The automotive industry is changing at a rapid pace. After the electric car, researchers have started designing the connected and autonomous car. With the digital revolution, automakers and suppliers are planning to reinvent the entire hardware and software architecture of vehicles. Would it then be possible to use one’s car in optimal comfort, without any risk to its safety? Better still, will the vehicle of tomorrow be able to drive itself? A dream that is becoming reality!
When electricity transforms the automobile
Initially, the electric car was designed specifically for utility transport. It is particularly appreciated for its ecological side. Indeed, the electric car is less polluting than traditional vehicles. If at the very beginning its autonomy and road skills were considered low, this is no longer the case. Moreover, the electric car is becoming more and more fashionable. Tomorrow’s car will be equipped with a high-performance hybrid engine instead of the usual internal combustion engine. Researchers are focusing on the development of green batteries. New-generation batteries have given satisfactory results in the laboratory. Indeed, the mass energy density of the prototypes is twice as high as that of the batteries usually used. Of course, the energy required to charge these batteries must also be considered. The amount of CO2 emitted could therefore be significant.
The 100% autonomous and connected car
After the cruise control and the various driver assistance systems, the major car manufacturers began to manufacture the autonomous car. Thus, the futuristic car will be able to drive itself, using a robot. This is an on-board computer integrated into the vehicle. The human eyes will therefore be replaced by all kinds of technologies to reproduce the environment in 3D to enable the robot to make decisions, especially in complex driving situations. Google, Uber, Valeo and Ford have already released autonomous cars in the United States and Europe. The greatest challenge for researchers is to enable the car of the future to interact with the outside world. It will then be connected to objects and able to communicate with other vehicles. By collecting certain information from a vehicle, personalized instructions can be transmitted to the driver. He can then decide not to follow the suggestions on the side of the road. Soon, thanks to the connectivity of cars to each other, it will be possible to regulate traffic in real time and reduce traffic problems. Various services will also be made available to passengers. For example, passengers will be able to process their e-mails during the journey, watch a film or chat on social networks…
The car of tomorrow: Innovative architecture
Car manufacturers are gradually replacing traditional vehicle materials to make the car of the future. The aim is to reduce the amount of metal used and replace it with stronger, higher-performance materials such as steel, composites and aluminium alloys, etc. The aim is to reduce the amount of metal used and replace it with stronger, higher-performance materials such as steel, composites and aluminium alloys. Various materials can be combined to improve their properties. The new technologies will be gradually introduced in the bodywork. Tomorrow’s car will then be equipped with several intelligent devices and its architecture needs to be completely revised. Thus, the vehicle of the future will be electric, autonomous and connected at the same time. It will offer multiple benefits such as reduced pollution, optimized safety and connectivity. Of course, there are still a multitude of challenges to be met before we see this new model on our streets. Nevertheless, the operation is already under way and can be implemented in the years to come.