What features and technology will we see in the cars of the future? There’s no doubt we will see electric and self-driving cars. But what will the in-car entertainment system be like? Will the cars be able to talk to each other? Here are our car predictions of the future.
01) Electric Cars
Although the idea of seeing streets full of electric cars might feel more appropriate for a futuristic sci-fi movie, electric cars aren’t new. The technology to create an electric powered car has existed since the late 1800’s. An inventor named Thomas Parker built the first practical production electric car in London in 1884, using his own specially designed high-capacity rechargeable batteries. Electric cars were popular for several decades on the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, advances in combustion engine technology gave gasoline powered cars greater range and the electric car fizzled out. Of all of my car predictions of the future, this one is the most obvious. Fossil fuels won’t last forever.
One company to keep your eye on is Elon Musk‘s new company Tesla Motors. Founded earlier this year, he wants to disrupt the auto industry by making luxury electric vehicles. Musk already has a strong and successful track record in his previous endeavors including Paypal. It will be interesting to see what he can do for the electric car.
02) Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
Traffic jams. Accidents. What if the cars ahead of you on the road could communicate hazards to your vehicle and help redirect you around them? Soon cars will be able to communicate with both each other and even the highway itself.
Additionally, the passengers will be able to talk to each other as well. When I say “talk”, I mean wirelessly through console UIs such as Microsoft‘s Xbox Live, in-car operating systems (ie. CarOS) and over instant messenger.
03) Self-Driving Vehicles
As soon as we start seeing viable electric cars in the market, the next logical step will be to add radar and other external sensors to vehicles giving them the ability to drive themselves. Rental cars, taxis, and cargo transportation vehicles will all be first. They all have obvious and immediate cost savings. Self-driving cars for individuals will soon follow after.
Car ownership might eventually be a thing of the past. Just imagine commuters all renting on-demand and ridesharing with strangers in self-driving cars in heavily populated cities like San Francisco.
04) In-Car Entertainment
In the future, not only will your car download video wirelessly, but you might be able to buy online music or video games without leaving the driver’s (or passenger’s) seat. “We are moving very quickly to this world where I can have everything I want to listen to right now,” said Richard Lind of Delphi, a $4.6 billion Michigan company that sells navigation, video, and satellite radio systems.
Before long, Lind predicted, consumers will be able to play a “video game downloaded at the last gas station” or enjoy the “ability for vehicles to communicate with each other as they go down the road.”
Wireless networks that encourage file swapping in, say, rush hour traffic jams probably wouldn’t be taken lightly by Hollywood’s well-practiced lawyers. That’s why electronics makers already are planning to avoid the Napster-ization of the road by pledging to adopt digital video rights management technology. Lind said that his company will ensure that digital content is transferred from home PCs to the car “with all the appropriate rights management in place.”
What do you Think of These Future Car Predictions?
So when will all of this be a reality? It’s hard to say but personally, I think all of these car predictions of the future will come true before the year 2020. What do you think of my predictions? Please leave a comment below.
Frank Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of combined experience in the education, small business technology, and real estate business. He now blogs as a hobby and spends most days tinkering with old computers. Wilson is passionate about tech, enjoys fishing, and loves drinking beer.