The technology we have on hand has been increasing at an exponential rate. What new features could become the norm for the automotive industry? The future of 2015 was shown in "Back to the Future II." It had cars and skateboards that flew. While we are still a long way from hoverboards and self-lacing Nike's, we do have a bunch of futuristic features in our cars that Marty McFly would describe as "heavy." Let's look at four brand new, technologically heavy features you'd want in your next car:
1. Touchscreen Display
The Tesla Model S is an astonishing technological achievement. It can go 300 miles on a single charge, boasts an incredible safety rating and looks stunning inside out. Yet, most are glued to its 17-inch touchscreen display. The Model S dashboard does not have any physical buttons. Instead, it has a gorgeous 17-inch touchscreen that looks a lot like an extra-large iPad. The touchscreen uses a custom-designed, intuitive software that gives easy access to every customizable feature in the car, from selecting audio tracks to changing the thermostat. The Model S touchscreen has been so successful and so widely appreciate that most auto manufacturers want to include it as a standard feature in the coming few years. Chevrolet, Honda and Toyota have already committed to including it in their cars from 2015 onwards. There's a good chance you'll have to 'tap' a button rather than twist a knob to get things done in your next car.
2. Better Warning Systems
Improving safety is a key for most manufacturers. While simple technologies such as ABS and seat belts have tremendously improved safety standards, cars of the future will have even more advanced, computer controlled warning systems. For example, Mercedes and Lexus offer a "collision mitigation systems" that warns the driver with visual and auditory clues if you get too close to another car. The system even tightens the seat belts and pushes more power to the brakes in anticipation of a crash. Lane-departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems are becoming a standard feature in new cars as well. They send out auditory clues when you depart the lane, and warn you about any car in your blind spot, respectively.
Apple recently unveiled a new technology -- called CarPlay -- that makes it easier to use your iPhone in a car. The iPhone plugs directly into the car's touchscreen and creates an easy-to-tap interface that gives access to iPhone features, including music, maps, phone and messages. You can also access a handful of CarPlay designed apps, such as Spotify and iHeartRadio, among others. It makes for an exponentially better in-car phone experience. CarPlay is available on only a select few cars from Honda, Ferrari, Volvo, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz at the moment, but expect availability to expand in the next few years. In fact, Apple has already signed up Ford, Jaguar, Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, Kia, Nissan and Toyota for CarPlay implementation. Which is to say, your next car should have a CarPlay, or equivalent phone interface, built in.
4. Rearview Cameras
A new proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires rearview cameras to be standard equipment in cars by the end of 2014. And for good reason: rearview cameras drastically improve vision and field of view when backing up the car. Some advanced cameras, such as the cross-path camera from Ford, even give you a complete 180-degree view of the car from the back to the front. Infiniti's experimental "Around View" camera, on the other hand, gives a 360-degree view around the car. Given NHTSA's push and the explosive growth of new features in cars, you should take it for granted that your next car will have at least a basic rearview camera, if not an advanced one. Photo Credit: wikichen via Flickr.