If you take a walk down history and revisit the automobile industry of yore, you can see how far the world has traveled in terms of automobile engineering and technology. Cars have evolved continuously, slow and steady until a few years ago and with rocketing tempo in the recent times. Now, imagine forty years into the future. What comes to mind is- sleek futuristically designed cars zooming away at top speeds, probably with no dark soot bellowing out of the exhaust and no noise at all. You probably will not have to queue up at gas stations either. Welcome to the car world, 2050.
Fuel could be a challenge
One of the biggest challenges which cars in 2050 will have to overcome is the kind of fuel, and the actual fuel consumption. For all we know, the best possible bet is solar energy because the world’s petroleum reserves are going to be depleted up to a great extent. So the cars in 2050 are most likely to run on renewable energies. The Mercedes, Aston Matins and Limos of 2050 will probably have a more advanced kind of fuel, something like liquid hydrogen which can be continuously regenerated within the vehicle. It could just be possible that in 2050, air pollution due to fuel emissions be lower than the poisonous fumes which we inhale right now. The other possibility is electricity. This technology has already entered the market and recently Nissan made a statement that it has developed a technology which could recharge an electric car in just ten minutes. So, what about the future? Do you think 2 minute chargers could come into vogue?
The size and shape
The cars of 2050 are going to be smaller and more compact. With smaller families and greater independence, large cars will lose the pride of place which they enjoy. Cars with single seats will perhaps replace the motorcycles of today. Simultaneously, the cars are going to get sleeker, more streamlined and smoother so as to reduce friction losses. Hovercrafts will probably be the in-thing. Rather than drive your car into the parking lot, you could probably fly into the lot and land on the spot. No more bumping against other vehicles and getting dents all over yours.
What else could cars of 2050 have? A car which can understand what you say to it? So, rather than a steering wheel, the car will probably have sensors all over the dashboard which can understand your words so you just have to speak instructions. Well, some scientists might even come up with a car with artificial intelligence. A car which knows what is right and shouts back at you if you make a wrong turn. Sensors are going to be big by 2050. Manual driving is going to reduce drastically and the scientists of the world are going to be busy trying to make people lazier.
Self driven / driverless cars?
Google’s driverless cars have already logged in over 100,000 miles. The technology can only get better with time. So, think of the possibilities of a driverless car. You just tell it where to go. And, with 4 – 7 seats in the car, the driving time can become family time. Instead of seats facing forward, the seats face each other (like in a train), and the car takes care of the driving. Now, throw in a TV / tablet / or whatever other device that 2050 offers, and your car becomes a mobile living room. Perhaps with all cars being self-driven, speed limits on roads can be revised upwards, so that a distance that takes 6 hours today could take just 1 hour in 2050. Imagine the time saved.
Maybe you could also program your car to drop you at the office, then go to the kids’ school at a scheduled time and drop them home, pick up your grocery from the store (that you have ordered online), and so on. In effect, it becomes like another working family member.
Speculations apart, cars are sure to undergo massive metamorphosis. What they look like and what they feel like to drive is only a figment of imagination as of now. The best we can do is hope for a car which causes less pollution, lower noise, takes up lesser space on roads and is extremely fuel efficient. Will these charming automobiles still be called cars? Well, you can speculate on that!
About the Author:
Mike Fischer writes for different automotive websites, blogs and newsletters and can be contacted at mikefischer620 [at] yahoo [dot] com with requests for content. He is currently promoting Uno Car Dealers as a venue for buying and selling cars.