The automobile in the future will change dramatically. It has reached its peak and will soon run out of steam. It will be superceeded with better transportation technologies, just like canals by railroads and railroads in turn by cars.
In the coming decade there will be many improvements in a car - engine, fuel, materials, but especially smart internals. Sensors and computers will make it possible to co-ordinate car movement and have computers drive cars. People who want to take a Sunday drive can get a Sunday ride.
Large scale co-ordinated networks of vehicles will emerge, similar to projects like ULTra. Cars may move from roads to guideways or string rails. Flying cars will be introduced. Innovative replacements such as Segway will become popular.
That would have a big impact on social structure and connections.
"GM will be launching a self-driving system on the 2008 Opel Vectra. Known as the Traffic Assist, the system is said to be able to drive the car on its own in heavy traffic at up to 60 mph. Using lasers, video camera and controlled by an advanced computer, the system can recognize signs and detect obstacles, controls the car via a complete drive-by-wire set up that covers throttle, steering and braking." 
- Automated Highway Systems and Driverless car
- Smart cars and automated highways
- CityMobil EU project - develop more effective automated urban transport (pilots in Heathrow, UK; Rome, Italy and Castellón, Spain )
Pod car transportation
To easy the user´s right to choose, appears wikipedia:aftermarket powertrain kits .[htp://www.calmotors.com]
Air engine wikipedia An engine that runs on air. Approximentaly $3 per 100 kilometers.
In the future active-wheels, like described by Stephenson in Snowcrash will be possible.
cars will go very fast. That'sallicantelyou
21-25 Speed 5 Clutch AutomaticTransmission with Torque Converter. These transmission will have 10 reverse gears, and 11 to 15 forwards in which the 11 to 15 gears will be extra fuel economy gears (cannot be used to obtain higher speed).These transmissions will come standard with Manual Gear Change Shifting Mode (M-GCSM) and Paddle Shifter Gear Change Apporatus (PS-GCA) as well as Manual Mode with Different Gear Position (MM-DGP). Manual versions with Gear Change REV-Matching System (GC-RMS) and Predictive Gear Change Assistance System (P-GCAS) will also exist with the same number of gears. Both manual and Automatic versions will have a System called Global Positioning System Transmission Assistance (GPS-TA) so gear change can be aided by seeing elevation and the roads direction as well as topography. Manual transmissions will have an automatic mode with all the advantages of the automatic (including assistance systems) but can still be operated in manual mode in the layout of a traditional manual gearbox. Transmission will change gear within 5-10 milliseconds thanks to their 5 clutches and amazingly quick power transfer speeds.
Many safety fechture have been invented for cars but not all cars in production today have them.
- Electronic Stability Control
- Brake Assist Plus
- Intelligent vehicle technologies
- Dedicated Short Range Communications is a short- to medium-range wireless protocol specifically designed for automotive use. It offers communication between the vehicle and roadside equipment.
Baja 1000 One of the cars has 4 axles that can move up and down 30 inches independantly on each wheel.
The exaustion of the fossil fuels makes alternative energy sources an important aspect of car development.
- "Our scientific testing has led us to believe that the PICC will increase the mileage of all personal vehicles to over 100 miles per gallon (city or highway)."
- Hybrid cars and more advanced combustion engines (eg. gas turbines) will improve fuel efficiency. Toyota intends to have hybrid versions for all its models by 2012, including the hybrid Toyota Prius which is already available. Ford intends to make five hybrids available by 2008. Both Ford and GM have also begun to develop hybrid SUV's. The next step in hybrid technology is Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Hybrid cars could get up to 80 miles per gallon by 2015.
- Fuel cells will become cheaper and more power efficienct makeing electric cars get better gas mileage. 
- Utilization of waste heat from the engine as useful mechanical energy through exhaust powered steam, stirling engines, thermal diodes or etc..
- Dualmode or cars able to platoon that use relatively small electric motors and fuel supplies or battery reserves for door-to-door service off electrically powered arteries.
- Battery electric vehicles have the potential of using locally available sustainable energy resources while at the same time reducing vehicle energy requirements by 1/2 to 1/4 when using batteries to store electricity.
- In one proposal, the battery vehicles would also provide a useful service to the grid as a distributed battery farm. Charging at times of low demand, and providing energy back to the grid at peak demand times, they would help to balance the load on the grid over time.
- Hydrogen cars could eventually be produced that use sustainable energy resources and water. The resulting hydrogen could be burned in an engine or converted back into electricity by a fuel cell and its support systems instead of a battery to be powered as an electric vehicle. Due to the additional conversion losses and added distribution and support logistics overall efficiency is currently not as good as current ICE ("internal combustion engine") vehicles. Rather it is far simpler and more efficient (by a factor of three to six by some estimates) to transmit locally available sustainable electricity directly into the batteries of a battery electric vehicle.
- Alternative fuels are being proposed : alcohol fuel, water, highly compressed air, garbage, hemp oil, magnetism, solar power, Tesla electric cars (with no car batteries), and high speed electric cars (freeway-capable).
Lightweight body materials such as carbon fiber will be used on many vehicles by the late 2010s.
- Future of the car Wikipedia, Driverless car and Alternative propulsion
- Future cars at Drive USA, Motor Trend, Discovery Channel, Automotive.com and PBS.
- car games, New Car, SUV Hybrid
- List of hybrid vehicles
- Cars that run on ethanol.
- Fuel economy in automobiles
- Fuel economy standards by contry
- Scenario: World Oil Shortage
- Greenhouse Gases
- Scenario: Nanocar - a VW Nanospyder vision.
- RyansWorld: Driverless car - What driverless cars will become according to RyansWorld
- How Governments become Authoritarian.
- Today's OTL types of economies, societies and regimes.
- Anti-Air systems
- Atomic warfare information notes.
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