Cars are more awesome nowadays than ever – powerful engines, sleek designs and impressive tech under the hood and inside the car. Driving can hardly be considered a burden nowadays, yet manufacturers still come up with clever systems to make it even simpler, up to the point where driver interaction is minimal to none. So, without further ado, here are the latest car techs that ease the burden of driving.

Electric Cars

electric cars

Electric cars have been on the drawing board for quite some time, but they just started becoming a reality pretty recently. While there were plenty of experiments with hybrid cars, all-electric vehicles are yet to reach their complete maturity. Even so, Tesla proves that they are on the right way, as their models offer some of best options when it comes to all-electric vehicles, with its performances being nothing short of impressive: insane instant acceleration (the Tesla P85D can reach 60 mph in roughly 3 seconds – same as numerous models of Ferrari and Lamborghini supercars), good mileage (approximately 265 miles on a single charge) and a completely different driving experience. One ride with a Tesla is enough to convince you that electric cars are the future.

Easy Parking

easy parking

Parking can be quite a challenging part of the whole driving experience, so auto manufacturers have found intelligent ways of making it easier. Numerous manufacturers implemented driver-assisted self-parking systems, where the car detects if a parking spot is big enough to fit the car using radars and sensors, and if it is, it parks itself with some minimum input from the driver. However, BMW made a demonstration at CES 2015 of a car capable of finding its way in a parking lot and parking all on its own. Even though the system worked perfectly in a demo parking lot, it is not quite ready to be released “in the wild” just yet, as it still has some issues when it comes to adequately detecting people. Audi also showed a nice demo of a self-parking car a while ago (watch it here), but that’s yet to become a reality.

Autonomous Driving

autonomous driving

Also showed at CES 2015 was a prototype of Mercedes’ autonomous car, the Mercedes F015. While the car proposes a fully autonomous approach, paired with a futuristic look and numerous other technologies “from the future”, it is unlikely that we’ll see that exact same model on the streets anytime soon. Nevertheless, autonomous cars will be a reality soon – Google is already working on its fully-autonomous car for quite some time now, Audi showed up at CES 2015 with an Audi A7 that drove by itself (except for the cities) from San Francisco to Las Vegas (that’s a 550-mile trip), and some Tesla models are rumored to receive an update in the future that will allow them to drive autonomously. In the meantime, there are some technologies that still bring a degree of self-driving to existing cars, such as lane-maintaining features or road sign recognition.

Augmented Reality

augmented reality

If you thought augmented reality is for video games, you’re in for a real treat: MINI just showed an awesome implementation of augmented reality in the MINI cars with the help of a special pair of glasses. The presentation video (which you can find here) shows some pretty awesome features, involving augmented reality-based navigation, image/object/location recognition (which should work very well with IoT-enabled devices), integration with parking sensors and camera for easy parking in difficult spots and numerous other great features. There is no clear indication at the moment whether this is just a proof of concept or a real thing coming to MINI fans in the future, there are some other augmented-reality based features that are already available, which can display various information directly on the windshield or on the mirrors.

Internet of Things

internet of things

The Internet of Things is all about connecting everything and everyone to the Internet, and it’s already present in a lot of cars. IoT makes driving easier by notifying the driver of best route options or driving conditions in real time, but can also improve the whole experience by providing unprecedented entertainment options, previously limited to computers and smartphones, such as access to music and video services, or even social media platforms, even though it is highly recommended that you don’t use these while driving. Pair this with the increasing number of IoT-enabled vehicles and the upcoming augmented reality options and you’ll have a clear view of how the future of driving will be shaped.

By John Smith and!