Monday, July 27, 2009

Modern automobiles are increasingly relying upon more advanced electronics, computer, and wireless communication systems to assist drivers and enhance safety. These technologies replace mechanical systems that power, steer and brake the vehicle. Most vehicles have several computers, with high-end models having a half dozen or more that control functions, which range from shifting gears to operating GPS navigational systems.

GM has introduced the Autonomy concept model, which uses hydrogen fuel cell technology that powers electric motors in each wheel. The vehicle uses a chassis and replaceable body, allowing greater flexibility and freedom in designing the interior. Internally, the vehicle operates without pedals or dashboard, using sophisticated computer and electronic systems to operate the vehicle.

Voice activation is another technology being developed for use in future vehicles. Voice activation systems are expected to operate internal climate controls, open doors, and respond to navigational request by the driver.

The next step in automobile electronic and communications technology is vehicle sensor technology. Sensor technologies use radar or laser technology to control systems that detect vehicles in front which then automatically slow down the vehicle. Companies are using sensor technology to serve as collision-avoidance systems that operate and control vehicle safety systems and on-board equipment.