There is a lot going in the in the car industry at the moment – and it’s all exciting.
It’s something of a revolution now that vehicles of all types are becoming more about technology and computing than about machinery. Think about what happens when you go to a mechanic’s now – your car is plugged into a diagnostic as soon as the hood is lifted. If all this has already happened, what is the future going to bring?
The cars, trucks and vans such as the reliable Transit will all be electric. Although electric cars have been around for a while already, they are not used in a widespread way, but this will all change in years to come. New vehicles won’t have the option of petrol or diesel; electric will be the sole way of powering the vehicle. This will be better for the environment, and it will make them cheaper to run as well.
More electric charging points will need to be introduced at strategic points, and the charge will need to last a lot longer to make the vehicles efficient and journeys more comfortable, but since we’re talking about the future, we can assume that this will be in place when the electric only roll out happens.
A car without a driver. It sounds almost like a joke, or some strange dream, but it is reality. Or almost reality, anyway. Currently in development, driverless cars (also known as autonomous cars) are predicted to make driving much safer. It will be like having a chauffeur, and all you will need to do is program the destination information and sit back to enjoy the ride. This extreme version of an autonomous car is a little way off yet, but there are cars out there right now that can park for you, and cruise control is a type of autonomy too.
The Connected Car
We’re very close to having an entirely connected car, it would seem. A connected car is one that can communicate with the outside world. It should be able to find out what the weather is like (and what it is predicted to do later). It should be able to gauge the vehicle’s condition, and sensors should be able to tell it what the road surface is like. Knowing these things will then enable the car to pass those messages on to the driver, allowing them to make safer driving decisions.
The cars will suggest an optimum speed, for example, or remind drivers that their tyres are becoming bald. Such advanced connectivity is the first stage of complete autonomy, and we’re not quite there yet, but many cars are now equipped with a range of sensors that drivers can use to help them travel more safely.
Everything you thought you knew about how to sit in a car could be changing in the future. If all cars are driverless, there will be no need for a console or dashboard. No need for a steering wheel. So, it follows that there would be no need for solely forward-facing seats. The seats in a futuristic car will probably face one another, allowing people to talk, play games, engage with one another more. That can only be a good thing!
Well… maybe one day.