New High-Tech Advancements Changing World of Automotive Transportation
In a recent copy of Car and Driver the magazine’s reporting crew outlined several new car high-tech developments that will be a part of our lives by 2022.
With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop be certified to repair your type of vehicle and part of that is knowing how to embrace the new technology involved. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean?
At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.
Excerpts from Car and Driver:
From Trash to Treasure
The current practice of using dedicated vehicles to map roads doesn't really scale, which prevents automated vehicles' range from extending beyond highways and city centers into small towns and rural areas. With that in mind, Continental and the Michigan Department of Transportation have partnered to test the idea of using the service vehicles that traverse our roads to do the dirty work. If the vision becomes a reality, vehicles such as garbage trucks, snowplows, and police cars could be equipped with the necessary sensors to create and update maps as they cover their daily routes.
Wireless, or inductive, charging technology could chip away at the long recharging times we've come to associate with EVs. With such tech installed in retail parking lots, drivers might take advantage of the convenience of wireless charging to add range as they run errands. Induction uses magnetic fields to transfer energy from the charging pad to the car, and it can be just as efficient as plugging into the wall. Wireless charging pads from Continental and WiTricity transfer electricity at up to 11 kW; 6 to 7 kW is typical from today's public AC equipment.
Attention Deficit Disrupter
Driver-monitoring systems like Subaru's DriverFocus are annoying. Which is the point, since anything that's going to keep a driver's eyes on the road needs to be more persuasive than the addictive apps we carry everywhere we go. Similar to the attention monitor that's part of Cadillac's Super Cruise system, DriverFocus uses an infrared camera to intuit where the driver is looking. (This differs from systems like Mercedes' Attention Assist, which gauges alertness primarily by monitoring steering inputs.) Take your eyes off the road for more than three seconds and the system chimes to call your attention back to the view ahead. Ignore the warning long enough and the vehicle will even slow to a stop. Yes, you can turn off DriverFocus, but there's an even better way to shut it up: Keep your eyes on the damn road.
Underground Data Mining
WaveSense's very high-frequency ground-penetrating radar reads unique patterns of subterranean pipes, rocks, and roots like a fingerprint in order to help a vehicle understand its exact location in the world. Developed at MIT and used by the U.S. military in Afghanistan to navigate unmarked routes through blowing sand and dust, it could help highly automated vehicles negotiate our streets without relying on the constantly changing above-ground landmarks that can also be shrouded in snow, rain, or fog.
Magnesium plays a minor role in today's multimaterial cars, but Allite's new Super Magnesium stands to promote wider use of the lightweight metal. Lighter than aluminum by volume and stronger and stiffer by weight, it costs only half as much as carbon fiber does. Mixed with rare-earth metals, Super Magnesium offers improved corrosion resistance, weldability, and multidirectional strength compared with existing magnesium alloys. While it currently costs about 20 to 35 percent more than aluminum, Allite hopes that process improvements and greater scale will bring Super Magnesium to price parity or lower. The metal can be cast, forged, or extruded for applications ranging from suspension links to body components. Test samples are just now getting into manufacturers' hands, so don't expect this particular magnesium in a production car until at least 2020.