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Awesome Automotive Technology Coming In 2015

by Steve Dearborn

It was right around 2005 when GPS went from a unique, high-tech feature in new cars to something TomTom, Garmin, and Magellan began mass producing. The Natural Resource Defense Council declared hybrid vehicles "mainstream" in 2010 after a decade of being an expensive imported anomaly.

The technology of 2015 automobiles is certain to pique the interest of car aficionados, as well as individuals who need a little computer assistance with certain aspects of driving.

Hydrogen Power

The Toyota Prius is widely regarded as the hybrid that took the technology mainstream. Now the company is about to do the same thing with hydrogen-powered cars in 2015.

The Toyota FCV was introduced to America at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this past January. The fuel cell stores hydrogen which reacts with atmospheric oxygen to produce electricity that powers the engine. The only remaining gas emitted from the exhaust is water vapor, making the FVC the most eco-friendly car in the world.

Of course such technology will come with drawbacks. There are currently only 10 fueling stations for hydrogen vehicles in the entire U.S., according to Automotive News. California, the state Toyota chose to debut the FCV next summer, has already earmarked $200 million to build 20 hydrogen stations by the end of next year. The state also enacted legislation approving construction of at least 80 more stations by 2024.

The $69,000 price tag on the vehicle also presents a challenge. The company said it will rely on leasing until subsidy programs are ironed out in Washington D.C.

Speed Camera Assistant

Traffic cameras are regular subjects of lawsuits across the country. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in January that speed cameras in Maryland did not violate the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Missouri Supreme Court will decide this year whether or not red light cameras violate Constitutional protections. Hyundai, meanwhile, has taken matters into its own hands.

The 2015 Genesis has a digital map of every speed camera and recognizes when you are within a half mile of one. It's not clear how Hyundai got all the speed camera locations, but more than likely it uses the database of SCDB.info. The car warns drivers first so they can slow down. But if the vehicle is still exceeding the speed limit as the camera gets closer, the GPS and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system of the Genesis will slow the car down for you.

The speed camera assistant was apparently a late addition. ExtremeTech.com named the Genesis its best tech midsize car in April, but made no mention of the technology.

Cruise More Controlled

When researching new cars, one of the more popular features coveted by those who drive long distances is cruise control. But now a company has taken the technology to a whole other level.

Cruise Automation Incorporated is currently accepting pre-orders for its Cruise RP-1. This $10,000 system is a toned-down version of driverless technology meant solely for highway driving. One press of the "cruise" button and the system take controls of steering, braking, and accelerating. It uses a combination of radar, cameras, and GPS to gather information on road conditions and other vehicles to keep you safe.

Kyle Vogt, the company's CEO, told Mashable that the RP-1 has only been tested on the Audi A4 and F4, but the goal is to make it work on any late-model vehicle. The RP-1 will debut in California next year, after the state irons out its regulations for autonomous vehicle technology.

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