The transformational impact the future car will have on our lives is realized by the 3 fundamental pillars below working in conjunction:
Affordability: low-cost short- and long-distance travel
Experience: enjoyable, exciting travel experiences, in which the car becomes a living room on wheels
Adaptability: easily reconfigured interiors for customization of affordable travel experiences
With hands and minds free from the wheel we will seek to be occupied and come to expect an experience that is customized to our desires.
Large companies and niche providers alike will work to attract our attention in their specialized custom “travel experience” pods where the cost to the traveler will be reduced or possibly eliminated if one is willing to be subjected to advertising. In many ways this is much like the internet today but only we will physically be part of the experience, what one might call a “Living Internet” or LIVNET.
As a result, our current focus on automotive exteriors and brand will be replaced by an inward focus on vehicle interiors and the ability to pamper and entertain while providing safe and efficient transport.
Despite the fact autonomous vehicles have been portrayed in a negative light recently, it is still safe to assume the first autonomous cars will be on our streets without human test driving companions in the near future. At first, this budding technology will be a novelty. When the novelty is gone, autonomous cars will have accelerated growth, replacing human operated vehicles entirely.
Assuming expected obstacles can be resolved (e.g. lack of trust, low cost LIDAR, government regulation, security and the ability to recognize subtle human gestures), autonomous cars will be the only safe way to travel throughout our daily routine; however, predicting when autonomous cars will be introduced is easier than predicting when they will be ingrained in our day-to-day lives.
Transitioning society from horses to cars took from 13-to-50 years, depending on whether one lived in a highly populated city or a rural area. The transition to autonomous cars has potential to be much faster than the horse-to-car transition due to the inherent benefits of autonomous technology and the supporting infrastructure that will develop simultaneously.
More on the topic:
Whitepaper: The future car – driving a lifestyle revolution
The future of mobility
Autonomous systems: Selfdriving vehicles
Automated and connected driving