Is the Automotive Business Ready for the Next Step? How About the Drivers?

By Staff Reporter - 03 Jan '18 13:56PM

Over the last decade, we've seen the automotive industry evolve at an unprecedented rate. Not the whole of it, mind you - but the part that seeks to get rid of fossil fuels and do what's best for the planet. Elon Musk's Tesla has come a long way from the launch of the Roadster - the car that was meant (and succeeded to) turn electric cars into something "cool". Last month, the American manufacturer has released its first affordable model, the Tesla Model 3, offering not only a high-tech, environmentally-friendly driving experience but also a first step into the future of cars.

The only question that remains today is whether the automobile industry as we know it is ready to take the next - technology-powered - step in its evolution and whether the drivers themselves are ready to embrace the innovations to come?

A self-driving future

Tesla's Autopilot feature has proven its worth in the past - especially when it took its driver in a medical emergency to the nearest hospital. Driving to work each day is a burden for many, and a source of a lot of stress - and autonomous cars will take it away from them. Imagine drinking your morning coffee and playing at or reading the morning news while your car takes you to the office safely. Imagine not having to stress about the parking space just simply letting your car find one and park for you. Imagine life without traffic jams and accidents. If playing Wild Jack slots, texting, keeping up with your favorite YouTuber or reading the news while being taken to work is an idea that appeals to you, rest assured: it's around the corner.

Self-driving cars are being worked on by most major tech and automotive companies today. From hybrid systems like Tesla's Autopilot to completely autonomous concepts, many of these will see the light of day in the coming years. Of course, we won't feel the real benefits of autonomous cars until the majority - or even all - of the cars driving around will be that way. And there might be many who will resist change, citing the enjoyment and excitement of actually driving a car, not just being a passenger inside.

Many drivers might resist the idea of autonomous cars, yet for car makers, this will be the next logical step. Will some drivers' resistance to change be enough to keep self-driving cars off the roads?

Alternative fuels

Fossil fuels are phased out slowly but steadily, being replaced by various alternatives that are less harmful to the environment. Tesla's electric car is one of the many directions being explored today - there are other alternatives like hydrogen, fuel cells, biodiesel, and many others. Unfortunately, none of them have become as widespread as fossil fuels - but in time, some of them might make it into the mainstream, replacing traditional petroleum-based variants completely. This, of course, will mean that manufacturers will have to completely change their engine designs. Besides, with so many competing alternatives available today, there is a general turmoil on the market.

What good would an electric car do to someone with no charging stations around? How would a fuel cell powered car do in the long run in a country with no possibility to replace it? These are questions that will have to be answered by the innovators and engineers of the future.

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