Digital paint and on-board haircuts: British mag predicts car future


  • AI
  • Sunday, 23 Feb 2020

In this faraway vision from Mercedes, passengers face each other and don't need a steering wheel. — Daimler AG/dpa

The latest wacky predictions of how the world of cars and driving could change in future comes from Britain’s Auto Trader, which is the country's largest digital marketplace for new and used cars.

The forecasts for 2050 are the brainchild of futurologist Tom Cheesewright, who has delved into market trends, the rate of technological consumer demand research.

Auto Trader’s concept car for 30 years hence is a fully electric, autonomous colour-changing vehicle with space for passengers to make the most of the time they spend in the autonomous vehicle. They will be able to relax, practice yoga and even take a nap during the commute.

Featuring "digital paint", the car allows passengers to change the colour and style of the car from the tap of an app, depending on their mood, with advances in technology meaning this feature could be widely available as early as 2040.

Designed to be a home away from home, passengers can relax and unwind on the built-in mattress in the centre of the spacious cabin – a feature which 24% of motorists said they would use for catching up on much-needed sleep.

Drivers also said they would like to reclaim their commute time by immersing themselves in a good book from the built-in library (22%) or binge-watching their favourite Netflix shows and films on the large in-built TV screen (19%).

Other popular recreational uses for the spacious design include beating friends and family at board games (16%), getting hair and makeup done en-route to an event (15% of women would do this), and four per cent would even practice yoga while in transit.

Catering to the 10% of drivers who want cars to be fully voice operated in future, the car welcomes passengers with a friendly AI that helps them set their preferred driving speed and style, whether out for a leisurely Sunday drive or dashing home for dinner.

The 2050 car is fitted with windows that extend right over the roof in one large bubble, offering more head room to allow passengers to freely move around during transit.

It also features 360° panoramic views for those wanting to sit back, relax and enjoy an autonomous ride. For when there's too much sun, a black-out functionality on the windows can shut off the outside world with a quick tap.

"Tomorrow's car takes you from A to B with minimum fuss and in maximum style," said Cheeseright. "While our cars won't be flying any time soon, we can all benefit from cleaner, quieter, safer roads. In just 20 years, the age of the combustion engine will be well and truly over."

Auto Trader's Cars of the Future report combines motor industry forecasting with a survey of 2,142 drivers in Britain, to build a picture of the future of the car industry 10,20 and 30 years from now. – dpa

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