Future car technologies
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Potential future car technologies include varied energy sources and materials, which are being developed in order to make automobiles more energy efficient with reduced regulated emissions. Cars are being developed in many different ways.
- Platoons of cars that are controlled by the lead car
- Vehicle infrastructure integration
- Driverless car
- Interactive dashboard and wind shield
One major problem in developing cleaner, energy efficient automobiles is the source of power to drive the engine. A variety of alternative fuel vehicles have been proposed or sold, including electric cars, hydrogen cars, compressed-air cars and liquid nitrogen cars.
In one experiment done to improve the future of cars, an old kind of battery was installed which can not be removed, and recharged in two different ways. First, by a generator integrated with the IC and second by removing the cassettes so that they can be recharged off-board in the home ( Charters, Watkinson, Wykes, & Simpkin, 2009).
Actual automobiles operate at about 15% efficiency. The rest of the energy is lost to engine and drive-train inefficiencies and idling. Therefore, the potential to improve fuel efficiency with advanced technologies is enormous.
Various technologies have been developed and utilized to increase the energy efficiency of conventional cars or supplement them, resulting in energy savings.
- Regenerative braking technology saves and stores energy for future use or as back up power. When conventional brakes are used, 100% of the kinetic energy lost is converted to thermal energy, and dissipated in the form of heat. Regenerative braking recovers some of this energy to recharge the batteries in a hybrid vehicle.
- BMW's Turbosteamer concept uses energy from the exhaust gases of the traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) to power a steam engine which also contributes power to the automobile (Hanlon, 2005). This can increase energy efficiency by up to 15%.
- Compressed air Hybrid is an engine made by researchers at Brunel University in Britain, which forces highly compressed air into the engine, which they claim reduces fuel consumption by 30%. 
- Utilization of waste heat from D.W. as useful mechanical energy through exhaust powered steam, stirling engines, thermal diodes, etc.
- Using computational fluid dynamics in the design stage can produce vehicles which take significantly less energy to push through the air, a major consideration at highway speeds. The Volkswagen 1-litre car and Aptera 2 Series are examples of ultra-low-drag vehicles.
Lighter materials can make cars more fuel efficient and increase performance.
- Duraluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and carbon nanotubes may totally replace all steel in cars, potentially improving lightness and strength. Aluminum, carbon fiber and fiberglass are used in cars today.
- Plastic and foam for the car's shell; foam can provide additional safety for pedestrians, and can also make the car buoyant.
- Water-repellant glass
Racing cars used to be made of the same sort of materials as road cars, that is steel, aluminum and other metals. In the early 1980s, however, Formula 1 underwent the beginnings of a revolution that has become its hallmark today: the use of carbon composite materials to build the chassis. Today, most of the racing car chassis - the monocoque, suspension, wings and engine cover - is built with carbon fiber. This material has four advantages over every other kind of material for racing car construction: • It is super lightweight. • It is super strong. • It is super stiff. • It can be easily molded into all kinds of different shapes. The high cost of carbon fiber is mitigated by the material's unsurpassed strength-to-weight ratio, and low weight is essential for high-performance automobile racing. Racecar manufacturers have also developed methods to give carbon fiber pieces strength in a certain direction, making it strong in a load-bearing direction, but weak in directions where little or no load would be placed on the member.
If we could replace the body parts of the ordinary cars with these strong carbon fiber the weight of the body parts can be significantly reduced. When the weight is considerably decreased without compromising on the strength, the performance vary to a large extend. By making the body panels with lightweight materials the centre of mass height can be lowered which gives the SUV type vehicles an improved principle performance as like other sports cars.
- Personal automated transport
- Automobile dependency
- MIT Car
- Flying car (aircraft)
- New urbanism
- Transit-oriented development
- Vehicle Infrastructure Integration
- Hydrogen economy
- Autonomous car
Notes and references
- Xia,mia lewis' Jia, Wang, Jianzhong, Yang, Zhibiao, Cai, Yuanzhang, Hou & Qinglin, He. (2008). Prospects of new energy Vehicles for china market. IEEE, Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.libdb.njit.edu:8888/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4784380&isnumber=4784367
- Strattan, Robert D. (2004). The Electrifying future of the hybrid automobile. Potentials, IEEE, 23(3), Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.libdb.njit.edu:8888/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1341777&isnumber=29564 doi:10.1109/MP.2004.1341777
- Charters, Derek, Watkinson, Martin, Wykes, Dave, & Simpkin, Bob. (2008). H4v-hybrid four wheel drive vehicle. Hybrid and Eco-Friendly Vehicle Conference, 2008. IET HEVC 2008. Retrieved from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.libdb.njit.edu:8888/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4784369&isnumber=4784367
- Advanced technologies & energy efficiency . (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fueleconomy.gov/Feg/atv.shtml
- Hanlon, Mike. (2005, November 13). Http://www.gizmag.com/go/4936/. Retrieved from BMW unveils the turbosteamer concept
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (November 2010)|
- What if Cars Could Drive Themselves? (from U. Washington's Innovative Transportation Technologies website, last modified May 2003)* RUF (Rapid Urban Flexible) dualmode transport system
- Article on platooning and e-guideways from Francis Reynolds, grandfather of dualmode.
- Fuel-Cell Hype vs. Economic Reality, National Public Radio interview with Matt Wald
- Wired Magazine, How Hydrogen Can Save America
- The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs (2004) National Academy of Engineering (NAE), Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES)
- New Scientific American article
- Essays on the Car of the Future
- The Transition from Terrafugia: Promising Future Cars to Take to the Skies