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The Exciting Future of Automobiles

Here's What's In Store For The Future:

1. Active Safety Systems
Active safety systems will include radar and cameras that watch for danger.

2. Keyless Entry
Credit-card style systems will replace car keys.

3. Navigation Systems
Every new car will have computer-like dashboard screens displaying navigation systems that employ global positioning satellites and onboard DVDs to provide drivers with directions, maps, and other information.

4. Wi-Fi Hookups
Almost every vehicle will have Wi-Fi hookups that provide weather reports, new, and other information.

5. Data Collection
Vehicles will be able to collect data that can be shared with dealers, manufacturers, and other vehicles to help service personnel perform remote diagnostics and troubleshoot for a broken down motorist.

6. Onboard Cameras
Onboard cameras will help detect blind spots, while helping parents watch their kids. Many vehicles will have cameras installed in the front bumper to help drivers "see" around corners.

7. 40-volt Electrical Systems
Forty-volt electrical systems will become standard to accommodate the new electrical devices.

8. Voice Commands
Voice commands will become common and necessary in order to operate the various functions in cars.

9. Electronic Pedals
Brake-by-wire and accelerate-by-wire pedals send an electronic signal rather than activating a physical connection to the engine and brakes. Emergency brake handles will be replaced by electronic switches.

10. Programmable Vehicles
Vehicles will be increasingly programmable. Drivers of the new Audi A8, for example, can change a car;s ride by raising and lowering road clearance.

ERND BOHN OF GERMAN AUTO COMPONENTS company Robert Bosch recently predicted that internal combustion engines will continue to dominate the automotive market well into the 21st Century.

Automotive manufacturers have invested considerable time and effort in attempts to improve fuel efficiency in these engines, and they've been successful. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates engines have become 30 percent more efficient over the last 15 years. However, the gains have been offset by the introduction of increasingly bigger and more powerful engines. The average engine is 63 percent more powerful than 20 years ago.

John Heywood, director of the Sloan Automotive Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, estimates new technology will reduce fuel consumption by a third by 2020and half by 2030. Gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles and modern diesel engines are significantly more fuel efficient than their gasoline counterparts, but new technology in gasoline engines is also expected to reduce fuel consumption.

Next year, General Motors will begin introducing "displacement on demand" technology in its engines, reducing fuel consumption by 8 percent by using only half the cylinders during most normal driving. GM predicts another 7 percent to 11 percent in fuel savings can be achieved through the use of continuously variable automatic transmissions.

New and exciting automotive technology goes far beyond fuel economy improvements. At the right are some areas currently under development.

As vehicles become increasingly sophisticated, motorists will be interested in protecting their investments with top-of-the-line synthetic lubricants. AMSOIL cutting-edge synthetic technology will be there to provide superior protection and performance, keeping vehicles running in top condition and maximizing fuel efficiency.

- AMSOIL Service Line, December 2003

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