Life in 2050: Robots on Wheels - Metro US

Life in 2050: Robots on Wheels

In the cities of 2050, electric cars, e-scooters, and e-bikes will dominate the traffic flow. Electric drive is three times as efficient as a combustion engine, and if the vehicle is recharged with electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar or water power, it’s the most environmentally friendly way to get around.

The engines will be located directly in the wheels – with integrated drivetrain, brakes, steering, and suspension. There will be no axles, transmission systems or many other traditional vehicle components — and that gives designers lots of leeway regarding vehicle interiors.

Besides, every wheel can be steered independently. That makes crosswise parking a piece of cake.

Destinations are simply entered via voice commands, and vehicles communicate with one another and send warnings about traffic jams and risky road conditions. Vehicles are also an important part of the smart power grid, because they not only consume electricity but also deal in electric power. For example, they can buy low-priced energy at night, save it in their batteries, and sell it back to the power grid at higher prices during the day — thus even earning money for their owners.

What driving in 2050 will be like:

City driving has become almost soundless. Some people miss the roar of
the engine in their old SUVs, but electric cars have made engine noise a
thing of the past. Nonetheless, my city car starts faster than any
Porsche, for its electric motor delivers its full power from the word

But I don’t really use this feature often enough. I usually don’t
want to do the driving myself. Since the introduction of the autopilot
mode, more and more often I just lean back and enjoy a concert or do
office work while the car gently floats along on the traffic currents.

There’s no need to worry about accidents either, now that all vehicles
are equipped with cameras, radar, and infrared sensors, and can
communicate autonomously with traffic lights, signs, and other vehicles.

When I get out of my car I send it off to look for its own parking
space, and it can usually be recharged there without any cables. When I
need it again later, I just have to tap on a symbol on my smartphone. My
robot on wheels will show up within a few minutes to pick me up, like a
faithful dog.

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