When you were young did you imagine that one day you might see flying cars soaring across the sky? Apart from in films such as 'Back to the future' we haven't really progressed that far yet, well, not in any form that could make them commercially viable or in any way cost effective.
Many technologies are being developed but most are slightly less visual and are certainly not quite as modern or sci-fi styled as we would see in films. These types of futuristic ideas are being developed for advancement in motoring fields such as fuel economy, energy efficiency and environmental factors.
Future car control technologies are being developed by many different organisations and already the world has seen the first region in which driverless cars can be legally operated on public roads. This law was passed just a few months ago and was helped through by the internet giant 'Google' in the region of Nevada. There are many advantages to this type of vehicle such as increasing capacity on both motorways and roads by managing the traffic flow much more economically and lowering driving accidents by allowing drivers and passengers to concentrate on things such as sleeping or other non navigational or driving tasks.
New energy sources are continually being developed, in recent years electric cars have become popular and are currently being road tested all over the world including many in the UK. Other varieties of alternative fuels for vehicles include liquid nitrogen, hydrogen and compressed air. It is thought that some of the reasons that alternative fuel systems and in particular electric vehicles are becoming so popular is due to the high prices being demanded for fossil fuels and the quest to find cleaner fuels.
Energy efficiency research is taking place and is greatly needed. Currently it is thought that the average car operates at about 15% efficiency, meaning a large amount of fuel and other resources are being wasted. Systems that are being developed include regenerative braking, BMW's Turbosteamer and compressed air hybrid vehicles.
Improved vehicle materials are an important feature when talking about cars of the future. Not only can using materials such as fibreglass, carbon nanotubes and Duralumnium improve a vehicles lightness and strength but they also improve safety and in some cases, cost. Another interesting development in-car materials is water repellent glass; this is already in use on many Volvo vehicles and works by dispersing water or other solutions into small droplets which slide off the glass much easier.
So as you can see, vehicles are continually advancing but sadly there are no flying cars are set to be released for quite some years.