Snapshot – With self driving cars on the anvil as early as 2020, the future is likely to see a paradigm shift in the way humans interact with cars, and most automobiles, considering the fact that Daimler just showcased a self driving truck. Just yesterday, Renault-Nissan’s top mover and shaker, Mr. Carlos Ghosn, revealed that Park Assist would go mainstream in 2016. In a nutshell. a driver-less future is what top tech titans envisage.
For instance, and much to the chagrin of driving enthusiasts – Mr. Eric Schmidt of Google – was famously quoted saying,
Your car should drive itself. It’s amazing to me what we let humans drive cars….It’s a bug that cars were invented before computers.
As technology turns cars into robots than mere mechanical contraptions that have humans firmly in the driver seat, CarToq takes a look at 5 features that you won’t see in cars of the future.
Internal combustion engine
Energy giant British Petroleum claims that oil reserves of the world will run out in 53.4 years, while the US Energy Information Administration predicts that oil will be history in under 5 decades. As fuel gets scarcer, energy prices are likely to rise higher and higher, making running cars on internal combustion engines unsustainable for most folks. Global car makers have already begun looking at alternates such as electric and hydrogen powered cars. With that, the internal combustion engine could go into the history books three decades from now or even earlier. What’s really the point 0f worrying about whether a car is powered by a high revving petrol or a torquey diesel engine, when you are getting driven rather than driving.
Rear View Mirrors
Car manufacturers around the world are already working on projects that aim to dispense convex mirrors on cars with cameras that eliminate blind spots, while making cars more aerodynamic. The reverse parking camera has already begun taking up space on the inner rear view mirrors of many production cars. As the automobile world moves towards a driver less future where a car will be more akin to a tram without the rails, the rear view mirror promises to be redundant, especially as computers plan to do all the driving. Car-to-Car communications, a standard that will be found on autonomous cars, also means that cars don’t need humans worrying about backing into another car, or for that matter a kerb. R.I.P Rear View Mirror.
Now, the steering wheel is the most fundamental part of a car’s inside and one of the first interactions that a driver has with the car. Merely placing hands on the steering wheel gives the driver a sense of control and ownership on the car. With autonomous cars being the direction in which the automobile industry is headed, the steering wheel becomes redundant, a relic of the past or ever for that matter a vestigial organ, which can be eliminated in the favour of cutting costs or adding some other feature.
Accelerator, Brake and Clutch Pedals
As of now, autonomous cars continue to feature the accelerator and brake pedals, as a means of giving the driver emergency control over the vehicle. The clutch is already becoming extinct across many cars, what with automatic transmissions taking over. Assume you’re in the year 2035, with more cars talking to each other than human beings. Picture this, does another human being have control over our movement by means of say a brake of an accelerator? Body, sign and voice language allows human beings to regulate themselves. A similar case is expected to pan out with cars, which will talk to each other, electronically. With cars hurtling towards autonomy, the accelerator, brake and clutch pedals could become things of the past, similar to the steering wheel.
In a car, a driver uses the horn as a means of communication with drivers of other cars. When cars drive themselves, a horn is something that the car’s occupants don’t even need to touch as there’s no point signaling to occupants of other cars, who are in a similar situation – of the car being in control. Worse still, imagine being interrupted by a rude horn when you’re engrossed in your favourite sitcom, as your car drives you to work. An annoyance in the best of times, the horn is set to get the dump in autonomous cars of the future. Good riddance we say, considering all the noise pollution around.