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Understanding the Evolution of the Automobile Over the Last Decade

Just ten years ago, automobile companies started to realize the impact technology would have on cars of the future. However, the big features on many vehicles then were still extra cup holders or maybe a DVD player. While these were considered luxuries to have when driving down the highway, today's automobile have evolved far more in numerous areas, and are often called brains on wheels.

Fuel Economy
Perhaps the most important feature for many consumers, fuel economy has improved significantly over the past decade. Ten years ago, large trucks and sport-utility vehicles were all the rage, and along with them came very large gas tanks and very few miles per gallon. However, as more consumers began to make fuel efficiency a priority once again, engineers began making changes to increase fuel efficiency in all makes and models of vehicles. As a result, miles per gallon increased 14 percent from 19.8 to 22.5, thanks in large part to new government standards. By using engine dynamometers and other testing equipment, such as that produced by Power Test, Inc., it's expected that fuel efficiency will only continue to improve.

Accident Avoidance
To increase the safety of drivers and passengers, both consumer vehicles as well as those used in various industries have been equipped with more safety features. Among the most common are airbags, which only a decade ago were still considered something of a novelty. In fact, a decade ago the average vehicle only had two airbags. However, today's vehicles have anywhere from 4-10 airbags located in the front, back, and sides of the vehicle.

Safe Driving Technology
Along with installing more airbags in vehicles, today's technology also allows for many other safe driving features. One of the best has been rear back-up cameras, which allow drivers to have much greater vision of what's behind them. Another interesting feature is terrain management capability, which lets the driver select the type of terrain they are driving on and adjust accordingly. For example, if the terrain should be pavement, snow, or sand, the vehicle can be equipped with technology to help adjust throttle inputs, wheel spinning, and other ways to stay safe behind the wheel.

As automobiles continue to have more technology incorporated into their engineering as well as driver and passenger areas, additional developments are expected to occur quite rapidly. With such technologies as wireless to wireless communication allowing cars on the road to "talk" with one another, the possibilities appear to be unlimited.

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Tags: accident, automobile, avoidance, driving, economy, evolution, fuel, of, technology, the


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