The automotive industry and its visionary technology shaped and reshaped the world many times before, having good chances to change our immediate future as well. The rising popularity of electric cars is an indicator that automotive tech is something to pay attention to in terms of life-changing experiences. However, let’s keep in mind that even the smallest of disruptions tend to have tremendous butterfly effects. From this point of view, it would be interesting to discuss how automotive tech would reshape our lifestyles beyond cars and transportation. Today, we will see five ways car technology can change our entire lives.
1. Alternative Fuels and Lower Healthcare Costs
The classic internal combustion engine is probably the most debated issue in the automotive and environmental circles these days. According to science, classic car engines are responsible for more than half of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides emitted on the planet. The impact of these engines on climate change led to the rise of the electrical cars and the development of alternative fuels.
In order to keep up with the trends, General Motors is working on its plug-in gas-electric hybrid Chevrolet Volts, while Toyota is adamant in bringing hydrogen-powered sedans to the streets, while waiting for the flying car patent.
Nevertheless, beyond getting cleaner air and less pollution – with impact on climate change – how will these automotive innovations change our lives? Less air pollution will allow us to get healthy, according to the World Health Organization. Moreover, we will be able to bring in the world healthier and safer new generations. Researchers found that air pollution has detrimental effects on children’s brains, leading to mental disabilities.
What does this mean? A less polluted world may lead to better public health, lower health costs per person, lower health insurance premium, better regulation on medicine prices, and a generally thriving economy sustained by healthy generations.
2. Self-Driving Cars and Real Estate Recovery
All major players in the automotive and technology fields want to tap into the endless pools of possibilities offered by self-driving cars. Besides the issue of road and driving safety, self-driving cars come with an exciting perspective – especially if we are going to use them for ridesharing purposes: they keep the streets clearer, cleaner, and more efficient, with extra benefits for real estate.
Imagine this scenario: you and your neighbor jump into the driverless car, which leaves each of you in front of your workplace, then leaves to pick up other people. In other words, the driverless car will not sit in a parking lot for a day, but do its duty and transport people all over the place.
In other words, it will save you time to find a parking spot, eliminate the need of every person to drive their own car, thus emptying the streets and clearing the air, and not occupying parking lots and streets for no reason.
Imagine hi-tech go-carts for adults becoming driverless. Besides getting a very cheap, low-impact, fun, and exciting ride to work (or to whatever place you want to go), busy Go-carts and driverless cars will allow us to rethink our public spaces.
Would it not be amazing to give up entire areas of concrete to boost real estate? We would be able to reinvent these ugly empty lots into more productive spaces for entertainment, leisure, and healthy living. If these carts and cars also get alternative fuels, they will also help us keep the environment cleaner and healthier.
3. ADAS Cars and Global Economic Recovery
The advanced driver-assistance systems of today will not disappear completely when the fully autonomous vehicles arrive. Nevertheless, they will continue to open new markets and influence new business models in the software and app industries.
Advanced driver-assistance system do present challenges in terms of safety/security, prices, customers’ understanding, behavioral patterns, and more.
IT startups and software creators will have a field day providing the automotive industry with solutions able to counter and solve these challenges, together with the ones coming with autonomous vehicles.
There are plenty of scenarios where you could work while commuting, watching movies, browsing your smartphone, participating to live conferences, and so on. Therefore, these cars will need specialized software, apps, hardware and software integrations, Wi-Fi networking, and more.
IT and tech startups will have their hands full in the immediate future all over the world, leading to innovation, international cooperation, investments, and a healthy boost in the global economy.
4. IoT Cars and More Efficient Lives
The Internet of Things and the interconnectivity of everything we have are no longer figments of our futuristic imagination, but an everyday reality. We already have “smart” homes, appliances, security systems, and, of course, cars.
The automotive industry is perhaps the most emblematic pioneer of the Internet of Things. Our cars connect with our smartphones, play our favorite music, register real-time traffic alerts, offer assistance with a touch of a button, and more.
However, IoT and connectivity mean more than that. The automotive technology of today can offer us connected car system monitoring, real-time fleet management, cloud-based entertainment and communication solutions, better logistics, predictive maintenance, and so on.
In other words, driving the car should and will allow you the freedom to remain aware of the outside world and even control it. What would it be like to have apps and integrated systems that allow you to program your underfloor heating system from the car just a few minutes before you arrive home?
How about being able to supervise your home’s security system while you are on a road trip? How about having access to all your home or office appliances from the car while you are en route?
The main purpose of IoT is to make our lives easier, more efficient, faster, and freer of stress. If our cars are able to offer us control of many of our personal and professional issues while we sit back and enjoy the ride, would you not buy such a car?
5. Smart Coding and the Reshaping of Urban Environments
Have you ever seen a science-fiction movie and wished your cities would look as futuristic, shiny, majestic, and hi-tech? Our cars can lead to all that and more. Speaking earlier of making smarter and more connected cars, it is only logical that IoT-based vehicles would connect with the smart cities they evolve together with.
Just as cars will reshape the looks and functions of our roads, smart roads will also push car manufacturers to build better, safer, even futuristic looking cars. According to the Smart Transportation Alliance, our roads will become “alive”, able to communicate with the smart cars, bikes, and even carts. They will exchange information about traffic restrictions, integrate big data, become responsive to the changes in the environment, and more. The new cars will need new roads, while the new roads will need new cities.
Our urban environments will change to the core, becoming smarter, safer, bigger, better, and definitely more welcoming to everybody.
We cannot talk about hi-tech cars and futuristic automotive ideas without thinking that cars are and will still be a huge part of our lives, one way or the other. Just as a stone generates ripples in the lake you throw it in, so will new car technologies will generate changes in all aspects in our lives. Is it far-fetched to believe that smarter cars, smarter roads, and smarter cities will lead to lower criminality rates, more jobs, better real estate, improved healthcare and lower healthcare costs, and more? Time will tell.