If you asked a person in the early 1940s and 1950s about the future of automobiles, they would have told you that they expected flying cars in the early 20th century. While technology has allowed man to make great strides in automotive engineering since it was first made, sadly we have not yet reached the technology to create flying cars for the public. Not yet at least. The 21st century is an innovative age of engineering where “green technology” is the key focus and in an attempt to rely less on fossil fuels and more on alternative options such as electricity. Combined electric and gasoline powered hybrid vehicles are becoming more popular with consumers to save money on gas and reduce toxic emissions. Full electric vehicles are also starting to emerge, but with a hefty price tag attached. To conserve energy, more efficient lighting methods such as LED lights are also becoming increasingly popular with automakers and everyday consumers. LED lighting technology is becoming the future of automotive lighting engineering.

Hybrid vehicles are cars that use a gasoline engine and an electric motor to propel themselves. A small list of notable hybrid vehicles that many consumers drive includes the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Lexus CT200H, Ford Fusion, and many more. Thanks to the engineering of these cars, it’s not common to see an EPA-rated MPG of 40 or higher on the street or highway. Several benefits of hybrid vehicles include saving money by spending less money at the gas station, reducing your global carbon footprint, and access to HOV (high occupancy vehicle) or more commonly known as carpool lanes. In addition to saving money and giving you access to more convenient features on the road, hybrid cars also produce less harmful emissions, such as carbon monoxide, mononitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide.

In addition to hybrid vehicles, automakers are starting to produce and sell fully electric vehicles like the Scion iQ, Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Roadster, Toyota RAV4 EV, and more. Unlike its close hybrid counterparts; These fully electric cars do not use a gasoline engine. Fully electric vehicles are the ultimate way to save money on gas; savings of up to $580 advertised by companies like Tesla. Since these cars do not use an internal combustion engine, they do not produce tailpipe emissions; this is a gold standard of a green technology vehicle. One of the downsides of this new era of cars is that the high starting price drives consumers away, but over time they will become more affordable as technology advances. In addition to the cost, the integration of charging stations across the country is still several years away, making it inconvenient to travel long distances without worrying about charging the car.

Other technological innovations to improve vehicle efficiency, such as LED lighting, are also being integrated into these cars. LED stands for “light emitting diode” and is a semiconductor that lights up when power is applied. LED lighting is much more efficient at converting energy into visible light compared to incandescent bulbs. This feature of the light makes it an attractive piece of technology for hybrid and fully electric vehicles that benefits from all the electrical efficiency it can get. 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 taillights and LED daytime running lights are also becoming increasingly popular with automakers; whether the car is hybrid, fully electric or petrol/diesel powered. LED lights are not only more efficient, but can also produce a more aesthetically pleasing color of light. LED lights can be produced in various shades such as warm white, pure white, red, amber, and more, which can be used in different ways on the vehicle; examples include license plate lights, turn signals, headlights, running lights, taillights, interior lights, and more.

Although we are not yet in the era of flying cars, we are slowly advancing in technology, step by step. While the cost of this advanced technology remains high, as it improves and becomes more integrated into the everyday world; it will be more affordable. LED lights are becoming standard equipment on many vehicles and even in commercial and residential lighting. The future for LED lights is very bright and will continue to grow and mature with the automotive industry as the era of “green technology” unfolds.

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