Attempting to predict the course that the auto industry will take is impossible, but you can make general assumptions about what kinds of technology and trends will dominate the industry in the coming years. The near future for vehicles will most likely be focused on green technology—there’s already a fast growing industry for them as it is. The market is drifting away—and has been for some time—from large gasoline powered engines. Efficient gas engines, electric cars, and alternative fuels are becoming more and more common. Here’s some upcoming tech you can expect to see soon.
The Elio looks like a mashup of a small car, a Can-Am Spyder, and the Indian Motorcycles “Spirit of Munro Streamliner.” Although the Elio uses a standard internal combustion engine that uses gasoline, the vehicle is extremely efficient. It gets around 84 miles per gallon, and with a retail price under $7,000 you might be seeing a lot of these little cars on the road soon.
Automated Highway System (AHS) or Smart Road
Road sensors are becoming the norm in many new vehicles. These sensors help keep drivers on the road and from running into things. The sensors are leading to the idea that there should be smart roads, or roads where cars drive themselves. These smart roads could reduce the number of traffic deaths that occur every year.
Hyundai is working in Copenhagen, Denmark, to get more hydrogen vehicles on the road. They have a European version of the Tucson that is powered 100 percent by hydrogen. There is also a new, and first for Denmark, hydrogen filling station. Hydrogen is, according to the president of Hyundai Motor Europe, “the fuel of the future for Europe.” Hyundai is working with the U.S Energy Department’s H2USA Program to promote hydrogen-powered tech. When it comes to green technology, that’s just about as green as you can get.
Solar Panel Roads
Although there are still some technical hurdles to get past before solar roadways could be a reality, it’s a good concept. The idea is to make all of the roadways into solar panels. If these are implementing across the country—or world, for the matter—we’d be able to completely replace all of our current electricity operations and get our energy directly from the sun. This means powering electric car charging ports, powering our homes, allowing for electronic road maps and road ways to give real-time updates.