Combining Complex Systems

Sensors are combining with sensor to create sensor arrays. These sensor arrays are combining with computing power to solve complex problems and create complex systems.  The next big step is to combine these complex systems across a wider user experience. This is happening in a real and measurable way in many places, but especially inside the vehicle. Ultimately, this is how we’ll end up with fully autonomous vehicles – complex systems will combine with a large number of complex systems across the entire vehicle experience.

All of this will happen through starts and fits.  Hybrid periods I like to call them.  Here’s the next hybrid period I’d like to see:

My GPS system knows the speed at which I am traveling and also knows the speed limit for the road on which I am traveling.  But right now this information isn’t conveyed to other complex systems in the vehicle – like cruise control. Cruise control is evolving with developments like adaptive cruise control. Utilizing cameras on the front of the vehicle, these adaptive cruise control systems are now able to adjust to vehicles or other objects you are approaching at speed. If (read: once) my cruise control system has full access to my GPS system it could then adjust my speed to some function of the speed limit of the road on which I’m traveling. I could for example always travel the speed limit even though the speed limit is changing as I come into, through, and out of towns and other speed restricted areas.