Cars of the future, what’s next?
- 18 March 2014
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Written by: Bob Flavin
The Geneva show has ended and the stands are being put away for the next show, car companies tend to use shows to both gauge public opinion on the concepts and to keep their brand in the minds of the media. It’s at these shows where press conferences tend to either lean towards the future of the car company or ram the latest model down our necks.
In the lead up to the show a lot of car companies put out pictures and even details of the equipment inside. In actual fact cars have never been so good, nothing much goes wrong with them, they start every morning. There are a few family hatch back cars with a faster 0-60 time than an race cars from the 80’s so what is the future?
If I really knew the future of cars I could make a lot of money selling the info to the car companies because they don’t know it either. It’s not the driving dynamics or the engines because that tech is as good as it ever has been, it’s all about the device now.
Yes mobile devices have intruded to every little private part of our lives and car companies know this so we see Apple joining up with Mercedes to put an iPad on the dash but there’s a huge problem with this, will we be still using iPad’s in 5-10 years’ time? This car might be around in 30 years and what will the tech be then?
You see nothing is moving faster than the mobile segment, even apps change overnight hence every time I connect to Wi-Fi my phone wants to update some app that I’ve forgotten was even on the phone. There’s another problem, most apps, phones and tablets require your attention. They can be demanding little buggers, this won’t work when it comes to driving because it’s more important that you pay attention to the road than the latest tweet; so there’s more tech on the way.
Self driving cars is the next arms race in the car companies, this will mean that you can get on with looking what your friend had for breakfast on Instagram or seeing what someone is trying to sell you on Facebook and all of it while the car looks after the driving bit. That’s the theory anyway but in practice you’ll probably jump into the back seat for a sleep and just let the car take the strain because people are a bit stupid when it comes to trusting electronic devices with out lives.
It’s already more than possible for a car to basically drive on it’s own, we already have radar guided cruise control and lane keeping in a standard VW Golf so what’s stopping the next step? There’s some legislation changes to be made because currently in most countries the law states that ‘you must be in control of your vehicle at all times’ and that means hands on the wheel and we all know how slow legislation is to change.
Another factor is Insurance, if I’m lying down in the back seat when the crash happens who’s fault is it? Mine, the car company or the little black box of tricks that was doing the driving? There’s also the human equation to consider, we are erratic and unless every car on the road is driving it’s self then there will always be the problem of unpredictability. With sites like kwik-fit offering personal accident cover, it still begs an interesting question for the future, how insurance is going to change with these self-driving cars.
You see, computers aren’t very good at predicting what humans will do next especially on the road and that ultimately will be the downfall of the self driving car, some people like to drive and others see it as a means from A to B either way it’ll be an uphill struggle for the car technology of tomorrow.
Pictures are thanks too:
Source One : https://flic.kr/p/m2Aani
Source – Two : https://flic.kr/p/cHWdgW