Cars have advanced massively over the past century since they were first introduced. They have evolved from the large and sluggish machines that could only be used by an elite group of society, to the modern vehicles that most of the Western world depend on to travel. Whether it is commuting to work, visiting friends or going to the store, cars are essential parts of our lives and we depend on them every day.
As they play such a large part in the way the world works, designers and engineers are continuously looking to advance the technologies that go into making cars. This ranges from new and interesting features to enhancements to the materials and techniques used to build the cars.
As they prepare for future and the different challenges that it will bring, manufacturers are constantly developing new designs that can overcome potential problems that may affect drivers in the upcoming years. They are also working on new technologies and features to get an edge on their competitors. This allows them to make sure that customers choose them rather than another manufacturer. For all of these reasons, there are a huge number of cars that are currently under development that would appear more at home in a science fiction film, rather than on a real life road. These are some of the more incredible futuristic cars we could be driving.
10. Mercedes Benz BIOME
Mercedes Benz is often at the forefront of car technologies and they have now even looked to completely change not just the cars themselves, but how they are actually made. The BIOME car, which was first revealed at the Los Angeles Design Challenge, is a completely unique idea that sees a car that rather than being manufactured completely on a production line, could instead be grown. Featuring natural materials, Mercedes Benz sees the BIOME as a possible future for the motor industry, utilizing the resources given off by nature in conjunction with the latest technology. The biggest feature is a specially grown material called BioFibre that is incredibly light but also super strong.
9. Toyota iRoad
Many car companies are exploring person mobility vehicles as the potential future of the car. They are essentially small vehicles, which are able to carry just one or two people and are designed especially for the tight urban streets of major cities. Toyota’s own project based on this concept is the iRoad. It is small and lightweight, almost like a cross between a motorcycle and a car. This makes it ideal for commuting in busy traffic and would allow people to park much more easily than they could in a traditional car. Engineers from Toyota are also confident that the iRoad is far safer than a motorcycle, thanks to its strong outer shell and the warning system in place to help drivers avoid problems.
8. Kia Pop
With car manufacturers increasingly looking at utilizing new types of technology to power their vehicles, to help combat global warming and in response to the limited supply of fossil fuels, one of the most important advances has come in the form of the electric car. Kia demonstrated their answer to the electric motor with the Kia Pop. With a distinctive design that would look more at home in a science-fiction movie, it features a lightweight design so that the vehicle can be more efficient. This allows the electric motor to travel almost 100 miles per charge, making it ideal for travelling in urban areas.
7. Toyota Nori
Toyota first developed the idea behind the Nori when they entered the 2010 Design Challenge at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2010. As well as being incredibly eco-friendly, the Nori also features a distinctive podular design, as the chassis and the body of the car are not separate entities, but instead an interwoven structure that combined the two. This would help the Nori to be built at a lower cost, as it would use less material. However, it would also increase the strength significantly and lower the weight of the entire vehicle, making it far more efficient. It would also make use of solar cells woven into the material, allowing power to be generated and stored as a back-up for the electric motor.
6. Cadillac Aera
The Cadillac Aera was the General Motors Advanced Design California studio’s answer to creating a car that would be luxurious, reliable, efficient and stylish. The 2+2 couple features an ultra-lightweight design that aims to be as aerodynamic as possible, making it incredibly fuel-efficient. The structure itself is made from a special material that makes it strong enough to withstand even exceptional impacts, with special air cells woven into the material that reduce the forces experienced in the vehicle. Most important to the Aera though is its Pneumatic Drive System, which uses an engine powered by compressed air that could have a range of more than 1,000 miles.
5. Terrafugia TF-X
Flying cars have been a staple of what people believe the future will hold for decades and yet, they seem no closer to reality than they did when Back to the Future first released. However, Terrafugia have been researching the possibility of vehicles that are capable of being driven on roads and flown in the sky for several years. They have created several crude prototypes, but their TF-X model is their most advanced project so far. It would feature high-powered propellers that allow for vertical takeoffs, have a range of up to 500 miles and would be able to reach speeds of at least 200 miles per hour.
4. BMW GINA
The BMW GINA is a car that the German company has been developing since 2001. Various models have been shown at trade shows and it has grabbed attention because of the unique material it is made out of. Unlike other sports cars that use lightweight metals or strong polymers such as aluminum or carbon fiber, the GINA uses a super strong fabric that stretches over the chassis. The seamless fabric can even change shape, allowing things like spoilers to emerge from the car. Other features include self-moving seats and a steering wheel that can sit in an idle position to make entering and exiting the vehicle easier.
3. Google Self-Driving Car
The Google Self-Driving Car is perhaps the most famous example of an autonomous car that can travel on the road without the need of any input from a driver. Using a number of different sensors, including a LIDAR system that sits on top of the car, as well as detailed maps pre-loaded into the software, the vehicle is able to navigate on roads. The future that Google envisions for these cars is that it hopes they would help solve a large number of problems. By allowing anyone to get in the vehicles, it means that those who cannot drive can still travel longer distances, alleviate the issue of drunk driving and even reduce the number of road traffic accidents significantly.
2. Chevrolet EN-V
The EN-V is a concept car currently being worked on by General Motors in partnership with Segway and SAIC. It is suggested as the possible solution for the future, when increasingly large populations and growing cities become even more crowded. The EN-V would make travelling in such places on busy roads simpler and would help alleviate the problem of overcrowding thanks to its small design. Using technology developed by Segway, the small car is able to balance perfectly despite its thin base. It is also eco-friendly thanks to small portable electric motors that power each of the two wheels independently.
1. F 015 Luxury in Motion
The entire idea behind Mercedes Benz’ F 015 Luxury in Motion is to allow those using the car to be as comfortable as possible while they are travelling to their destination, hence the name. The autonomous does not require a driver, instead allowing its passengers to relax in an interior that looks more like a comfortable room you’d expect to find in a building rather than a car. Its body would be made of plastic reinforced with carbon-fiber, along with aluminum to ensure it is as light as possible. Each door also opens at a full 90 degree angle to allow for easy access and have special inflatable structures that act as air bags in the case of a road traffic accident. The car’s functions can be controlled via a high resolution touch screen that also integrates other control technologies, such as eye-tracking and gesture.
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