How Will We Drive In The Future?

About Chris Clark

Chris is a writer, a keen fencer and in his spare time a turbo-charged petrol head who enjoys track days, car shows and reading about cars he'll probably never own. He also drove a reasonably priced car around the Top Gear test track in a respectable 1:49.0

More posts by Chris Clark

Where are the flying cars? Ever since the Wright Brothers took off in 1903, people have dreamt of the ability to fly a car. The future of cars isn’t something that has to belong to science fiction, it’s just around the corner – today we are testing self-driving cars, innovating car interiors for safety and designing cars that look more futuristic by the minute.

Our infographic below looks at how we will drive in the future; we look at the future of lower emissions, alternative fuel cars, pioneering safety features, leaders in innovation, and end by contemplating the concept cars that keep us dreaming. One day we will have flying cars, here is how we will get there.

Infographic on the future of cars

How Will We Drive In The Future? [Text Friendly Version]


We’ve come a long way from the imagined bubble cars of the 1950s, yet we’re still not driving in the air, and fossil fuels still mostly power our vehicles. But for how long?


The Touchy Subject – Emissions

The UK is projected to exceed EU-set pollution limits every year up until 2030. It is projected we need to cut carbon emissions by 80% up to 2030.

The race is on to develop a fuel source to combat high levels of emissions.

Hydrogren & Electric power, both already available in solo & hybrid forms, are already favourites to battle fossil fuel, but there’s some catching up to do.

By December 2013 in the UK, there were approximately

·         18,970,000 petrol cars, (Dec. 2013. Approx)

·         10,100,000 diesel cars (2013)

·         207,000 alternative fuel cars (2013)

·         9934 electric cars (2015) only 13 models available

·         10 hydrogen fuel cell cars in UK in 2014. Only 2 models available[i].

Electric power:

·         Electric Motors

·         No Harmful Emissions

·         Energy is stored in a Lithium, Ion or Nickel Metal Hydride Battery

·         As little as 2p per mile

·         Battery recharged via mains electricity

·         Example price £25,680, BMW i3

Hydrogen Power:

·         Electric Motors

·         No Harmful Emissions

·         Energy is produced by a chemical reaction with the hydrogen producing electricity, water and heat

·         25p per mile (Hyundai ix35)

·         Hydrogen refilled at a pump

·         Example price £66,000 (Toyota Mirai)

Leaders in Innovation

Google are currently leading the way when it comes to self-driving cars, having clocked over 1 million self-driven miles so far.


“by 2020, no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car or SUV.” Volvo Engineers

We take a look at the technology that could make their ambitious pledge a reality.


As seen in Googles self-driving cars and originally developed for use in DARPA, LiDAR emits light from 64 lasers and has the same number of detectors in a cylinder rotating at 10 times a second.

The 3D map is created by measuring the time taken for the laser to bounce back.

Distance = (Speed of Light x Time of Flight) / 2

Vehicle to Vehicle Detection (V2V)

V2V works by using wireless signals to send information back and forth between cars about their location, speed and direction.

Both technologies lead to significant advances in:

·         Adaptive cruise control

·         Auto lane keeping

·         Impending collision braking assistance

·         Traffic sign reading

·         Pedestrian and large animal detection

Augmented Reality Dashboards

Augmented reality dashboards could overlay the following information on top of what a driver is seeing in real life:

·         Identify objects in front a vehicle and tell the driver how far they are away from the object.

·         If you’re approaching a car too quickly, a warning will appear on the car you’re approaching and arrows will appear showing you how to manoeuvre into the next lane before you collide with the other car.

·         An augmented reality GPS system could highlight the actual lane you need to be in and show you where you need to turn down the road without you ever having to take your eyes off the road.

Concept Cars

The Immortus – the worlds first solar powered exotic sports car

“As long as the sun shines the Immortus lives…”


·         100 km/h in less than 7 seconds

·         Has a combined battery and solar range of over 550 km at an average of 85 km/h

·         Dependant on solar conditions, can run indefinitely on solar power alone, with an unlimited range at speeds over 60 km/h

·         Price $370,000

Apple iCar

·         250 horsepower

·         400 Nm torque

·         4 hour recharge

·         310 mile range

·         Available by 2020

·         Cost £36,000

eXtremes by Marianna Merenmies

·         Uses Aerogel, a material often used in space exploration, as a lightweight, insulating automotive shell

·         The material, which is 99.8% gas, can be used for insulation against severe temperatures

FFZERO1 from Faraday Future

·         Fully Electric Supercar

·         0-60 in less than 3 seconds

·         More than 1,000 horsepower

·         Top speed greater than 200mph

·         NASA inspired, zero-gravity design seat

The Space Saver Chevrolet EN-V

·         Powered by two electric motors, one on each wheel, and a lithium-ion phosphate battery.

·         Top speed of 25 mph

·         Maximum all-electric range of 25 miles

Finally, the Flying Car

‘Mark my words: a combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.’ – Henry Ford – 1940

Perfecting the flying car has been the obsession of countless engineers for generations. Terrafugia – a company based in Woburn, Massachusetts – believe they have cracked it with their concept flying car, the TF-X™.

·         Production in 8-12 years

·         A range of 500 miles

·         Cruise speeds up to 200mph

·         The price will be consistent with high-end luxury cars

·         Vertical take-off

·         Folding technology


How Will We Drive In The Future?