For many people, the automobile is more than a means of transportation, it fulfills their desire to move around independently. Over the next few years, cars, and the way we use them, will change. Manufacturers typically redesign cars every 5 to 7 years, but it’s not always easy to predict how the cars will look like and what will power them.
When we think of cars of the future, we imagine autonomous, electric cars connected to the internet. However, automobile industry experts predict cars will be much more than that. Car designers are always responding to the innate human desire to move freely and comfortably. Here are 3 ways car designers are reshaping the future.
1. Upgradable Cars
No question about it, people value flexibility and expect it in all areas of their lives. We expect the commuter of the future to have a “personal mobility portfolio,” and the car will only be a part of it. Digitally customized paint, panoramic sunroofs, and cameras providing 360-degree vision will be commonplace.
More manufacturers will replace steel with carbon fiber and other lightweight materials. Vehicles will feature stylish, efficient contours with low aerodynamic drag. Drag is the aerodynamic force that opposes a vehicle’s motion.
The car of the future will be upgradable with some sort of morphing shape. A sedan, pickup, and coupe may have very similar architecture. The car’s design will be safer and more dynamic.
2. Personalized Autonomous Pods
Companies have been working on self-driving cars for some time now, so we expect to see more of them on our roads. In the near future, car shoppers will be able to view and purchase vehicles from a virtual auto showroom. The vehicles will drastically improve the driving experience–especially the safety and comfort of long-distance drives.
The futuristic cars may require drivers to monitor some vehicle operations and remotely switch from one driving mode to another. In many regions, small, highly efficient mobility pods will be the norm, offering people compact travel solutions.
Pods are automated driverless vehicles that will operate on elevated or underground shuttle networks using rapid transit systems. They will be parked on rooftops and won’t take up space on parking lots.
Driving will be safer and more efficient as centralized traffic control will result in less congestion and smoother traffic flow. Cars will be connected virtually, and when they arrive at their destinations, will park themselves in high-tech parking structures.
3. On-Demand Public Transport
Soon, designers will design cars that can be incorporated into a greater mobility network. In metro areas, a well-organized, on-demand transportation system will still be the most effective way to move many people. Taxis may be bigger and accommodate 6 people or more. However, they will be totally automated and will be requested on-demand.
Once inside the taxis, people will enter their payment information and destinations. The vehicles will automatically move travelers to their destinations before moving on to serve others. These on-demand transportation pods will be the primary mode of transport.
Transportation pods will be powered using renewable energy and pick up passengers as needed. Riders will request a public pod via a voice-activated interface at home or in the office. A pod may accommodate one person or more, depending on its design.
We expect gas-powered cars to be extinct by 2060. They will be replaced by small electric cars or autonomous pods. Shoppers will base their vehicle purchases on their needs instead of trends. This will force designers to focus on diversity and create unique, more personalized cars.