Welcome to
the Self-Driving Car Mania

Are we in the future yet?

By Annet Kloprogge
Strategist at VBAT

IDEO showed us the future already in 2014. Last November the company released a series of concept vehicles that imagine how autonomous vehicles would transform the way we work, shop and travel. The report contains three concepts exploring the potential of driverless vehicles, including
on-demand delivery services and workplaces that commute to employees.

These concepts enable the vehicles to travel at higher speeds while communicating with other cars, constantly making on-the-road adjustments. This will help the occupants of the car and the network of vehicles as a whole.

Transportation will be changing rapidly in the coming 20 years. And speculation around this field has been around for decades. Since the arrival of TV Cartoons like the Jetsons, we have been speculating about flying cars, goofy looking vehicles and most of all: the Self-Driving Car.

So what is happening right now?

As you may know, there have been some major developments since the Consumer Electronics Show last January. Car brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, BMW, Tesla and Audi have been showing off their latest innovations in the field.

Especially Mercedes-Benz has been showing off their innovations. From a self-driving truck to a driverless ‘living space’. Their vision of the future revolves around an autonomous pod-like vehicle that is designed to function as a communal living room on wheels.

“Anyone who focuses solely on the technology has not yet grasped how autonomous driving will change our society.” — Dieter Zetsche, Head of Mercedes-Benz

Something that comes back in multiple designs of the cars, are the large LED light modules on the front and back of the car that show which mode the vehicle is operating in. White lights indicate manual driving, while blue hues show it’s in autonomous mode.

Another interesting topic is if we will be driving our cars in the future at all.

Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk claims that driving a vehicle is ‘too dangerous’ for humans and will be outlawed when autonomous cars are proven to be safer. “Removing the risk of collision with other road users through the use of autonomous driving technology will save a lot of lives”, Musk said.

But as I named earlier, it’s not only the cars that are undergoing a big change. The London Underground revealed their plans for a driverless tube train that is planned to be rolled out on four London tube lines in 2020.

And while all these vehicles still look pretty traditional to me, there are artists out there reimagining how transportation should look.

The design of Dominic Witlox is based on the idea that, in a future of fully automated, computer-controlled vehicles, traffic collision will be a thing of the past. Which will give car designers total freedom of form and material.

And oh boy, did he take that to a beautiful next level.

Image: Dezeen

So tell me, are you ready for the future? Be sure to check this Medium post from Wednesday Augustus 20, 2064.

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Annet is a Hyper Island alumni, currently living in Amsterdam and working as a Brand Strategist.
Also gives workshops in various creative methods, productivity & team development.