#UK The 12 most impressive car innovations we’ve seen this year

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Porsche concept car driving

It’s not enough to design functional, standard cars that can perform all of the traditional automobile tasks anymore.

They have to be smart, comfortable, easy to use, and just cool.

That’s why automakers and tech companies have been designing innovative car features from holographic dashboards to rotating chairs.

These innovations can improve the driving experience, whether its you or the car driving, and highlight what we can expect to see in the near future.

Here are the 12 most innovative technologies unveiled this year, ranked from least to most impressive. 

12. Nissan unveiled a steering wheel that transforms into a tablet.

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What it is: Nissan unveiled its self-driving, IDS concept car in October, which comes with an animated steering wheel that transforms into a tablet.

What it means: There are no current plans to bring the car, and its technology, into production. But the car highlights how car interiors can alter based on whether they’re in autopilot mode or not. The steering-wheel-turned-tablet hints at what’s to come when we start seeing driverless cars around the year 2020.

11. This concept car comes with advanced touchscreen display that allows you to play video games or chat with friends.

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What it is: The Nissan concept car is a bit far fetched — its basically a giant driveable tablet that lets you play with the seats the same way you would an iPad. The touch screens accommodate video chats and video game playing, and provides information about the car itself like the distance to your destination.

What it means: Cars will become more intuitive going forward. We’ve already made cars easier to use with the advent of some touchscreen and Bluetooth technology, but soon touchscreens with highly advanced features won’t be seen as a perk, but as an expected necessity. Apple CEO Tim Cook even said “software becomes an increasingly important part of the car of the future.”

10. This high-tech car seat will give you a massage when it detects you’re stressed.

What it is: Automotive parts manufacturer Faurecia and Stanford University’s Center for Design Research developed the car seat, dubbed the Active Wellness seat, that can measure your heart and breathing rate to ensure you’re alert and comfortable.

If it detects you’re becoming stressed, it’ll recommend a back massage. The driver can then choose whether or not to accept the pampering.

What it means: One of the issues with semi-autonomous systems is you can become so relaxed you forget to remain alert. But even if a highly-intelligent system is driving your car for you, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of what’s going on in case you need to intervene.

This innovation shows how automakers will continue to focus on ways to keep drivers alert and comfortable when driving is no longer preoccupying their mind.

 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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