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10 years into the future ?

10 years into the future ?

10 years into the future ?

(OP)
What do you think will be the biggest development in automotive engineering in the next 10 years ?

RE: 10 years into the future ?

This great invention that I'll come up with sometime next year.  

RE: 10 years into the future ?

No fair. I've been working on that one for 5 years.

I think the most interesting field to work in will be driver automation - starting from intelligent cruise controls and working up via white line followers and parallel parkers to true autopilots. 10 years might be a bit soon tho, given the low penetration rate and need for interoperability.

Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: 10 years into the future ?

At some point WAY in the future when driver automation has taken over, we could, in theory, get rid of traffic lights.  Control systems could space cars out at intersections so that traffic crosses without either roadway having to stop.  

RE: 10 years into the future ?

(OP)
Don't you think that the first mass produced practical (in terms of speed / acceleration / mileage range etc..) alternative fuel vehicle would be a bigger break through than those mentioned ?

RE: 10 years into the future ?

I thought you meant the next 10 years, not the last 10 years!  Don't we already have practical mass-produced alternative fuel vehicles on the road?  Honda Insight, Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Prius, Ford Escape Hybrid (soon), many diesel automobiles, etc?  And let's not forget the most efficient vehicle of them all, the lowly bicycle!  A far more important development would be consumer acceptance of efficient vehicles, but don't expect THAT in the next decade.   

While we're on the subject, if butelja's vision of automation comes true, it would have a vastly more significant impact on fuel economy than any hybrid scheme!  There's no need to put a big engine in a car if it doesn't have to stop and start, you don't need as much structure if you never crash, etc.  The two factors above (and many more that I haven't thought of yet) would obviate most of the resource conservation schemes of today.





RE: 10 years into the future ?

Thanks, Ivymike.  I'll go so far as to predict that whenever WAY in the future is, the Moller Sky Car will still be just another 10 short years and 1 major venture capitalist investment away from reality.  If your not familiar with this car, you can check out http://www.moller.com/skycar/.  This hangar queen has been gracing the pages and classified section of Popular Mechanics for at least 20 years.  Of course, 10 years after that, they will apply my idea in 3 dimensions.

RE: 10 years into the future ?

heheeh... I'm quite familiar with the skycar.  I used to work @ moller (while in college).

RE: 10 years into the future ?

(OP)
Let me clarify. When I say alternative I am not talking internal combustion hybrid. I am talking Methanol fuel cells with zero emissions etc..

RE: 10 years into the future ?

I doubt they'll achieve significant market penetration within 10 years. Fuel cells still require an efficient vehicle and we seem to be no closer to getting truly lightweight efficient vehicles accepted by the customers. There are also significant cost and performance problems with them, not least the fact that they still create CO2, in the most likely configuration. Here's an idea I keep proposing that seems to make some sense:

Design a standard pallet of lead acid batteries, with an onboard monitoring system. This pallet is loaded from underneath the electric car. Each service station then has a supply of precharged pallets, so you pull in, drop the old pallet out, plug the new one in, flash the cash, and drive off.

This could be fully automated.

The onboard monitoring would charge you for the energy used, and length of usage, and any damage, and reimburse you for any recharging you did yourself. You'd probably have to pay some sort of subscription as well.

The advantage of this is that the existing infrastructure could handle this, although delivering truckloads of charged pallets would be very inefficient, it would be better if recharging could be done locally.

Admittedly this would only really work for short range vehicles, but they are a significant contributor to the overall problem (if it is a problem, which I still doubt).

Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: 10 years into the future ?

that is great, but at the warehouse I used to work at they did that to keep equipment up all the time that it was not broken. the problem was that changing the battery in an OS took half an hour.

RE: 10 years into the future ?

I think it will be the continual gradual improvement of quality and performance of the car to higher levels.

Car technology usualy don't jump like computers they just keep gettig better and better and the markets keeps getting more and more competative.

Look at everything that was suppossed to change from 10 or 20 years ago. We should all be driving Wankels with Al body and frame. It really isn't the thechnology change the market as much as it is the market choosing the best technology for it's needs.

RE: 10 years into the future ?

I agree with the traffic control idea. Wish it would work. But is it mathematically feasible to keep a several mile-wide grid of traffic moving without meeting at the intersections? Did you know GM did a long-term trial on Mound Road, along the Tech Center in Warren Michigan, ca. 1960? For several years there were overhead signs indicating the speed to travel to make the next light on green. That seemed to work OK. It is OK with me to travel 20 MPH if I make the light. There was no other roads interacting with Mound to complicate things. I have no idea what the conclusion of that trial was.

RE: 10 years into the future ?

They've tried that for real in Australia, it seemed to work until everyone realised that you could beat the system by accelerating past the speed limit and gaining one step in the traffic light sequence.

Part of the problem is that the speeds indicated were too conservative, making this easy.

I remember driving into London on the Westway at 40 mph, as the traffic lights changed in perfect synchronisation - it is possible, if the traffic is light.

Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: 10 years into the future ?

In several cities of the US the synchro light deal is fairly common but, they don't post the speed you must drive to make the lights.  If you use the roadway often, no problem. BUT---
I live adjacent to a section of I-15 in north SanDiego County where the seven mile automated transportation test section is inlaid in several of the lanes.  The cars suitably equipped with transponders or whatever, lock on  to the imbedded strips and the system keeps interval and speed, hands off.
In practice they (the six to eight test Buicks) held about 10' interval at 65mph.  I was able to only approximate these numbers as I was travelling with the normal rush hour traffic at the time (80/85mph with the usual freeway interval of "way too close"!)  This was a couple years back but, my guess is that it still needs "a bit more work"!
Ten years from now we will be esentially be where we are now with few changes save the overall $cost$ of operating a motor vehicle.  I do hope the SUV craze is  pase by then.

Rod

RE: 10 years into the future ?

Rod, I too hope the SUV craze is over soon, and the sooner the better off we all will be. Many of those drivers seem to think they are on the NASCAR track.
Greg, In one of your earlier post. you seem to think that emissions are not a problem. If I misunderstood you post, I apologize. Otherwise, may I suggest you either fly over LA during the daylight hours, or drive there sometime. The thick brownish-yellow haze over that city is enough to cause sever stomach upset. I was in Irvin in '94, and somedays when the wind was right, it was an awful looking mess hanging over LA. I would not live there full time. I would rather be a little hungry than to choke to death on that stuff. Just my thoughts.

RE: 10 years into the future ?

I think I was thinking about global greenhouse emissions, not smog. It would be interesting to know what proportion of smog in each city is due to /new/ cars.

Cheers

Greg Locock

RE: 10 years into the future ?

Dear Chr1s

   Answering your question about emissions within the next 10 years.
The EU legislations are bringing down emission rates and the next emissions release is in 2008, so thats how it is changing within the next 5 years, but over 10 years there will not be a great change however i hear something about moving from petrols/diesals ect to more electrical based vehicles.

Sry if this is not helpful but this is what is happenening in the UK

RE: 10 years into the future ?

i guess coming from another direction it will be more castings being used, thixoforming seems to be gaining ground, and evem some models now have all door frames made out of one piece "cast" material.

RE: 10 years into the future ?

Hydro forming may well be the standard manufacturing process in the next decade or so as manufacturers begin to design components to suit.

I think there will be more legislation directed at making cars more pedestrian friendly (ie less harmful to pedestians when an accident does happen) and also continually higher standards of occupant protection.
Also legislation will be enacted to ensure more components are recycled and the items cars use (like batteries tyres oil and various fluids) are likewise recycleable.

One step which needs to come is to make legislation more uniform and perhaps with the expansion of the EU this may be closer than many realise.
Surely the days of having legislation demanding clear indicator lenses in one country and amber coloured in another have long passed?

The process will be evolutionary dependent on market place acceptance rather than technical capability as has already been stated.

I hav just upgraded my car after 14 years of living with the old model and the differences are astounding but the technology is transparent and this will be I think the way of the future.
This one has a "sealed for life" gearbox for example which is designed never to need an oil change.

Interesting topic to be certain.

Cheers, Pete.


RE: 10 years into the future ?

Chr1s:
The company I work for is quoting on parts for vehicles that will start in model year 2007. The life of these programs are 4 to 5 years. I hate to burst anyones bubble but if Henry Ford where to somehow time travel to the year 2012, he would recognize almost every part on the car as something he put on a Model T almost 100 years ago.

Dan

RE: 10 years into the future ?

Eleven years ago I was a chassis design engineer. My oldest drawing of a current part was released in the 1930s, I think it was 1936. Part number was B60 (I think), a steel wheel nut.

Oh, and we are kicking things around (in a very general sense) for the 2010 car, which will have a life of up to 8 years! I wonder if we can we get a B60 released for it?

Cheers

Greg Locock

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