The Tom Cruise vehicle Minority Report is ancient news at this point, but at the time it was trying to show us what tech would be like. Even I-Robot didn’t age that well, but what these sci-fi flicks tried to show us was that if one thing – technology would have some seriously cool uses in the near future. If we aren’t capturing criminals before they commit a crime, or rejigging robotic ethics in defiance of Asimov we’re at least looking fancy.
One of the coolest uses of technology actually focuses on our beloved cars. It’s certainly not an under-the-hood improvement to speed or horsepower, but it’s something that looks good and improves our all-round use of the car. Car optics have come far in the last few decades. Before automatic mirrors and reverse cameras, the driver – or even the passenger – would have a lot more work to do in driving, especially when it comes to key observations in the vehicle. We’d need to lean, stretch, bend and adjust to ensure we have full view of the road and the surrounding area of our car. Tech has made this a lot easier – and while many thinks it means a lazier observer on the road, it actually means being safe while driving is easier than ever. Car optics have come a long way. The most basic improvement is in automatic mirrors – that adjust automatically meaning that side mirrors are always in an optimum position for observation. It used to be that mirrors would require manual tweaking, but not anymore. The car optics of the future might go beyond mirrors, intothe area of wide-angle cameras and visuals. This will lower the profile of the care, and also reduce the need for replacement auto glass in those smashes. We’ve all had a wing mirror knocked off!
We already see the use of cameras in reverse trunk cameras which show us an accurate image of the area behind our car. This innovation is so very important as it offers a clear picture not natural to the human eye and has made reversing a safer task than ever. In the future, this will be required of all newly produced cars, and can even be something that can be retrofitted into older models with aftermarket kits. It’s needed, for sure. These optics can certainly have many uses, and we’re seeing more and more user-installed dashboard cams on the front of cars that serve a multitude of reasons.
One of the biggest improvements we’re yet to see in the mainstream is the use of a HUD or heads-up display. This brings information and dashboard digits onto a screen in the driver’s view of the car. Critics do say that this could be distracting, but that’s a minor worry. A car’s windscreen in the future could feature GPS tech, weather info and dashboard information. There are kits available now, but why not wait for the future to bring that innovation?
Car optics are an exciting improvement in car technology, and we’ll bet we’ll see some stunning concepts in the near future.