Five technologies that will shape the cars of the future
By Josh Dean, Seth Fletcher, Seth Porges and Lawrence Ulrich
Posted 08.09.2012 at 12:12 pm 1 Comment
1. THE INTELLIGENT COCKPIT
When J.D. Power released its annual customer-satisfaction survey in June, the issue that most irked American car buyers was not wind noise, inadequate acceleration or anything else related to the actual process of driving. It was unsatisfactory voice recognition. Drivers now expect cars to be rolling information-technology bubbles, and automakers are remaking the driving experience accordingly.
We really ask too much of our internal combustion engines--compression needs a cool environment and combustion a hot one--and the compromises made to accommodate those demands lead to abysmal efficiency. So a San Diego-based company is turning that around by splitting the engine into two parts--a hot half and a cold half--to potentially boost efficiency by 50 percent.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.