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  • What Are the Software Development Advancements in the Automotive Industry?

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    In 2021, the number of connected cars operating worldwide was around 237 million(1). Estimates suggest that by 2030, 96% of all new vehicles will have built-in connectivity.

     

    With more vehicles getting connected and becoming part of the internet of things (IoT), automobiles also become a data source and not only hardware for transportation.

     

    This feature can help car owners access helpful information online, including traffic info, available rent parking spaces, and shortest routes to the destination.

     

    Credit:Hispanolistic

     

    What are the technological trends for automotive software development today? What are cooperative driver assistance systems? How about technologies that allow communication with other vehicles and infrastructure, like road signs? Can such advancements allow vehicles to detect road markings?

     

    This article explains the trending automotive industry software development advancements, including driver assistance systems, lane departure detection, and detecting other vehicles and road signs that can provide drivers with a comfortable and safe driving experience.

     

    Technological Trends in Automotive Software Engineering

     

    Technological breakthroughs over the years have improved vehicle safety, from seatbelts and airbags to anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and automatic emergency braking for pedestrians.

     

    But technological advancement isn’t stagnating. Car manufacturers continue developing new systems, especially those incorporating hardware and software, to provide increased safety and entertainment for car owners.

     

    The following are some of the technological trends in the automotive industry today:

     

    Cooperative Driver Assistance Systems

     

    Although cars generally become safer yearly, fatalities on U.S. roadways continue to climb. Estimates suggest around 13 car accidents occur each minute.

     

    These numerous vehicular accidents can severely impact human safety, vehicle damage, and traffic flow deficiency.

     

    One solution developed to address this challenge and enhance road users’ safety was the cooperative driver assistance system. Features in different driver assistance systems can vary by manufacturer. However, most systems have at least the following features(2):

     

    • Forward collision warning
    • Lane departure warning
    • Rear cross-traffic warning
    • Blind spot warning

     

    These features help alert drivers against potential dangers that can put the driver, passenger, vehicle, or other motorists at risk. This way, the system can encourage the driver to make decisions to avoid such risks.

     

    For example, a front collision warning alert will indicate that the driver will be hitting another vehicle, object, or person in front of the vehicle. This feature helps the driver prepare to stop or slow the vehicle, especially when the driver cannot see the object or person in front.

     

    Communication With Maps, Traffic Signs, and Other Vehicles Through Sensors and Other Devices

     

    A connected car system enables your vehicle to connect to a wireless network. This system lets you share real-time car data through that network or control some vehicle functions remotely.

     

    For instance, a smartphone app can let you lock or unlock your car remotely without using a key.

     

    Some vehicles with autonomous driving features let you park your car in an empty slot without touching the steering wheel. This car uses cameras, sensors, and online map data to detect road markings and other vehicles to ensure it can park safely without a driver.

     

    With these features, a connected car system can also help motorists during accidents or other emergencies.

     

    Connected systems also provide in-vehicle entertainment. For example, you can watch movies, listen to music, or download apps for your vehicle over the internet.

     

    Lane Departure Detection

     

    The lane departure warning system helps drivers avoid crashes and accidents when departing or drifting from their lane. This system detects lane markings and alerts you when the tire touches these markings.

     

    The warning is usually a beeping or flashing indicator. Some systems cause the driver’s seat or steering wheel to vibrate. However, this warning system will no longer display an alert when you switch on your turn signal.

     

    The lane departure system uses cameras to recognize lane markers. Other systems also work with sensors that detect other vehicles. You’ll get an alert if you’re trying to change lanes while another car passes.

     

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires vehicles with driver assistance technologies to have a lane departure detection system as a safety feature.

     

    Conclusion

     

    Despite the promising application of such technological advancements for vehicles, such developments aren’t perfect. Research and development are still ongoing to help improve these systems and increase overall vehicle safety.

     

    You can contact the NHTSA for more information about driver assistance technologies and how such technologies can help save lives on the road.

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