Great Car-ma

Jetson-like modifications for your car
February 19, 2012

Cruise control on steroids: Imagine telling your car where you want to go. It then plots a route and takes you there, observing all traffic rules and braking for pedestrians and kids on bikes. Google has patented just such a system, rolling up more than 100,000 road-test miles in a fleet of Toyota Priuses. And Volkswagen teamed with Stanford to send a driver-free Audi TT up Pike’s Peak.

Wireless charging: What if you could charge your electric car simply by parking at home, at work or in a public lot—no plug required? Yep, it’s in the works. A transmitting mat on the floor (or built into the concrete of a parking space) aligns with a receiver under the vehicle, and electricity flows across a gap of a few inches. This year, Evatran will start selling a $2,500 home wireless kit for the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt. Automakers themselves may start offering an option in 2014.


Find more crystal ball innovations in Big Ideas for 2012 on 


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