The Cars of the Future

Cars are the chosen form of transportation for most Americans. In 1892 Henry Ford built the first car. It was in 1903 that he opened Ford Motor Co. Through the years cars have been rapidly changing and becoming more useful. Cars now have iron bars in the doors to decrease fatalities in accidents. The common car also has bright lights and engines are being built to reuse gas. As our society gets larger and expands, our cars need more capabilities, for example: the need to travel for many hours, and safety. In 1903 cars couldn't go faster than 40 mph. But, our cars tody can well exceed 100 mph. There are as many cars in the U.S as there are people. And our resources won't last forever and we are seeking out new forms of energy for our cars to run on. One example is…

Energy Efficient cars

Electric cars are quickly becoming popular with enviromentalists. An electric car runs off a battery and gives off no exhaust. 50% of the greenhouse effect problem is exhaust. Solar cars are also gaining intrest. They run on electricity when the sun is clouded. People are striving to build a car that doesn't harm the enviroment. As the world is getting overpopulated more and more exhaust is being pumped into the atmosphere.

Substitutes for fossil fuels are also being used. Cars or trucks that have diesel engines can become energy efficient by using Biodiesel otherwise known as Vegatable Oil. Biodiesel reduces Carbon Dioxide emissions by up to 100% because it is a renewable fuel. Biodiesel is also more lubricating than regular fuel and increases the life of engines. Auto ignition, fuel consumption, power output, and engine torque are relatively unaffected by biodiesel. So basically, the engine just runs like normal (except for the smell). A family in Maine built the Biodesial car and now tour with it in automobile shows.

Right now in America there is a national competition with engineering teams from across the U.S to build a super fuel-efficient vehicle that is affordable to buy and drive, safe and consumer acceptable. One team is using Hydrogen Fuel cells to power their Chevrolet Luminas.
Another is placing a 1.9-liter Saturn engine converted to natural gas into their Dodge Intrepid.

Smart cars

Cars and Computers, two of the most growing industries in America are being combined. Mercedes and BMW are offering a device that can detect obstacles when vehicles are backing up. This device costs 245 dollars. School busses are also being equipped with the device. This sensing device will no doubt become standard on cars. A new trend in car safety is adaptive cruise control and night vision cruise control. This would let the car drive itself in cruise control using night vision.

The possibilities for cars are endless. Some ideas are body panel colors that can be changed electronically, magnets on bumpers to decrease collision, wiperless air-jet windshield cleaning, powerplants under seats and computer selection of the most appropriate fuel and powerplant at all times. Companies such as British Steelă have begun producing cars with lightweight steel. They hope to:

· Work with customers to make better use of steel and new steels on forthcoming vehicle and components projects.
· Research unique and forward-looking technologies to help shape the future of the car.

Jon King who works on this project says:

"Vehicle manufacturers face the major challenges of the next millennium - fuel economy, cost-effective manufacture, enhanced safety and improving the environment. To help in these tasks, British Steel will be focusing on reducing vehicle weight by the development and application of new technology, whilst exploiting the inherent high quality and low cost advantages of steel, its crashworthiness, ease of manufacture and recyclability."

According to the Wall Street Journal, IBM and Sun Microsystems have joined forces with Netscape, General Motors and Delphi Delco Electronics to develop the car of the future. A Network Vehicle that has embedded electronic features able to communicate with one another and with the driver using IBM's ViaVoice speech recognition software, a modified Netscape Navigator browser and Sun's Java programming language. The main aim for this type of Car is that time spent in traffic jams can be spent more productively, such as checking E-mail and searching the WEB.

Will this new technology help us?