads, detecting other vehicles, road signs and pedestrians, among others.
At the latest international CES show in Las Vegas, Sony unveiled the Vision-S, a four-seat electric car equipped with cutting-edge connectivity technology, 360° surround sound and 33 sensors to enable autonomous driving.
Kenichiro Yoshida, president of Sony Corporation, says it will be the megatrend of the next decade.
An industry in constant evolution
The automotive industry surprises us year after year with innovations that improve technology, safety and ecology through multiple resources.
The growing involvement of electronics companies in vehicle design is an important trend.
The automotive sector offers advanced technologies which, although often still in the testing phase, promise an exciting future.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the development of these technologies, which are set to transform the way we drive and discover the world on the move.