BUFFALO, NY — Welcome to the future, there are many changes in the automotive industry coming. Many people don’t like change. They prefer what makes them feel comfortable. But there are changes in where we get our fuel to electric vehicles (EVs).
This week we are talking about what’s next in your automotive world.
We will see all kinds of great ideas and possibilities, some will stick others will disappear. What America’s highways will look like in 10 years is anybody’s guess, but some guesses are more educated than others. Three predictions for the next decade are:
1. Future Fuels – beyond, gasoline, diesel, EVs
In the next 10 years, we will see multiple new forms of propulsion. The ones you may have heard of, some of which are being used today are CNG – Compressed natural gas; Bio Diesel, and Hydrogen Algae.
One of the fuel sources of the future is micro-algae, small aquatic organisms that convert sunlight into energy and store it in the form of oil. Scientists and engineers at the Energy Department and its national laboratories are researching the best strains of algae and developing the most efficient farming practices.
Algae can store energy into natural energy. It can produce 60x more oil than land-based plants. Algae can produce gallons of bio-diesel.
2. People-centric Smart Vehicles:
This should become a smooth transition with better connectivity. Will 5G be the best we can do? We still aren’t sure if there will be an impact on humans. More cell towers are not just an eye-sore to many but there are still a lot of unsure answers out there. We will see more hyper-automation but at what cost? Autonomous public transportation on closed campuses will be the first experience you will see.
Part of the people-centric technology will be your vehicle studying your face and using facial recognition and biometrics to personalize the driver’s settings, set the audio system, climate control and settings it thinks you prefer. Do we truly want to disconnect from being engaged in the experience of driving? Some may, but the skill of driving required more than just turning a key. Consumers will make the final call on whether they want to give up this experience. No matter what silicon valley tells us they want. You get to decide on how much control you want to release to computers.
3. EVs and the future:
Electric vehicles will continue to grow but they will not be mainstream in the next decade, because the use in the USA will continue to lag due to consistently low gas prices, lack of public infrastructure, the new EPA/California ruling, use of rare earth minerals and loss of the federal tax credit. In Europe, the strong push to electric vehicles may run into a large infrastructure issue. Old grids will need to be upgraded on a global basis. The cost to do so is higher than the GDP of the globe. That is a huge issue for sure.
The next billionaire is the person who can figure out how to recycle all the EV batteries and solar panel waste. Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants that won’t negatively impact the environment on earth.
2020 is a new decade, we will see a lot of changes and some things remain the same.
A lot can happen in a decade — particularly in the anything-goes world of automobiles. l will cover what hot automotive tech came out of the consumer electronics show in other news that might be of interest to you. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss another show.