If you were to ask an individual during the early 1940s and 1950s about the future of automobiles, they would have told you that they were expecting flying cars within the turn of the 20th century. While technology has allowed man to take far steps in automotive engineering from when it was first manufactured, we have not yet reached the technology to create flying cars for the public unfortunately. Not yet at least. The 21st century is an innovative stage of engineering where “green technology” is the key focus and in an attempt to rely less on fossil fuels and more on alternative choices such as electricity. Hybrid vehicles with a gas and electric engine combined are becoming more and more popular among consumers to save money on gas and reduce toxic emissions. Full electrical vehicles are also starting emerge as well, but with a steep price tag attached to them. To conserve energy, more efficient methods of lighting such as LED lights are also becoming increasingly popular among car manufacturers and regular consumers. LED lighting technology is becoming the future of automotive lighting engineering.
Hybrid vehicles are automobiles that utilize both a gas engine and electric motor to propel itself. A small list of notable hybrid vehicles that many consumers drive include the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Lexus CT200H, Ford Fusion, and many more. Thanks to the engineering of these automobiles, it is not common to see an EPA-rated MPG (Miles Per Gallon) of 40 or more on the street or highway. Several benefits of hybrid vehicles include saving money by spending less money at the gas station, reducing your carbon foot print in the world, and access to HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) or better known as carpool lanes. While saving money and giving you access to more convenient features on the highway, hybrid cars also produce less harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide, mono-nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide
In addition to hybrid vehicles, auto manufacturers are beginning to produce and sell full electric vehicles such as the Scion iQ, Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Roadster, Toyota RAV4 EV, and more. Unlike their close hybrid counter parts; these full electric cars do not utilize a gas engine. Full electric vehicles are the ultimate way to save money on gas; savings up to $580 advertised by companies like Tesla. Since these cars do not use an internal combustion engine, they produce no tail pipe emissions; this is a gold standard of a green technology vehicle. One of the downsides of this new era of automobiles is the steep initial price tag drives consumers away, but over time they will become more affordable as the technology progresses. In addition to cost, the integration of charging stations throughout the country is still several years away making it inconvenient to travel long distances without worrying to charge the car.
Other technology innovations to improve the efficiency of the vehicle are also being integrated into these cars such as LED lighting. LED stands for a “light emitting diode” and is a semi-conductor that lights up when power is applied. LED lighting is much more efficient at turning energy into visible light compared to incandescent bulbs. This feature of the light makes it an attractive piece of technology to have for hybrid and full electric vehicles which benefits from every bit of electricity efficiency it can have. Many manufacturers are beginning to integrate LED technology into their cars; for example the Toyota Prius and Lexus CT200H have options to come equipped with factory installed LED headlights. Factory installed LED tail lights and LED daytime running lights are also becoming more and more popular among car manufacturers as well; whether the car is a hybrid, full electric, or a gas/diesel engine. Not only are LED lights more efficient, they are also able to produce a more aesthetic ally appealing color of light. LED lights can be produced in various shades such as warm white, pure white, red, amber and more which can all be used in different ways on the vehicle; examples include the license plate lights, turn signals, headlights, running lights, tail lights, interior lights, and more!
While we are not in the era of flying cars just yet, we are slowly moving forward in technology one step at a time. While the cost of this advanced technology is still expensive, as it improves and becomes more integrated into the everyday world; it will become more affordable. LED lights are becoming standard equipment on many vehicles and even commercial and residential lighting. The future for LED lights is very bright and will continue to grow and mature with the automobile industry as the “green technology” era unfolds.