The Future of the Automobile

  • November 03, 2015
  • Bradley Taylor

Picture the very first automobile.  You probably pictured a Ford, didn’t you?  Did you know the first car was actually a steam powered contraption built in China in 1687 for Chinese Emperor Chien Lung?  Many people think that Henry Ford is responsible for the first car, but he actually was responsible for the manufacturing process used in today’s cars, the assembly line.  His Ford cars were a far cry from that first steam powered car in China.  And today’s cars look entirely different than those produced by Henry Ford.  Technologies move forward and we can’t help but wonder, what will the car of the future be like?

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Electric cars are becoming more and more acceptable on U.S. roadways.  The biggest drawback is the limited miles achieved on a charge.  With the introduction of charging stations across the country, we will probably notice quite a few more of these cars sharing the road with us.  Florida alone currently has 7 EV charging stations located in the state.  Concerns over fuel usage and environmental issues make electric cars a popular option.

Another development in technology is the new camera systems and sensors that alert drivers when they are close to other cars or objects.  Back-up cameras are standard on many car models and have probably saved thousands of cars from hitting something or someone.  Some car models can even automatically park without driver assistance!  With this type of technology in mind, there is no doubt that a self-driving car will be on the roads in a relatively short time.  There has been testing from one car manufacturer on this already.  The car has been programmed to drive perfectly.  Its only problem is the bad driving habits of humans behind the wheel getting in its way.

The look of cars is likely to stay pretty much the way it is now.  Cars have become more aerodynamically efficient and smaller.  Safety in cars has increased with the addition of side and front airbags.  Perhaps there will be additional airbags to protect passengers in the back seats as well.

The technology offered inside the car will be like having a home office/entertainment area.  We already see interactive computer systems in cars that allow phone calls, voice recognition, vehicle checks, music, video and comfort settings in the car.  When a fully automated car becomes a reality, there will undoubtedly be more interactive computer programming since the driver will not have to be watching the road all the time.

It’s exciting to think of how far the automobile has come over the years and where it will eventually go.  I can’t wait to see if those flying cars from the Jetsons are finally coming!