Technology is constantly evolving and covers all areas of our lives, from home gadgets to space rockets. We are witnessing a huge number of ideas turn into something real. Today we will look at the automotive industry – one of the most progressive areas – and try to imagine what cars will be like in the next 50 years.
2010: Electric cars
Let’s start with our days. Manufacturers and engineers don’t just think about speed. They pay high attention to efficiency, convenience, controllability and environmental friendliness. The advent of electric cars, which are charged from the usual power grid, was a logical step towards more environmentally friendly cars.
Until recently, we could only imagine electric cars; their mass production technology was underdeveloped. But that has changed since the 2010s: electric cars are no longer fantastic and have become something much more tangible.
Today we live in the era of Ilona Mask and his Tesla electric cars, which are now available to any relatively wealthy person. The Tesla was the first electric car in the world to produce battery-operated, liquid-cooled cars. This allowed not only to heat the interior without extra energy consumption, but also to quickly recharge and discharge the batteries without overheating.
Today, the Model S and Model 3 Tesla are already ahead of such renowned manufacturers as Jaguar and Porsche in terms of sales volumes. At the same time, in 2017, sales of the Model S increased by 30%, while sales of the BMW seventh series decreased by 13%. The American company is devouring European brands in their home market; in the U.S. this process is even faster.
Regulators play a significant role in the mass development of electric cars. France, Great Britain, Germany and India have already announced that by 2025-2050 they will completely abandon the sale of petrol and diesel cars. China is thinking of a similar idea. And only the United States is falling behind the general trend.
From China to Germany: Which countries will give up gasoline engines
The main problem with electric cars is their high cost in comparison with petrol and diesel analogues. If gasoline cars are banned all over the world, manufacturers will have no choice but to make electric cars available to the mass consumer, regardless of their income level.
Thus, in this decade we have witnessed the birth of a new type of car. Soon they will become an integral part of our lives and will no longer amaze us with their capabilities.
2020: AI and Virtuality
Can you imagine an electric car that does not need to be driven? Volkswagen has a whole line of I.D. electric cars of the future, consisting of four concepts, from a compact model to a small bus. The I.D.Vizzion looks the most interesting – according to the developers, it opens up new horizons in terms of environmental friendliness, safety and comfort.
The driver in this case does not drive the car, but only paves the route in the navigation system. The various functions are controlled by artificial intelligence, voice commands and gestures. Instead of a display, there is a virtual screen which is projected in front of the driver and passenger. It automatically adjusts to the number of people in the cabin, reminding them of their preference for seat position and climate control.
“So far, this is just a concept. The model is expected to be on the market by 2022. It is designed for the mass market, while providing a level of comfort equal to that of limousines. The price has not yet been determined, but we expect it to be clarified closer to the production model. It should be stressed that we give priority to safety. The model will not be released until it is absolutely safe”.
2030: Without the comfort of a pilot.
In 2017, Audi presented a concept of self-controlled car Audi Aicon. The company plans to launch it in mass production by 2030.
It is a squat sedan with a futuristic design. Inside, it looks like a living room. The salon is designed for four people. There is no steering wheel or pedals in the car; the whole front panel is occupied by a multimedia system screen. Each of the four wheels is driven by a separate electric motor. Estimated power reserve on one charge is 700-800 km.
That’s what Audi spokesman Joseph Schlossmaher said about Aicon in an exclusive ihodl interview:
“Aicon will be a pioneer in overcoming the most difficult challenges in autonomous driving. At the same time, Aicon technology will later be used in models for the cheap segment. In this way, everyone will benefit from its introduction. This technology allows you to minimize the number of accidents, because the car is able to detect potential threats in advance, far exceeding the human driver. In addition, unlike a human being, the car never gets tired. Such cars can be driven by people who do not have a driver’s license. However, it remains to be seen what the relevant regulations will look like”.
2040: The car as a service
In this item we will move from specific car models to global market trends.
Researchers from the International Monetary Fund and Georgetown University believe that by 2040, 90% of cars in the US, Canada, Europe and other developed countries will be electric.
This situation will create unique new trends. When cars are completely unmanned, there is no point in buying and maintaining them. Uber, Lyft and other companies already give everyone the opportunity to use the car without having to contact with its purchase and maintenance. This trend is called “passenger economy”. It is predicted that in 20 years the largest segment will be “user mobility as a service” (CmaaS).
Currently, Google is actively developing appropriate software, while at the same time concluding partnership agreements with traditional car manufacturers. Volkswagen plans to create a single platform, combining it with its own service vw.OS: the company notes that such software is easier to maintain and update. Tesla is also working on a similar model.
Another example of this direction is the Udacity project, which provides services in the field of online education: it decided to create a course for training specialists in the field of self-managed car development. The course was so successful that the company decided to open a subsidiary of Voyage, which will develop self-contained vehicles. It will focus on producing self-contained taxis. Cars will not be developed from scratch: new equipment and software will be integrated into existing cars.
2050: We will fly
Designer Thomas Larson Rod believes that his idea will be realized relatively soon. He has developed a concept called Chase 2053, capable of moving around on the ground and in the air. As the name suggests, mass production of this futuristic car is expected in 2053.
The case of Chase 2053 is made of carbon nanotubes, which makes it rigid and resistant to any damage. The concept is equipped with an environmentally friendly hydrogen engine. Besides these unique features, the concept has no dashboard, which significantly reduces its weight.
Of course, Chase 2053 is still far from being implemented and the least realistic in our list, but remember what the automotive industry has come a long way in the previous 50 years, moving from simple gasoline cars without Wi-Fi, built-in computers and autopilots to electric cars, which have not only all this, but much more.