Predictions are, by definition, hit or miss. And, if commentators from the 1950s were anything to go by, mostly miss – otherwise, we would all be zipping around in flying cars today. To avoid the same embarrassment, The Peak eschews blind optimism and scours laboratories for promising, nascent technologies, to make educated guesses on what would disrupt the automotive mainstream within 10 years. Here is what we found.
01: BRIGHT SPARK
Taking inclement weather and seasons into consideration, cars are driven on average about a quarter of the time in darkness. So why are headlights so neglected, apart from receiving bulb-technology updates every 10 years or so? The good news: headlights are starting to get the attention they deserve. Audi and BMW have already installed super bright lamps that work by reflecting light produced by lasers within the headlight assembly. Elsewhere, LED headlights, which are composed of many light sources instead of a monolithic one, allow motorists to selectively shut off parts of the beam to avoid blinding other drivers. Expect the car of the future to be illuminated in fancy ways not possible before, such as in a thin line across the entire width of the car, thanks to the small size of each LED, which gives designers plenty of flexibility to create bold, new graphics.