Affordable electric vehicles with long range

Volkswagen ID Crozz should have the ability to drive on electric and offline more than 500 kilometers. As of 2020, the bull-as-hell E-SUV (electric crossover SUV) should go into mass production. However, it will be much more expensive, for example, than the Golf, so from the very beginning the concept involves the use of this model for carsharing and carpooling. It will be the cornerstone of the electro future.

Feet off the pedals at 200 km/h: 3 levels of driving autonomy

Free hands on the autobahn: the autonomy of the so-called level 3 will not take long. Illustration: Audi

From 2020 to 2021 at the latest, the first vehicles should be on the market that can free the driver from the responsibility of driving when driving on autobahns. With the push of a button, the autopilot takes control and the driver can get on with activities such as making phone calls, reading or watching movies. With some limitations, this is possible even today, as the results of the test of the autopilot, preparing for the release of the updated Audi A8 sedan, show.

HCCI motors: environmentally friendly and efficient

The fight against nature haters like diesel and gasoline engines has already begun with the help of electricity and hydrogen. But there is still one drawback: in terms of performance, eco-mobiles, as a rule, cannot be compared with their “classic” opponents. Everything can change with the spread of so-called HCCI motors. “Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition” means that one engine operates in different modes depending on the load and its thermal efficiency reaches an excellent 40 percent.

Like a train on the autobahn: contact network for trucks

Cool future: 10 auto-innovations that will become a reality before 2020
Truck contact lines can make gasoline engines almost unnecessary. Picture: Scania CV AB

Thanks to contact networks over the autobahns, freight transport could also be effectively converted to electric traction. To do this, it would be enough to install batteries in trucks, which will provide a range of 50-80 kilometers, constantly powered by electricity from the contact network. The benefits are obvious: fuel costs are reduced, the noise level for people living nearby is reduced, and the sun does not have to hide behind clouds of smog.

Platooning: smart transport convoy

Freight transport that has access to the network can communicate with each other and move in a column at a minimum distance between vehicles. This significantly reduces air resistance and, as a result, fuel consumption. This mode of transportation is more suitable for autobahns, on which trucks will be able to drive mostly autonomously in this mode. Only the first car should be driven by a driver who will carefully monitor the road. This is a “vision for the future” that could change the logistics industry forever – and Tesla is already starting to take the first steps in this direction.

Dwellings with “auto parts”

The share of housing with its own parking is declining not only in large cities. In Asian metropolitan areas, for example, residential buildings have long been impossible to design with a parking space for each apartment, because there is simply not enough free space for this. However, residential developers could provide residents with a small fleet of cars that they could rent inexpensively as needed.

Asynchronous motors: extreme performance in the smallest space

Cool future: 10 auto-innovations that will become a reality before 2020
The Brusa engine delivers extreme performance from a minimal footprint. Illustration: Brusa

Asynchronous motors operate with high torque and achieve extreme performance-to-size ratios. The Brusa motor has a maximum power of 220 kW (300 hp) and is so small that it can be fitted with reduction to each wheel without any problems. The classic V8 looks dated by comparison.

Car pooling: offline car sharing

The acuteness of the problem of suburban passenger transportation in megacities can already be reduced today thanks to existing technology: based on appropriate applications, the possibility of “passing” transportation with automatic payments for the trip could serve to search for and call drivers of cars traveling in the direction you need.

Level 5 autonomy: driverless taxi

Driving entertainment: what does the car of the future look like? Illustration: BMW AG/Tom Kirkpatrick

The ultimate goal for the development of autonomous vehicles: from 2022, driverless cars must be able to move in the city center and along residential streets. Such a machine can be called if necessary using the application. In fact, in the next few years, technology can reach such a level of development that the autonomy of vehicles will reach the so-called “level 5”. Whether legislatures can just as quickly create the necessary framework defining rights, duties, and responsibilities is another question.

Cinema in the car

BMW’s proposed huge screen for the rear seat may seem a bit over the top, but in autonomous vehicles, passenger entertainment will be much more important than it is today. Movies could be broadcast, for example, directly on the windshield, and the game console could be integrated into the dashboard.

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