Courtesy of Cadillac
Though cars are not yet capable of ninjalike invisibility or flight, auto engineers are hard at work on a few far-fetched add-ons that will one day be as common as cruise control. Ian Daly
The Laboratory: Cadillac
The Lowdown: Most luxury rides use xenon lights. But LEDs approximate daylight far better, and they can be clustered to offer a more fine-tuned illumination.
The Time Frame: Currently on the 2009 Escalade Platinum (pictured above)
PRE-SCAN SUSPENSION (A.K.A. MAGIC CARPET RIDE)
The Laboratory: Mercedes-Benz
The Lowdown: Laser sensors scan the road ahead for bumps, and a computer adjusts the suspension so that nothing jars you from your blissful Teutonic equilibrium.
The Time Frame: Debuts around 2012 on the next-generation S-class
TRAFFIC-LIGHT DETECTION (A.K.A. TRAVOLUTION)
The Laboratory: Audi
The Lowdown: The car's console communicates with traffic lights to predict the speed you should maintain so you don't have to stop, cutting down on time, gas, and traffic.
The Time Frame: May be seen as soon as 2013