Even tires are smart now — and cars can fly

Even tires are smart now — and cars can fly
The Geneva Motor Show is where imaginative prototypes and new tech gets highlighted.

Image: Robert Hradil/Getty Images

The Geneva Motor Show is a lot to behold with futuristic car tech oozing from seemingly every corner. This year, we’ve got the usual advancements in electric vehicles and speedy sports cars, but also the debut of smart tires and headlights and even flying cars.

Flying car

Yes, the Dutch company PAL-V revealed its flying car, the PAL-V Liberty Tuesday. The two-seater vehicle is still in the research stage, with a final testing before production to take place after the Switzerland auto show. The company anticipates take-off in 2019. It had a few of the flying vehicles on hand to show off.

Smart tires

Italian tire company Pirelli introduced its smart tires that connect to, yup, the internet. Information gathered from sensors in the tires is sent to the car and your phone app so you can know tire pressure, temperature, and tread depth. The tires are so smart that the information collected can trigger a stability control system that can stop you from skidding.

For electric cars the data could help drivers know even more precisely how many miles are left before a recharge is needed.

The sensors also notify you about tire rotations and replacements. The smart tire system will be available by the end of the year.

How the smart tires work.

How the smart tires work.

Image: pirelli

Smart headlights

The innovation keeps going. Mercedes-Benz turned on its brights with its smart headlights, Digital Light. At the car show Tuesday, the headlights were premiered on the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The two-million pixel lamps use sensors to determine how bright to make the headlights. 

Mercedes' Digital Light projects images.

Mercedes’ Digital Light projects images.

Image: mercedes/daimler

These hi-def lamps don’t just light up the road, they can supposedly project images based on motion. If it detects a person, for example, an arrow will beam towards them. The lights can also project zebra crossings for pedestrians to safely cross. If you swerve off the road, a projected lane marking can help you line back up. In icy conditions, the headlights are supposed to project a snowflake. 

The car show continues and officially opens to the public later this week, so buckle up for even more coming out of Geneva.

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