Why 2013 Might Be the Last Year You Drive a Car

Most people don’t realise their car is actually a powerful computer. Computers in modern cars control the multimedia system, sat-nav, dashboard and engine. And approximately one third of all computing in cars is just to tell you what’s going on.

Have you ever wondered…how does the car start after pushing the start button? How does it know there’s 24km left to empty? How does it know the rear left tyre is at 34 psi?

Because as a car moves through the production line, sensors, computers and millions of lines of computer code are installed.

Mercedes Benz claims their new S-Class model has over 30 Million lines of code. And that’s just for the multimedia system.

In comparison, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jets uses about 5.7 Million lines of code to operate its on-board systems. A Mercedes is more complex than a fighter jet!

But there’s more to these car-computers than just sat-nav and MP3′s. One of the aims of car makers is using technology for safety. Companies like Mercedes, Volvo and Audi are all working on their own version of a revolutionary safety project…

Automated Driving!
 

The World Health Organisation estimates 1.24 million people die every year as a result of car accidents. The most common cause of these accidents is human error. Worryingly, half of the fatalities are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Further to this, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates car related injury and death has a lifetime economic impact of over $70 billion.

That’s why the need for auto-cars and auto-safety is so important. It will help eliminate human error from car-accidents. It might even eliminate car-accidents completely. That’s the real goal of auto-car technology.

It’s closer than you might think too. Mercedes said they could have put automated driving in the new S-Class. But they weren’t 100% confident the system would pick up everything, just yet.

They’re so close it means within the next 12 months we could see an auto-car on the market.

It’s not just car makers that are working on auto-cars either. Google gets a lot of press about its driverless cars. And for good reason. They’re doing great things with the technology.

Google fitted a Lexus with a complex array of lasers and sensors. With this technology, the driver can sit back, relax and let the car drive itself. The Google Lexus has logged thousands of driverless miles. And a fleet of Google Priuses with the same tech has logged over 500,000 driverless miles.

There’s a good chance if you live in the US you’ve passed one and didn’t even know.

You’ll continue to hear a lot about Google’s driverless cars, but don’t expect to be heading down to a Google dealership anytime soon. Remember, they run a search engine. They don’t make cars.

The other car maker that might put out a complete auto-car is Tesla Motors. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has been talking with the team at Google about automating the Tesla range. As reported by Bloomberg, Elon thinks, ‘autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.’

Tesla has been working on the technology in house but aren’t quite at the stage of Mercedes or Audi. That is, they don’t actually have a test model yet.

When I look closer at the tech involved in auto-cars I see opportunity. But the opportunities might not necessarily lie with the car companies themselves. It might be with manufacturers of the tech used for these systems.

Take for example a company like nVidia. It makes cutting edge graphics hardware. It’s likely there’s nVidia tech in your smartphone or tablet.

You see nVidia have partnered with Audi, Tesla and a number of other car makers. They use nVidia technology mainly for multimedia functions. But one of the key partnerships is with Audi.

Audi use nVidia tech in new safety systems. nVidia say their hardware can detect pedestrians, read speed limit signs, improve navigation and avoid collisions. All functions crucial for an auto-car.

Its companies like nVidia that may benefit from auto-cars as more adopt the technology. And the future might just be a world with no road accidents ever again.

Sam Volkering
Technology Analyst, Money Morning

 

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Sam Volkering is contributing Editor for Markets & Money. He’s also Editor at Money Morning, where he’s the in-house small-cap, tech and cryptocurrency expert. Sam has had a varied a career in economics, finance and financial advice. He’s advised high net-worth individuals on how to invest their wealth and how to best navigate the turmoil-ridden world we live in. After tapping out of the financial planning world, Sam decided to join us and dedicate his working life to finding the most life-changing investment opportunities that exist in the world today. Today he travels the world speaking to and grilling the who’s-who of the investment world. He spends every waking hour uncovering the latest microcap and small-cap stocks, the most revolutionary technologies and the next big opportunities in cryptocurrencies. If you’d like to learn about the specific investments Sam is recommending, you can take a 30-day trial of his small-cap investment advisory Australian Small-Cap Investigator here or a 30-day trial of his industry leading cryptocurrency service, Sam Volkering’s Secret Crypto Network, here. But if that’s not enough, Sam also hunts down revolutionary technology companies. He recommends the best ones he finds in his breakthrough technology investment service, Revolutionary Tech Investor. If the best companies exist in Australia, Sam will find them. If they’re in Silicon Valley, Frankfurt or Tokyo, Sam will find them there too. To find out more about how Revolutionary Tech Investor can help you profit from world-changing opportunities, click here to take a 30-day no-obligation trial today. Websites and financial e-letters Sam writes for: Money Morning Australian Small-Cap Investigator Sam Volkering’s Secret Crypto Network Revolutionary Tech Investor Microcap Trader


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