Seismic shift in vehicle technology

Forbes’ Jerry Flint summarizes many of the current technological trends currently moving through the automotive industry in his latest article.

First, though, Flint briefly touches on the plethora of new and different vehicles in the coming years. More hardtop convertibles, for example, such as the BMW 3-series, the Pontiac G6 and the Volkswagen EOS (pictured), will be joining the reemergence of small compacts by Honda, Nissan and Toyota.

Cylinder deactivation, low emission diesel engines and more efficient and less expensive hybrid batteries are joining ever increasingly efficient regular gasoline engines. Transmissions have long evolved from the old four to now six, seven and even eight speeds, and there are CVTs and double-clutch manuals, as well. And safety, always a selling point, may change so that electronic stability control (ESC) is as standard as the seatbelt and many airbags. Other safety technologies include intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning systems, and rear view cameras.

Flint ends his column by pointing out that much of the technological trends are from European and Asian manufacturers, not the U.S. automakers.

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