As consumers we are now used to being connected at all times.
We always seem to have our smartphones to hand and are comfortable multi-screening, going between watching TV and monitoring social media at the same time while at home. Naturally we will want more things that are connected and this will include our vehicles. Technology in the transport industry must try to keep up with our expectations. That is why we have seen so many innovations lately. It is predicated that there will be many more to come that not only enhance the driving experience but will bring great benefits to our lives.
With concern for the environment being high on the agenda for many governments it won’t come as a surprise to see electric cars being promoted. A zero per cent rate of Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) for one year on electric vehicles in the budget was a starting point. New innovations making longer journeys possible and widely available charge points make these type of vehicles more accessible. Hybrid cars are starting to get us thinking and used to the concept before we go totally petrol free. With Volvo announcing all new cars launched from 2019 onwards will be partially or completely battery-powered, many more leading brands going electric will make us have to accept this as the new normal.
The younger generation are used to charging things with smart phones and tablets always being part of their lives. The older ones maybe less enthusiastic about having to charge a car for a long journey, however, new innovations to come will surely change perceptions.
We already have some of the features such as navigation systems, parking assist, collision assist so we surely must be close to having a main stream self-driving car. Technology is catching up fast but regulations are slower to change in the EU due to safety issues and risks.
Driverless cars will be on Britain’s roads by 2021 as a result of sweeping regulatory reforms being planned by the British government to put the UK in the forefront of a post-Brexit technological revolution. The UK government plant to allow driverless cars to be tested without any human operator inside or outside the car, and without the legal constraints and rules that apply in many other EU nations, and much of the US.
It started with the bicycles and now we have GoCar in Ireland where we can hire a car from as little as €8 an hour. With over 300 cars and vans across Ireland and insurance, fuel, tax and city parking are all included. It’s now less about owning and more about having access to the service when you want it. No worry about servicing, depreciation, parking or big bank loans this is the ideal solution for many. In many circumstances this sharing of cars can work out more economic if living in urban areas. This new mindset may be better for both the environment and the drivers pocket.
This month Tesla unveiled an electric lorry with production due to begin in the US in 2019. The company has spent more than a decade making cars and is now looking to diversify into big trucks to help its goal of shifting to sustainable transport.
It is said to be capable of travelling 500 miles on an electric charge and will cost less than a diesel truck considering fuel savings, lower maintenance and other factors. It also has a system that automatically keeps the vehicle in its lane. How much will it cost, we don’t know yet but wait expectantly.
With so many advancements and all happening at such a fast pace we look forward to seeing what the coming years bring to the transport industry. One thing is for sure, we won’t be standing still and must be open to new ideas and technology.