Cars have played big parts in many fictional stories, whether they be books, films, or TV shows. A lot of those vehicles in fiction had features and gadgets that were seemingly from the future and were impossible to make real.
Of course, over the years, there have been plenty of developments in technology that have allowed car makers to include a lot of features that in the past were thought to be only available in the realm of fiction. The following are just a few examples:
- Run-flat Tires
Run-flat tires allow cars to be driven up to a certain speed for a certain distance (enough to get to a gas station or service center) even with some damage. They have been in use for some time now, but they haven’t caught on…yet. We saw tires like run-flats in some spy movies and action thrillers, allowing the good guy to escape even when his tires were shot at. In real life, BMW is probably the biggest manufacturer that uses run-flat tires. Their price is still a bit prohibitive, and they still have limitations, especially when it comes to the maximum distance a car can be driven on them, but they’re getting there. In a few years, run-flat tires will be much better.
- Talking cars
We’ve seen it in countless films and TV shows: our hero, the driver, talking to his/her car, who talks back and helps him/her. Of course, we don’t have vehicles with full AI yet right now. We’re pretty much limited to directions and reading messages, but the fact that we have those right now is still pretty amazing.
This one is connected to the item above. We’ve had GPS navigation on our cars for quite some time now, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. We have a map that tells us right where we are and where we need to go…in real time!
- Autonomous driving
Source: The Guardian
We’ve had cruise control for years, but real autonomous driving goes beyond just controlling your speed on the highway. The technology isn’t there yet, but it’s developing very quickly. We’ve seen the self-driving car prototypes from Google and other companies. They’re not perfect yet, there are still a lot of issues that need to be resolved, but the fact that they can be ridden safely not just in completely controlled environments is encouraging.
Those are just a few examples of automotive technologies and gadgets that we first saw in fiction but are now being fleshed out in reality. Can you think of any more? Share them with us in the comments!