My car, Ziggy Cardust, is an adorable Honda Civic who enjoys long drives to the beach. But Ziggy will one day be obsolete, living in a car musuem or an eccentric person’s private collection. She’s not the car of the future. So, who is?
I had a lot of time to see a LOT of cars and think about things on a ~1500 mile solo drive with Ziggy recently. Here are some of my predictions about the car of the future. I believe she will be clean, connected, cautious, conscientious, and customizable.
In case you think the Teslas of the world are a fad, you are just wrong. The car of the future will run on electricity, magnetic fields, the sun, the moon, the wind, nuclear energy, your dog’s aura — anything but fossil fuel! Drink up while you can, Ziggy.
The car of the future will truly be connected.
- Sit in the car, and just tell her where to go. Fancy the scenic route? Based on your mood, preferences, and how much time you have, the car will optimize your route
- The car will play your favorite music, audiobooks, TV shows or movies on demand. Things like a Netflix or Audible subscription will be add-ons perk car manufacturers offer
- You can ask the car anything — like what’s up with all the cows by I-5 on the way to Los Angeles, or what’s the name of the mountain you see in the distance— and it will tell you a story (hopefully it will be true)
- The car will plan your trip — stopping automatically for food and interesting points along the way. You won’t miss that turn to the coolest vista point in all of the land
- She’ll stop to charge herself, or you know, the road will just charge her on it’s own
- You can play games with your friends and family, or with the car. She will be very good at trivia
- She’ll log all your trips, so you can easily lookup when DID you make that trip you can’t seem to recall at all. Great for alibis too, although I hope you don’t need those
- She’ll probably fly or at least levitate herself to optimize space for parking, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet
When they’re all going to be so smart, who needs traffic lights and rules anyways?
- Sensing bad weather, she will advise you to wait till tomorrow to make your trip if you can
- She’ll be in the know of all other cars around — telling that tailgator to take it easy
- Your car will not just detect potential collisions but do her best to keep you safe in an unfortunate event — wrapping up herself and you in a coccooned bubble, or levitating off the ground
- She will automatically inform whoever needs to be informed of an accident or imminent danger, like a break-in
She’s going to be so thoughtful, you’re going to be surprised!
- If you didn’t get to do something you wanted to on a trip, she’ll remember it for the next time
- She will let your loved ones know where you are, and when you will be arriving at your destination
- She will remind you that you’re out of milk and she needs to make a stop at the grocery store, you know, because your fridge told her to
- She will go pick up your takeout order, your groceries, your medical prescription. You name it and if she can get it for you, she will
- She’ll control the climate inside the car so you never have to ask someone if they are too cold or too warm, as it will always be just right
- She’ll pay tolls, register herself, and get her license — whatever she needs to do to keep going!
- She’ll be your valet — dropping you off and picking you right back up when you need
- Your car will have philosophical discussions on life, the universe, and everything with you (or just leave you alone if you prefer)
We all look different, have our own personal style, and decorate our homes uniquely. So why do our cars, an integral part of our overall self-expression, look the same? I hope my car of the future will not look like yours.
- Style will only become more other-wordly. Ziggy will look like a toy car of a bygone era one day
- DIY! Exteriors and interiors will be modular and 3D printed on demand, so you can customize your car at the time of purchase. Oh, which will be all online. She’ll just drive over to you when you’re done designing (and paying up)
- Feeling blue, and want something new? You can easily switch out the “skin” of your car or change colors based on your mood
- Most critical safety, entertainment and utility features will all be customizable and upgradable
The car of the future will probably be much more, and I’m excited to meet her whenever she’s ready!