The Geneva Motor Show: cars of our future?

The future is always a huge point of speculation, with everyone predicting what our everyday lives may look like in the years to come - and one area that looks set to change dramatically is our cars. We’ve already spoken about self-driving cars and new car technologies that look set to appear in the not-so-distant future – but it looks like this may just be the tip of the iceberg.

The Geneva International Motor Show, a yearly event which showcases the best from automotive companies around the world, kicked off last week and saw some futuristic car technology being presented for the first time. From powerful electric models to cars that can fly (yes, really!), the vehicles on show may give us a glimpse into what the car industry will look like in the future. So what just do the cars of the future look like?

Flying cars
The biggest game-changer from the event was from Dutch company PAL-V, who showcased their flying car. The product vows to begin the “age of the flying car”, with two separate engines for driving and flying and only a 5-10 minute transition from road to air. While having our cars take to the sky may seem like a scary prospect, several companies have already started pursuing similar concepts, suggesting we may see flying vehicles from manufacturers before too long. These flying cars may even be on the road sooner than we think, with PAL-V set for their first delivery of the car to customers in 2019. If these flying cars do take off (excuse the pun), we can expect the roads as we know them to change completely, prompting some very interesting questions about road rules and laws.

An electric future
The event also signalled the rise of electric cars, with brands such as Nissan, Tesla, Jaguar, Bentley among those showcasing their own electric models. While current electric cars have received some criticism due to heavy batteries slowing them down and long charging times, the models shown at the Geneva Motor Show tried to combat these problems. Jaguar presented their I-Pace model, which can travel 480km on one full charge, while Porsche’s Mission E Cross Turismo concept claims to be able to reach 124mph in just 12 seconds. Volkswagen even presented ideas for an electric limousine, showing that our idea of what an electric car looks like could be completely revolutionised. While time will only tell if the public will buy these models, their huge presence at the event indicates the future is very much electric.

Smart technology
Alongside the impressive cars displayed, the Geneva Motor Show also highlighted new technology we may expect to see inside our cars. This technology included smart headlights, courtesy of Mercedes, which react to light to determine how bright they should be, solving the problem of having blinding or dim headlights. These smart lights also have the ability to project symbols to aid driving: for example, if you were to swerve off road, they can display road lines to help you get back into position. Their capability is extensive, with them being able to show warning symbols if a hazard is detected ahead, a snowflake if it’s icy, and even a makeshift zebra-crossing to help pedestrians cross the road safely.

It wasn’t just headlights receiving a digital makeover either: the event also brought ‘smart tires’. These tires connect to an app on your phone and uses sensors to detect any issues – such as if your tire pressure is low – and alerts you, offering you a handy notification system every time your tires need to be looked at. While this tech may not be as extreme as a flying car, it shows new ways companies are using technology to make our cars safer and the driving experience easier.

Judging by the Geneva Motor Show, there are some exciting things to look forward to. It may be years before we see some of the technology appearing in our cars, but one thing’s for sure: innovation in the car industry is showing no signs of stopping.

Photo by Marc Kleen on Unsplash

Posted on March 13, 2018

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