Northwood University Florida is preparing to unveil the latest makes and models at its 2014 Auto Show of the Palm Beaches. The event will be held Saturday, February 22nd – Sunday, February 23rd as part of the University’s 30th Anniversary Homecoming Weekend activities. To learn more about the details of the show, please visit: www.northwood.edu/pbautoshow.As the university prepares to unveil the latest in automotive technology, show chairman Kyle Batta predicts that safety will remain a primary focus in his article below.
As technology has already provided hybrids, navigation, and even automatic parallel parking, huge firms everywhere are placing bets on all kinds of new and innovative technologies with the intention of building value in our automotive experiences.
Safety is at the core of this movement, as there is an unprecedented amount of protection that technology can do for drivers. Currently a human driver is responsible for making all of the decisions and actions a vehicle takes on the road.
Some firms like Volvo and Mercedes-Benz believe technology can assist a driver in the rare case of an accident by taking active handling or braking actions much faster than the driver does.
Imagine your car slamming the brakes, steering itself out of danger while simultaneously blowing the horn in just enough time for you to realize what had just happened. Active safety parameters are making their way into vehicles at all price-points, but firms such as Google and BMW think they can go even further. Imagine simply entering a destination, hitting start, and sitting back to enjoy the view along with everyone else on the roadway. Our cars will communicate with one another and maintain a perfect flow of traffic; eliminating the chance of a collision. These multibillion dollar firms plan to make your car safer by taking you out of the driving equation all together, and though we are long away from the self-driving car age, the foundation is being laid as we speak through the “Connected-Car Age.”
As you will see from the selection of vehicles we have on display at this year’s Auto Show of the Palm Beaches, the internet is making its way into your dashboard whether its purpose is to stream Pandora radio to the stereo, overlay Doppler radar on the navigation screen, or even update Facebook. Car and Driver predicts that in five years, a quarter of all vehicles will be connected to the internet, and not just so drivers can send tweets while on the freeway. Google has recently formed a group they call the “Open Automotive Alliance” between manufacturers GM, Honda, Audi, and Hyundai with the intention of creating an Android based operating system for vehicles. These operating systems will go much further than entertainment, as they’ll tie into every function the vehicle has from its ECU to the windshield wipers.
What separates Google’s plan from others such as Microsoft’s SYNC system is that Google’s operating system will be entirely software-based instead of hardware-based. This means any updates or changes will be seamless and not require any hardware changes. It will also allow vehicles to communicate with one another about their relative position on the road. Could this be the first step to developing self-driving cars? We will have to wait and see. There are still many leaps and bounds that need to be made before the public will feel safe riding in a driverless car on a highway full of driverless cars, but there is no denying our capabilities are increasing exponentially. Where the future will take us we cannot truly be sure but rest assured the internet will be with you every time you leave your driveway. For more information and future developments look toward companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple as these firms are leading the way and rallying auto manufacturers to jump on the bandwagon.A three-year veteran of the event, Batta plans on revitalizing the show by incorporating the international flavor of the university and by showcasing technological breakthroughs in the industry that will change global travel. Now a junior, he has climbed the event’s leadership ladder from Nissan/Kia Team Captain, to Asian Brand Manager, to Chairman within the past three years. His passion for the automotive industry runs much deeper than most, and it shows. An Automotive Marketing and Management major, he is from Boston Massachusetts and his family is in the automotive dealership business.