Despite significant changes in the appearance of cars over the past 100 years, the way of driving remained the same. However, dramatic changes are approaching. Not only systems will change in the next decade communications and powering machines, we also stop lead them.
A completely different driving experience
The first difference between existing and future cars will be their names. Just as Apple and Samsung took over the mobile phone market, which was once dominated by Nokia and Sony Ericsson, Tesla and Google may become the most recognizable car brands..
Most likely, they will also look different. Large air intakes that cool internal combustion engines will no longer be needed, and side mirrors will be replaced with cameras and sensors. Windows can be larger so passengers can enjoy the view, or vice versa, almost absent, ensuring privacy. Mercedes-Benz Vision URBANETIC showcases these radical new solutions with a modular vehicle that changes body on demand.
Why the Future of Cars is Inevitably Electric
Car interiors will become more flexible, allowing you to customize color, light, privacy and location at the touch of a button. Recent Volvo 360c concept car provides a multifunctional space that can turn into a living room, office and even a bedroom. Sun visors will also be a thing of the past, as smart glass will allow you to control the amount of incoming light..
Some cars already have basic automation functions, but experiments with self-driving systems by Yandex, Uber and Google account for a negligible share of traffic on the road. By 2030, the car will stop simply helping the driver on the road, and will take control of most aspects of driving..
Many models will be equipped with augmented reality systems, which will display computer renderings on the windshield or other suitable display areas, indicating what the system is going to do next. This will help distract passengers and relieve stress from the transfer of control..
Drivers will be able to communicate with their vehicles using speech or gesture commands. The luxury models may even include early versions of brain-computer interfaces that link human brain signals to commands to drive vehicles or entertain passengers. Similar technology is already being used to control limb prostheses and wheelchairs..
The development of the Internet of Things will become the basis for how cars will transport us and communicate with the outside world. Sensors designed to recognize and communicate with upgraded road signs, markings, camera networks, pedestrians and other vehicles will allow vehicles to synchronize their movements, minimizing fuel consumption and improving traffic flow. Cars will also be able to help authorities maintain road infrastructure, for example by using sensors in tires that report worsening road conditions..
When the driver decides to get behind the wheel, the system will warn him about upcoming collisions with other road users and will try to avoid this. Improvements in thermal sensors are likely to allow cars to see much beyond the range of headlights. If these technologies are standardized and legalized, they should significantly reduce the number of road accidents..
Rural areas will still need to own a car, and cities will be able to move from sole proprietorship to transport as a service..
Fuel of the future
Several countries have already announced upcoming bans on the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles, and many will do so by 2030. Older models will still be in service, so it is unlikely that gas stations will disappear in 10 years. However, automakers are already focusing more and more on models that use the fuel of the future..
There is uncertainty as to whether the currently popular hybrids will be banned. This can prevent businesses from investing in their development. At the same time, electric cars currently occupy only 2% of the world market, but by the mid-2020s, their price will be lower than gasoline ones, and demand will quickly begin to grow.
Automakers expect all-electric models to be at least an attractive option for most drivers by 2030, but unanticipated technological innovations could easily change the future of automotive fuels..
Business and independent scientists are exploring the potential for using ethanol, hydrogen fuels and new chemical compounds. Researchers are also improving solar cells, batteries and catalysts, so it is not yet known exactly what the fuel of the future will look like..
10 years later
It may seem like 2030 is not that far away, but a decade is a long time for technology change. For example, the first iPhone came out in 2008, and governments and the media rarely brought up the topic of climate change. So don’t be surprised if, after 10 years, you look at modern cars and wonder how we used to do without it..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: carexpert, video: YouTube / The Verge, Engadget