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How cars have changed over the last 10 years

Technology seems to change more rapidly every year. From smart phones to virtual reality headsets, the future is now. Cars are no exception. Some models available on the road now were nothing more than science fiction concepts a few decades ago. Even in the last ten years, cars are almost unrecognisable. Here are some of the ways cars have changed.

Styling

Throughout the 20th century, cars came in all shapes and sizes. But today, you will find that most cars have a similar overall shape, becoming more homogenous, even in the last decade. This is down to one thing – safety. Crumple zones and impact analysis has led to the ideal shape of car being well-defined. And while this might mean we don’t get the more distinctive designs that was once available, there are far few deaths by poor safety design than there used to be.

Safety

In fact, you could argue that safety has seen the biggest and most  important changes over the past decade. And it’s not just in terms of crumple zones. Building materials mean lightweight carbon fibre panels are more prevalent as a safety option.

Sensor and camera technology has also rapidly developed and been put into use. Smart cruise control will keep a car in its lane and at a safe distance from the car in front. Auto-braking technology means that if a car stops suddenly in front of you, then your car’s computer will apply the brakes at a much quicker reaction speed than any human could.

Other sensors can help detect oncoming traffic when reversing out of a parking space or onto a street, and some can even remove the blindspot as a problem.

Efficiency

It’s safe to say that drivers today are more aware about the environment then drivers ten years ago. The demand for hybrid and electric cars has certainly skyrocketed, and all the major car manufacturers have taken this onboard – the future is green.

Engines have had to become more efficient, with more MPG expected in the new models, as well as better CO2 emission levels. It’s part of the reason Volkswagen went to all that trouble to cheat emission tests.

Another bonus of the move to efficiency is in the consumer’s pocket. Having to refuel less means more money. While this might not be the motive of some eco-friendly drivers, having green tech be better value for money will convince those slow to adapt.

Soon every new car will be either hybrid or fully electric, and it’s already becoming the case that the eco-friendly variations are unrecognisable from the traditional petrol or diesel engined variations.

Entertainment

Having a car with internet connectivity ten years ago would have been a very different prospect than it is today. But new cars are being sold as wi-fi hotspots, showcasing connectivity above everything else. If you can’t connect your smartphone to your car these days, the it really is an outdated model. Add the built in GPS systems, DAB digital radio and even the ability to stream films and television, then cars today are becoming less a mode of transport, and more a mobile entertainment centre.

Technology  02/04/2019 14:11:55



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