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What Could Connected Cars be Like in 10 Years?

In 2001, IBM ran a very successful commercial that featured Avery Brooks (then famous for his role as Captain Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) looking around a city street complaining, “It is the year 2000, but where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars. I don’t see any flying cars. Why? Why? Why?” Now, close to fifteen years later, the automotive industry is once again looking into the future, expectant of the newest developments in technology. We hope advancements will bring our cars one step closer to the futuristic vehicles we've been looking forward to since The Jetsons aired in '62. Here are a few ways cars might change in the next ten years.

Connected Cars

Commonly known as the Internet of Things, everything's getting connected these days – phones, computers, TVs, microwaves, toilets, whatever. Cars look like they're next on the list to join in the connectivity, and are expected to be a bigger deal than the ability to tweet that you're making some ramen noodles. One feature of connected cars will employ on-board wireless nodes that will connect to roadside stations that will update speed, traffic, and weather information in real time, which will hopefully improve traffic flow and speed while reducing risk of collisions.

Alternative Energy Sources

Although internal combustion engines are probably here to stay for quite a while, the huge push toward reducing gas consumption means that there's a lot of interesting development being done with hybrid and electric cars. Hybrid models of many sport and luxury vehicles are expected to debut in the next ten years or so, including a big shiny Rolls Royce that plugs into your garages power outlet.

Self-driving Cars

Yeah, you read that right. It could happen, and in fact, it already has to some extent. Some sorcerers working for Google have been testing a car that uses GPS, lasers and sensor technology to drive itself autonomously – and even in traffic. It's not clear how readily available this technology will be, but there's a lot of exciting work being done.
Cars are changing, maybe not quickly, but technology is always marching forward and striving to best meet the demands of the public. They're getting smaller, sleeker, more fuel efficient, and like everything else, they're getting connective. Ten years from now, cars will certainly look, operate and be driven differently, but still probably won't fly.