Whenever we read about, or hear about, people confidently presenting their vision of any kind of future trends, we, of course, need to take it with a grain of salt. However, as a business technology expert, I know where to look for indications on the direction technology is taking, and for the fun of it, I will try to make some educated guesses.
Let’s see what some of the trends that could change the way we travel are.
The Future is Electric
Thanks to innovative car makers such as Tesla and Chevrolet and others following in their path, we can safely assume that the sale of these economical and environmentally friendlier electric vehicles will be on a steady rise.
What does that mean for all of us drivers?
It means that we can expect the cost of our ride to go down, as electricity is cheaper than gas. At least for now.
This diagram from AVT shows us just how big of a difference there is between using an electric, a hybrid, and a car that runs on fossil fuels.
Does this mean the price of electricity for car transportation will remain the same? Probably not. The government will be sure to exploit the rise of popularity of electric vehicles and impose taxes for charging our car’s batteries. Stan Jakuba explains this thoroughly in his research.
At least we can enjoy a smoother, cleaner and quieter ride, if nothing else.
Internet of (Car) Things
As technology develops, we can already see the “smart” revolution spreading across car manufacturers, as well as their peripherals. There is a sea of new startups that aim at making life easier for both drivers and passengers alike.
There are a ton of super-cool things in the making, so let's name a few.
Control Your Car From Afar
In the spring of 2017, Ford will release its SYNC Connect app that will enable the owners of its new Ford Escape to lock and unlock, locate, or check the fuel levels of their car, or even see if some of their car parts are malfunctioning. All from their phone. Similarly, BMW has developed a futuristic car key with a small display on which you can track all kinds of information about your car, and take various actions from afar. This can come in very handy when calculating travel cost or looking for your car in a less familiar town.
Massages for Everyone
One thing that I personally can't wait to happen is to get massaged while enjoying a ride. Thanks to one car part maker, this is becoming a reality. Supposedly, the sensors in the car seats can detect your breathing and stress levels, and automatically offer you a good ol' massage. Just imagine how relaxing that can be after a stressful day at work.
We have all heard of Tesla Motors and its awesome autopilot mode. It is safe to expect that other car manufacturers will follow in Tesla's steps and start implementing autopilot mode in their own car models. This is great news for everyone who regularly takes longer drives on highways to work and back. So, when you share a long ride with someone, you can safely talk to him or her, without being a distraction.
Augmented Reality is a Reality
The WayRay tech company has created a holographic projector which projects augmented reality on your windshield in the shape of arrows guiding the route. There is also information about distance, speed, etc., which can greatly improve night driving experiences.
Keeping an Eye Out For You
Mobileeye has developed a smart camera-based traffic avoidance system that can detect incoming collisions and warn you about pedestrians chasing Pokemon or just not paying attention.
Well not really, but maybe that too. What I meant is that cars will be able to communicate with each other. Car chatting could prove pretty useful safety-wise. Imagine someone crosses a red light at an intersection and you don't notice it in on time. Using this technology, called Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication, or V2V, other cars can alert your car that you are on a collision course. Automatic braking can then be deployed which could potentially save lives. A piece of technology that can't come soon enough, if you ask me.
These are just a few things that are in the works, or already available, that will make our driving a lot more enjoyable and safer experience. Whether you are a passenger or a driver, I can bet that you, like me, can't wait for at least one of these to come to a car near you.
Is there something you wish the following years would bring to the way we commute? Let us know in the comment section.