Monday, June 4, 2012

The Future of Cars

According to David Hunter Tow, Director of The Future Planet Research Centre, by 2015 most cars will be powered by electricity with advanced lightweight lithium batteries capable of being charged rapidly at power outlets as well as by hydrogen cells. The new electric vehicle infrastructure enabling simple recharging and replacement of batteries and liquid hydrogen storage will be well advanced in major cities.

Computer systems will increasingly control all vehicle functions as standard- including those already in use for navigation, entertainment, collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control, anti-collision radar, safety crash protection, stability and automatic parking.

By 2020 in most larger cities, small efficient electric cars including single and dual passenger variations will be available for flexible and inexpensive hire for local transport needs via smart phone managed pickup pools, servicing urban neighbourhoods (Ref Future of Cities).

The major advance however will be in the form of fully automated cars capable of navigating autonomously, guided by sensor/ processor embedded smart roads and transit corridors; obeying traffic laws and avoiding collisions with other objects and vehicles. They will also be capable of interpreting traffic forecasts and communicating via local networks with other vehicles to reduce road congestion. In addition they will be responsive to passenger requirements, linked via the wireless Web to their activity profiles- appointment schedules, regular destinations such as schools, child minding centres and leisure centres etc.

The car of 2020 will also be capable of providing and monitoring in-vehicle entertainment and communication, emergency assistance, scheduling and payment services for power charging, parking, security etc. Automated transit control will facilitate traffic streaming and congestion management, with specialised car, bus and cycle transit lanes in operation throughout most urban areas.

By 2030 individual cars will have transformed into autonomous transport pods or capsules for individual passenger urban use. Pods will link seamlessly to other minimum carbon-emission forms of transport for local neighbourhood and inter-urban movement- light metro rail, electric cycles, scooters and bicycles. Pod streaming infrastructure will link to smart transport hubs, providing automated fast electric urban and intercity pod/light rail/bus services.

By 2040 the car as we know it today will cease to exist in the developed world’s urban areas. In its place will be multipurpose intelligent transit pods- systems seamlessly linked and customised to individual and community needs. Most ground-based vehicles except for bicycles will be totally autonomous and humans will become passengers only. All instructions managing human and urban infrastructure interaction such as pick-up/destination location and schedule requirements will be relayed by mobile links and automatically accessed by the pod system via the Intelligent Web 4.0.(Ref Future Web)

By 2050 the first vehicles to take advantage of 3D transport will emerge. Multilevel transit systems will be suspended above the transport routes of cities with lower levels restricted to bicycles, scooters and walking. All levels will link with major transport hubs and metro trains for super-fast autonomous intercity and new low energy system air travel. All service and logistical decisions will be managed by adaptive algorithms via dedicated secure virtual networks of the Intelligent Web.

Humans and their transport infrastructure will be seamlessly and permanently networked.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I am impressed with the way you have enlightened the readers with the cars being transformed into such pods that will be more beneficial to us then before :). The future cars will be so fast that it would just be a matter of time, that one could travel easily to far off places. In some countries where the resources like fuel, water, gasoline are getting shabby and extinct, this concept will be beneficial for them.



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