Cars could soon be ringing the emergency services themselves if they are involved in a crash.Sensors embedded in future vehicles could also let emergency services work out the severity of the crash and how many people were involved.
The predictions came at a symposium considering the changes ushered in by the spread of small, smart processors. The growing number of on-board computers could also spell big changes for the way people drive.
"The car is probably going to be the most compute-intensive possession that we will have," said Steve Wainwright, European manager at Freescale Semiconductor which makes many of the chips inside car control systems.
Mr Wainwright said average cars have 25-30 electronic control units onboard already and high-end cars probably carry up to 80. These tiny computers are in charge of many car systems such as stability control, power distribution, safety and many others.
Increasingly, said Mr Wainwright, they are helping to augment a person's driving skill and that trend would only continue as technologies such as collision detection systems and radar become more commonplace.
Read more at 'Smart cars to mean safer driving'