Although the automotive industry stagnated for decades, a few companies started several revolutions at the same time. It’s an exciting time to be alive if you’re a petrol head – and it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the smell of petrol that excites you.
The first revolution was the electric car, and we all know who’s responsible for this one – Tesla. The other revolution is the creation of an autonomous vehicle that doesn’t require a person to drive it. Although the electric and the autonomous vehicle are often put in the same sentence, they’re two separate innovations that just happen to be closely related.
The automotive industry moves at a previously unseen pace, and the rapid transformations are set to change the world we live in, or at least the way we travel.
Mobility and economic development are closely connected, and these revolutionary technologies might just be the turning point in the industrial world.
Will The Petrol Fueled Car Become A Thing Of The Past?
Changes rarely go smoothly when it comes to revolutionary technological advances. The trial and error method is inevitable, and we shouldn’t expect massive changes to happen overnight. Technological revolutions commonly come in waves, and each pulse paves the way for innovations that will further improve the technology.
Internal combustion engines have been the standard for more than a century, and they’ve seen massive efficiency improvements. However, I firmly believe that they’ll be replaced by alternative fuel engines sooner rather than later. The reasons are simple: we need more capable, more efficient, and cleaner vehicles!
The popular belief among car lovers is that petrol-powered vehicles won’t just ‘die-off.’ However, when you take into account all the advantages and disadvantages of electric vs internal combustion engine vehicles, the odds are on the electric side.
I estimate that by 2050, internal combustion engines will be long gone, and the electric cars will be the new standard.
The Batteries Are Still The Biggest Challenge
Being a petrol head myself, I was also against cars’ electrification when they first came out. It’s in human nature to be afraid of changes, and it takes time to adapt to new things. The biggest problem in electric vehicles is still the batteries. One of the determining factors when choosing a new car is the travel range and economy – and this is where people have mixed feelings about electric vehicles. When they first came out, electric cars had dramatically lower range when compared to ICE-powered vehicles. Although they’re drastically more economical, the fact that it takes a few hours to fully charge an electric car is the deal-breaker for many.
In 2020, though, things are changing. Automotive companies have come out with bigger batteries that will help them develop cars that not only offer a much higher range but faster charging times as well.
The best-in-class electric vehicles now offer up to 500 kilometers per charge, which is enough for most users. Additionally, the quick-charge options enable you to charge your EV from 0 to 80 percent in less than half an hour.
When it comes to vehicle safety, electric cars have the advantage again. They feature several intelligent solutions and technologies that guarantee security.
Are Autonomous Vehicles The Future?
As I said before, there are two major revolutions taking place side-by-side in the automotive industry: the electrification of vehicles and the creation of autonomous cars.
Tesla came up with the first mass-production self-driving system, commonly known as the ‘autopilot,’ and the public’s reactions were mixed. Although it’s a revolutionary feature, it comes with a few disadvantages.
The first concern is security: Can automotive companies guarantee the safety of autonomous vehicles?
Self-driving vehicles require several powerful sensors and computers to run safely, which means that they use additional energy. Considering the fact that electric cars already have a shorter range when compared to ICE cars, experts suggest that autonomous vehicles must be gas-electric hybrids – at least for now.
One thing is for certain – the automotive industry is continuously changing, and the implementation of powerful computers means that the digitalization of this traditional industry has already started.
No matter how we feel about it, the automotive world is revolutionizing, and we must embrace the new changes.