The great-grandson of Henry Ford is lobbying for a radical change in how vehicles are driven in the future. Bill Ford is the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company and he is making huge predictions about how vehicles in the future will interact with each other and pedestrians.
Among the predictions Ford is making are:
- A 2-billion person increase in world population will lead to a quadrupling of the number of vehicles on the road and potential for traffic gridlocks.
- Vehicles will be driven in “platoons” and be electronically linked.
- A “rolling collection of sensors” will prevent auto accidents at danger points.
- Cars will be able to navigate on their own by mid-century.
- Another mid-century prediction is that pedestrians, bicycles, and cars will all be interlinked within a “single connected network.”
- You’ll be able to plot and reserve a parking space in transit and your vehicle will park itself.
- Vehicles will detect school zones, highway workers, and traffic lights with the ability to “communicate” with them.
- Within 5 to 10 years auto-pilot technology will allow drivers to take over if necessary.
In truth, none of these are really fanciful predictions. Auto visionaries have already developed the technology to make much of this happen including auto-piloted vehicles (Google has a self-driving car that it has been testing for at least a year), Bluetooth technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other to prevent accidents, and in-dash GPS navigation.
While the technology is there it can only get better. The future might look like a science fiction movie.