What's the next big thing for automobiles?

zeoniks

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Realistic or not, what do you think could be the next big thing for the automotive world?

I think tires (tyres for people on the other side of the Atlantic) could be and should be the next big thing. I mean I'm all for improving engine designs, but improving tires should be carefully looked at. There's only so much that rubber can do.
 

teeb

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I hate to be boring, but I reckon the Next Big Thing is alternative fuel sources. Be it bioethanol, hydrogen, or just getting a semidecent working electric car.

Personally, I want my car powered by a perpetual motion machine.

I think the Last Big Thing was safety standards - now that most cars are expected to get a 4-star EuroNCAP award, I think it's safe to say (no pun intended) we've done that nicely.
 

Blind_Io

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I agree with the fuel source - all the money and research seems to be going that direction these days. I hope to see hydrogen fuel cells and biodiesel projects hit the streets. What would be really nice is finding a way to reclaim all forms of bio-waste and turning it into a fuel source so we aren't trying to burn our food sources in our cars.

As for tires I think this is an area that really needs advancement. The real problem is that vulcanized rubber can't be melted down for recycling. You can chop it up and turn it into other products, but you can't truly recycle it. I would like to see developments in tire construction and architecture to use less vulcanized rubber.

I still want my flying car.
 

nomix

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Next big thing in America will be steam engines. You Americans really love big torque. :p

No, not really. But the next big thing will probably be MAKING the cars environmentally. I know Toyota says something about that in their ads sometimes, and there's some smalltalk about it in papers, once in a while. But the emphasis now is on EMISSIONS from the engine itself. Which doesn't give the full picture.
 

teeb

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I still want my flying car.
I'd accept a road-legal, 70mph-capable hovercraft as a substitute, mind.

With a Lotus badge on the front :D


edit - oh, now I've got this fantasy in my head where I go round the Nurburgring in a hovercraft...mmm...
 

MattD1zzl3

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Cant we like, surface the road in iron, and have some electromagnets to hover a car above the ground?
 

nomix

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Make the roads from iron, and raid your refrigerator for magnets with letters on them, get them into your tires, and go go go.
 

Blind_Io

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Cant we like, surface the road in iron, and have some electromagnets to hover a car above the ground?
I think that would just stick you to the road really well.
 

thedguy

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Birdhouse or Blind better get their ass in gear and make these damn it:



They've got 8 years... and I've been waiting patiently.
 

chaos386

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I'm hoping hydrogen fuel cells are the next big thing, but I want them to act like super-high capacity batteries for an electric car that can be charged quickly in your own home rather than just another way to tie you to the pumps. If they go this way, I'd also like to see them put solar panels on the roof, since my car spends hours just sitting in the sun doing nothing, when it could be recharging for free.

I still want my flying car.
No! People drive badly enough with only two dimensions! I'd hate to see what would happen with a third. :no:
 

nomix

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Well, will give you two more directions to escape a dangerous situation.
 

Blind_Io

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The Flying Car will never be. It's not practical or economical - think about it, you would not only have to propel the vehicle but also lift all that weight. The materials would have to be all light-weight and much more expensive, fail-safe and safety systems would have to be developed, and an infrastructure created.

Keeping cars on the ground makes more sense. Stopping and turning takes longer in the air because you are pushing against less dense matter, rubber on the road gives you the best acceleration, turning and stopping.
 

mautzel

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Definitely alternative fuel sources as it is the most urgent thing to develop at the moment. I'm fairly sure that there'll be a way to make cars much more eco-friendly, but I fear that it'll come at some costs.
 

YF19pilot

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Personally, I want my car powered by a perpetual motion machine.
:rofl:

Good one, mate. you've made my morning!


As for the topic, there's several areas that I'd be interested in seeing. Alternative fuels is discussed enough that it'll eventually come. Personally, the developments that I'd like to see don't come from the automotive industry, but the battery guys. If they could get a battery that isn't too expensive, holds more charge, and doesn't die in a few years. That, I would like to see.

Blind, the reason they don't use non-vulcanized rubber in tires is because the stuff is too soft.
 

thedguy

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I'm betting Toyota will announce the Scion Crunk when the next development cycle comes around, it will look something like this:
 

Punisher Bass

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God damn it. Do you have any idea how long I've been trying to erase the memory of that "car"!?
 
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