Editor's Note: Every day we're at CES, the HLN gang will spotlight "3 Things From the Future!" Today's focus? The transformation of cars from transportation machines to technology hubs.
1. Check your heart rate... and BMI?!
In-car infotainment that merely displays TV shows, the weather or GPS is so 2009. A new system being shown off by KIA can authenticate drivers by their thumbprint and use those same steering wheel touch sensors to also check your heart rate and blood pressure.
A few years from now, it's possible the car may suggest you pull over or slow down if it detects you're too stressed or drowsy to be behind the wheel.
The biometric system will also use height, weight and age information provided by the driver to let you know your BMI and body fat. Though what that has to do with driving a car is something even a KIA representative on the show floor wasn't quite sure of.
2. Park itself!
Hate parking? Cringe every time you're a passenger and your spouse comes thiiiiis close to scraping the car the next spot over? Well car makers are increasingly stressing the "auto" in "automobile" -- and that includes parking.
Audi is one of several companies that have introduced prototype driverless vehicles (an astounding thing if we can just pause and think about that for a moment) and in addition, they also have a system that allows remote-controlled parking via an app.
The driver can hop out while the car uses cameras, lasers and sensors to guide itself into a spot. Then when it's time to go home, a tap of the app summons the car to pull up to your location.
So when do you get to try it? Car experts think the technology could be in showrooms within five years.
3. Be powered by the sun. THE SUN!
Goodbye gas? Ford has introduced its C-Max Solar Energi at CES, which aims to be the world's first solar-powered car. The roof of the electric car is covered with 16 square-feet of solar panels. The Energi can then run 21 miles using just the electricity created from the panels. After that, the gas engine kicks in.
A Ford engineer says, "Essentially, they are electric vehicles, and then they turn into hybrids when you want to go further than 21 miles."
The Energi is still a concept car as Ford figures ways to squeeze more power out of the photovoltaic cells -- and simply adding more isn't an option, considering they're restricted to the size of the roof.
So there's certainly much road still to travel for solar-powered cars, but 21 miles is a good start.
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