With the new year upon us, now is the time to review, reflect, and plan for the future. In the automotive industry, there is a lot to reflect on. Hopefully, by reviewing some advancements in the past year, we can better understand the future ahead.
Self Driving Cars
Although we didn’t see a road-legal autonomous vehicle hit the market this past year, 2017 saw some major advancements in the technology and the market investment of self-driving cars. The race towards the finish line gets more heated as Tesla, Google, GM, Uber and many others attempt to release the first road-legal self-driving cars. It seems the main issue currently is technological programming and testing, as well as serious moral dilemmas. While many still predict a 2020 release, others think we still have a long way to go.
The Boring Company, an Elon Musk project, has made significant progress on fast, underground tunneling technology. The tunnel systems are intended to be used for another Musk futuristic dream, Hyperloop, which boasts of travel speeds up to 240 mph with a goal of over 700 mph. Although this new form of travel may not impact the local demand for cars immediately, it does have the potential to render the trucking industry obsolete. We have yet to know the actual cost of tickets, travel times, etc, but if the Hyperloop is able to compete with airlines and even the cost of gasoline for a road trip, it may push the current trend towards ridesharing and forgoing car ownership further.
What do you think was the biggest advancement in the automotive industry this past year? We’d love to hear from you!
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