Plymouth Rock and Technologies That Could Change How We Drive
Fast Forward: 4 New Technologies That Could Change the Way We Drive
1. Finally, a sideview mirror with no blind spots is here. Well, the design is here: we’re still waiting for mass production to lower the mirror’s current $20,000 price tag for its prototype. Professor Andrew Hicks, a math professor from Drexel University in Philly used an algorithm to design a tiny disco-ball-style curved mirror that increases your field of vision from the standard 15 to 17 degrees to an amazing 45 degrees—eliminating that blind spot without the unflattering fun-house distortion. We can’t wait to change lanes without having to look over our shoulder.
2. A new industrial coating designed by Dutch scientists could mean never having to wash your car again. The scratch-resistant coating has many potential applications, from self-repairing contact lenses to self-cleaning solar panels.
Car manufacturers could use the ultra water-resistant coating to make keeping your car clean as easy as leaving it outside in the rain. Another bonus: cleaner cars are more aerodynamic (clean surfaces create less wind drag) and thus more fuel efficient. If you’re feeling scientific, you can read (for a small fee) the original paper, “Self Replenishing Surfaces,” published in the July 17 edition of the journal, Advanced Materials, here. The research team predicts that the first coatings will be ready for production by around 2020—right around the corner, so to speak.
3. Read my lips. Engineers at an “infotainment company” (whatever that is) have created a car that uses infrared sensors to control car functions—including the radio, climate, satellite navigation, and cell phone—with hand gestures, nods, and winks. The technology, still being tested, includes winking to turn your car’s audio system on and off. Nodding to the left turns the volume up, while a nod to the right will turn the music down again once your favorite Justin Bieber song is over (not). The new technology is slated to go into mass production as early as 2014.
4. All charged up. Number 4 on our list of new technologies has to do with the latest battery technology, and, like the coatings that are 2nd on our list, could have multiple applications and uses. Car batteries today, especially for electric vehicles and hybrids, are big, clunky, and expensive. But a team of researchers at London’s Imperial College are working on a €3.4 million, 3-year European Union-funded project to develop a battery made of strong, light material that could store and use electrical energy the same way a regular battery does.
Think of a world where cars, laptops, and cell phones generate their own power—not from a separate rechargeable battery, but from energy drawn from their casings or exteriors. Pretty cool, right?
Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in MA and CT. Plymouth Rock is the flagship carrier of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowner’s insurance throughout the Northeast.