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The Daily Commute in the Year 2020

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On: Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 2:26PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The Daily Commute in the Year 2020

It’s always fun to read about the latest in automotive technology and imagine just what the newest most innovative features will enable cars of the future to be able to do.

A recent article in Popular Science has done just that, as they have projected how several different future automotive technologies will define the average driver’s commute in the year 2020.

The first category describes how “traffic probes” will be automated.  PopSci projects that phones and cars will be equipped with GPS navigation technology that will read the traffic patterns and display reports in real time pertaining to which route is least congested and accident free.

The next category is the future of cruise control, which GM reports will have the technology by 2015 to automatically slow a vehicle down when it comes within a specific range of another vehicle. The future of cruise control technology will include a system that has radar that can detect and steer around other cars on the road, enabling a vehicle to be in a sort of self navigation modem ( sounds like the beginning of cars that drive themselves).

It is also believed by many that vehicles will be linked to travel like “coupled freight cars” in order to save on fuel expense and reduce accident rates. Several automakers have already put plans in motion for such a prototype, including a new EN-V (electric 2-passenger urban transportation pods) concept car that has already been designed by General Motors.

Another futuristic automotive technology breakthrough will include "transponders" that will alert cars in order to avoid colliding with pedestrians as well as with other motor vehicles. Another twist on this idea is emergency vehicles that can digitally announce their arrival to vehicles that are traveling ahead of them; this technology could be implemented to enable motorcycles to be more visible as well.

Experts know that the biggest risk for accidents (approximately 40%) takes place at intersections. The average driver today has no idea when an elderly motorist is getting ready to plow through a red light, but in the future “smart intersections” will be able to actually communicate with cars, giving them visual or audio warnings that another driver is about to do just that. The technology will be able to automatically move the endangered automobile out of harm’s way or protect both motorists by being proactive enough to prevent offenders from running red lights to begin with.

Most everyone knows that there are vehicles that can already parallel park with the recent introduction of the “park assist” feature, but in future generations, cars will also be able to notify one another to share information regarding where an open parking space is located in a parking lot. At that point the driver can cruise into the parking lot, hop out and be on their way to run errands or go to work while the car of the future parks itself.

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