The Chinese automaker Geely Automobile have recently announced in my opinion, a huge gamble. The plans to release a small SUV in Europe. They have announced that they are planning on producing a gasoline version to the US and a couple of alternatively fueled variants which include plug ins.
Being European, I know that SUV’s are not very popular as they are here in the US. The two main reasons being that petroleum is roughly $8 a gallon in the UK, which would make using an economically inefficient vehicle such as an SUV undesirable and is the reason Europe is dominated by smaller, efficient cars. Another reason which is not as big as the previous is that European countries are substantially smaller than America. Roads and city streets are much smaller and there is in general less space across the board therefore it makes sense to drive smaller cars.
The small SUV may work well in Europe however if the alternative fuel is successful. I believe this car could become a success if the fuel is cheaper than gas, as reliant as gas and as easy to access, then I believe Geely’s SUV becoming common place in the European market. However if it was that easy to provide alternative fuels then I think it would already of happened. I cannot see the Chinese automakers car becoming dominant in Europe in the near future however I do believe they are going down the right track to getting SUV’s popularity to increase overseas.
Having done a little research and put some thoughts in to what type of car the future will produce and what types of new features that are out there which will dominate the automobile industry in years to come, I came across my favorite feature that I think will be implemented sooner rather than later. Car to car communication.
After internet access (WiFi) becomes available in most cars – which I think will be sooner rather than later, I believe the next big car safety feature will be car to car communication. This system uses radio signals to transmit a vehicle’s position, heading, speed and other information 10 times per second, and it would receive the same data from other vehicles. The vehicle’s computer would alert the driver to an impending collision, and some systems could automatically brake.
This, in my opinion will provide huge safety benefits for millions of drivers. The Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx estimated that this technology could prevent up to 80% of incidents that do not include drunk driving and mechanical faults.
I can see this being a feature of the futuristic car, however before it is present in every vehicle in the road I can see a couple issues arising; firstly, some drivers may be relying on this technology too much so do not pay as much attention to the road as they are trusting the person in front who may not use the signaling system or may not have it installed into their car. Another issue I can also see occurring is the misuse of the technology, there may be people out there who will send wrong signals to the vehicles around them which can be potentially dangerous to other road users. Overall, I think if taken seriously and installed in most cars around the country this safety feature could be a huge success and at a cost of $100-$200 it is not the most expensive when it comes to buying a safe car.
With todays technological advancements and potential it seems odd to me that WiFi is not common place in almost all new cars considering we can access WiFi almost anywhere and everywhere we go. It is only recently that GM have announced that there will be built in 4G internet in there Chevy’s, and now Jeep have brought out a concept which includes WiFi and an infotainment system including the radio, music, news, traffic and social media through the Uconnect Live system.
This all sounds great until you see how they have built this in to their nice new Renegade model…Well they haven’t quite had the system “built in”. Instead Jeep have provided this new system and WiFi hotspot through an additional trailer that attaches to the back of the car.
The Hard Steel Jeep in my opinion looks modern and cool with the silver and black throughout and is a car I personally would drive. However I could never see myself driving around with a small trailer attached to the back just so I could have access to all these gadgets which in theory could easily be built inside the vehicle rather than taking away the slick modern look away from the car itself with a silly looking trailer.
In my opinion, as Jeep are trying to enter the future of cars and technology I feel as though they are taking one step forward and two steps back with this design and will struggle with sales if they try to push this out into the market.
Imagine a world where nobody owns a car, or dives one…
Mike Hearn, a software developer from Zurich Russia has a “thought experiment” which is technically possible but highly unlikely. As it seems we are striving towards driverless, electronic cars and whether they take over the way we use automobiles in the future is something to think about.
Hearn suggested in the article that if these become common place in society then the need to own a personal vehicle may vanish alongside our current day cars. His concept involves self-steering taxis that keep the profits for themselves and making it cheaper for everyone to ride. He suggests an app that allows users to type in where they are and where they want to go, results would show the cheapest rates and the types of cars available.
Although some may argue that we need taxis because it provides jobs, Hearn says that if this was to take place humans would be required to program the vehicles and keep them up to date therefore more jobs will become available.
In my opinion although it does sound like a good and efficient way of changing the automobile world and would probably save the publics money I cannot see Mike Hearn’s concept becoming reality for a couple of reasons:
Firstly, I cannot see such a radical change in the way the world works happening for many generations to come. I also believe there would be many people very resistant to the idea because a lot of people want to have their own car that they can look after and actually drive. Even getting the driverless electric cars to become common place is way off in my opinion. If it does however, I definitely cannot see millions of people agreeing to not owning their own vehicle and car sharing.