Technology rapidly improves the driving experience

Thursday August 9 2018

Technology rapidly improves driving experience

Technology is definitely changing the driving experience of several motorists. Photo by Rachel Mabala 

By Mustafa Ziraba

Automobile manufacturers are continually introducing new models with more features, more powerful engines, computer networks to rival a small office and more gears in transmissions. So what does all this complex automotive technology really do for owners, drivers and passengers of these high tech cars?
When Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) was first installed in cars, owners feared that the technology would leave them stranded on the side of the road. True, there are a few faults that can stop a car, but engine computers compensate for most faults and let the car “limp” home. Some will even allow the engine to run without coolant by turning off cylinders in sequence to prevent overheating!

Infrequent maintenance
Today, many drivers have forgotten about carburettors that needed adjustment every now and then or sparkplugs that needed changing every so often. Technology has eliminated much of this frequent maintenance and improved engine performance so that many cars can operate for years without engine adjustments. Improved driveability, better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions are other benefits of engine computer technology we often overlook.

Fuel efficiency
Multi-port is a thing of the 1990s, however, in a direct injection motor, fuel goes directly into the combustion chambers, rather than having to go through the intake manifold first. What does that mean for you? More power and fuel efficiency. This is why modern engines are so amazing in even smaller packages.

Automated transmission
Automatic transmissions are also computer controlled. During a shift, the computer reduces engine power for a split second so that the clutches can apply without excessive slippage. Technology helps provide a smoother shift, longer transmission life and can even adapt transmission-shifting patterns to match your driving style.

Improved safety
Safety has also been improved dramatically with electronic sensors that deploy air bags during life threatening accidents. ABS and stability control systems help drivers keep the car under control when roads are slippery or during sudden accident avoidance manoeuvres.
Many new cars use “brake assist” technology that senses the rate at which the brake pedal is pressed and automatically apply brakes fully if necessary. In some instances, drivers may step on the brake pedal quickly but take time to react fully in dangerous situations. However, the computer will already be providing maximum braking force, stopping the car a few feet shorter to avoid an accident.

Better problem diagnosis
Around any garage, I often hear people talking about the good old days when cars were simple and easy to work on. In reality, few remember how much work was involved in maintaining those cars. Granted technology has presented challenges when repairing cars, but it has also built better tools to diagnose problems too.
Nonetheless, while technology has vastly improved cars over the years, some things never change; engines still need oil, filters get dirty and tires need air. Therefore, have routine maintenance items checked often to protect your high tech automobile.


One of the major problems in the car industry is counterfeit parts. However, with technology, Blockchain capabilities have been employed to deal with this issue. The belief of the market players is that this technology will bring transparency and improve the overall pricing hence fostering fair market prices.

There is no stopping as far as improvement of cars is concerned. Drivers are continuing to see more changes and in the coming years, these improvements will only get better.
This crosses over to how cars are managed; mentions that the app Blinker is one such technological advancement that is giving control back to consumers, allowing them to buy, sell and finance cars all on their smart phone helping drivers to personalize their rides, and more driver assisted technology within cars.
Other advancements that motorists can look forward to are more fuel economising cars such as electric cars, predictive vehicle technology where cars can be easily controlled by smart phones.
Car rental services will also benefit from technological improvements through cars-as-a-service though that seems a long way off.
These technological improvements within the motoring industry will indeed help in improve life more so the electric cars that lower carbon emissions to the environment fostering a green environment.