Audi and Volvo offered a window into the future world of autos this week, with their suggestions that cars should be able to communicate with each other, and that we should do away with filling stations.
First up, Audi called on car manufacturers throughout the world to create a standardised language for sharing data between vehicles on the road. The value of having cars that can speak to each other and to the network are obvious, especially in accident prevention and traffic management. Audi claim that despite having the technology to make it happen, auto makers the world over are missing out on a huge business opportunity by not connecting the dots. They’re right, such a universal language would have far reaching consequences in many industries, not least insurance.
From Volvo, we heard a bold plan for powering the electronic cars of the future. Rather than depend on plugging into power points (a tiring concept which apes fuel filling stations of old), Volvo have prototyped a fixed power track. An homage to the classic Scalectrix set, it also boasts some clever tech: the rails will deliver power only to a car mounted directly above, avoiding the dangers of a road that’s constantly electrified. One for the City?