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7/30/2014
12:32 PM
David Wagner
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Smarter Cars: 9 Tech Trends

Can your car wake you up if you get sleepy behind the wheel? Or recommend a good Mexican restaurant? These nine technologies will soon change the way we think about cars.
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The convergence of two technological trends -- the Internet of Things and the quest for the self-driving car -- is changing the way cars are being made. New sensor technologies are driving a revolution in the way we interact with our beloved cars, how safe they are, and even how fuel efficient they can be. Pretty soon, it will be hard to tell who is smarter -- the car or the driver.

That's probably OK with most drivers. People seem to love their cars like family. This survey shows that over half of British drivers name their car. The most popular name for a car in Britain? Betty. IWeek's own Susan Nunziata named her car Mabel. The funny thing is that as cars become more automated and more connected to our lives, we're only going to get closer to them. The next time a Mabel or a Betty swerves to avoid oncoming traffic, she's going to seem more like a friend than ever.

Cars are also going to get more social and even take on a personality as they become more connected to our lives. The first time Harrison (a common name for Fords) reminds his driver to pick up an anniversary gift, you can bet he's going to get rewarded with a nice wash and wax.

All of this is predicated on an increasing interconnectedness between cars, drivers, and the world around them. Your car is going to be packed with an increasing number of cameras, sensors, and networking gear that will allow it to not only see and measure the world around it, but to tap into what other cars and nearby objects are seeing. Imagine your car knowing that a child has run into the street right around the corner, because another car saw the child first.

So not only are Betty and Harrison going to talk to you, but they're also going to be talking to Mabel. All of this is going to lead to changes in the way we drive. Click on to see nine technologies that are going to make your current car look like a Model T.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Enterpriseefficiency.com. Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio

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PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 10:58:15 PM
Re: Talking not just to me ...
@ lorna I hope so too.  I'm bad at parking, if a car can help me park that will be great.  I guess that in the future, car accidents will be something of the past.  I keep hearing about self driving cards, but then I keep reading that there will be many states that need to change their legistation before those cars go on the road. 
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
7/31/2014 | 10:55:40 PM
Traffic light detector
Loved the idea of a traffic light detector. Would love that my car
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Black Belt
7/31/2014 | 10:55:15 PM
Re: Talking not just to me ...
@Lorna – I wish the insurance companies could be here at the place of impact as soon as it happens. I think that it's beyond the control of technology. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Black Belt
7/31/2014 | 10:53:31 PM
Re: External airbags
@David – Do you mean to say these cars need to have sensors feeding in data to  computer to analyze the possible impact within milliseconds?
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Black Belt
7/31/2014 | 10:49:42 PM
Re: External airbags
@Kristin – I don't think external airbags could hold the external pressure from the other vehicle on an impact. 
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
7/31/2014 | 10:49:42 PM
sensor for heat
People who leave tbeir kids in the car will not buy car with these sensors
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
7/31/2014 | 10:44:26 PM
External airbags
R u serious.
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
7/31/2014 | 10:42:24 PM
Smarter Cars
Wondering how much it will drive up the cost of the car. But loved some of the smarts the car will have
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/31/2014 | 5:14:49 PM
Re: Talking not just to me ...
@Lorna- Don't worry, by that time we'll be 3-D printing food anyway. :)
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/31/2014 | 2:30:56 PM
Re: Talking not just to me ...
I guess that's true! I just hope these are perfected by the time I am too old to drive myself around to the grocery store.
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