Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, referred to as the "Motor City", I often imagined the futuristic car that I would be driving in the twenty-first century. After many years of working with technology that supports the automotive industry, I have realized that the question is not "What will I be driving in the future?" but "How will I be driving in the future?".
Vehicle technology advances have been tremendous in the past few years. These advances have been driven by composite materials, vehicle control processors, and advanced sensor technology.
Integration of wireless technology with vehicle electronic systems and the external environment will drive changes in how we drive in the future, while innovation in vehicle telematics will drive technology advances for the road and highway infrastructure, law enforcement and safety, traffic management, and environmental management. Finally, inter/intra-vehicle wireless communication will enable integration between the driver, the vehicle, other vehicles, the roadway, and external entities.
The opportunities for technology providers will be significant. The challenges for legal and governmental agencies will play a major part in the adoption of this technology.
The vehicle that I drive in the future, may actually drive itself most of the time.