Canyon Crest Academy

Commentary: Objects in (the) future are closer than they appear

With each passing day bringing us closer and closer to a more automated world, we start becoming lazier and lazier, yet, safer. Since the current focus of automation is on motor vehicles, many companies are revealing their plans for the future to intrigue us consumers and to put their stamp on the new era.

Elon Musk, the shepherd for renewable energy and sustainability and the larger-than-life inventor and owner of Hyperloop, SolarCity, OpenAl, and, more notably, SpaceX, Paypal, and Tesla Motors, announced the projected implementations going into all Tesla Motor vehicles in the near future. During his “announcement,” which was delivered through Twitter, Musk states that “their cars will be able to park in legal spots by itself and, when you call it, come to pick you up… Even if you are on the other side of the country.”

This type of innovation is profound, yet somewhat expected, given the type of person we know Musk to be; a quirky, genius inventor who also happens to be an advocate for a renewable future intertwined with technology. However, what does this mean for orthodoxical car companies?

Having been in the business for merely 14 years, Tesla leads the charge in future automotive technology. Surprisingly, a couple of notable brands are picking up what Tesla is laying down and have taken steps in creating autonomous cars themselves, which include: Ford, GM, Audi, BMW, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, and a few others.

Although many of these companies have promised to deliver autonomous cars within the next five years, the most notable announcement comes from Bayeriche Motoren Werke AG, more famously known as BMW.

Having announced BMW Next 100, the four all-electric concept vehicles for their three brands, Mini, BMW, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, BMW is able to showcase their plans to the market ahead of their competitors. All designs have some similar ideals to that of Tesla, in that they will also be able to park by themselves and pick you up from commands sent from your phone.

The vision for the Mini is one that is built on the idea of personalization. For some, adjusting the car to fit your height and preferences after another family member or friend borrowed your car can be a nuisance. When you get in, not only will the obvious seat and mirror adjustments happen, but the look of the car, entertainment preferences, and even its core driving abilities will change, for example, giving more horsepower to those who enjoy the thrill of flooring it 0.01 seconds after the light turns green.

Furthermore, it’ll take in input from others and incorporate it into different aspects of the car whenever you want to be “inspired.”

Perhaps the most important technology introduced is being implemented into the sedan BMW proposed. The dashboard will be able to change, alerting you of possible dangers, visible and invisible. Furthermore, the digital assistant, Companion, will not only give you intuitive assistance in every situation, but also provide personal mobility preferences both during driving and outside the vehicle.

For those loathing the bulkiness of cars and those who enjoy the thrill of accelerating fast on a small vehicle, BMW also announced a new concept bike called the BMW Motorrad. With the guarantee of balancing when operating, it prevents the struggle of balancing 500-plus pounds of metal while going 70 miles per hour.

The flexible frame of the vehicle ensures ease of turning when going slowly, relieving much effort in getting on the road, and strengthens the fixation of the frame while going at higher speeds, providing safety against possible dips or rocks in the road that would normally send the you and your bike flying off at high speeds. By also incorporating smart eye protection, the visor will help feed you important information while also having a set of digital eyes on the road.

Finally, the Rolls-Royce. Being the only fully automated vehicle, to the point where there are no steering wheels nor pedals, the Rolls-Royce concept car is the embodiment of luxury. By having the voice of Eleanor, the signature idol sitting on the hood of every Rolls-Royce, be your digital chauffeur, passengers are able to relax in the couch seats, trusting that Eleanor will continuously monitor the world around it, the car, and heed to every whim of the passengers.

All in all, what was once thought of as a dream of a future generation possibly hundreds of years away in a utopian society, we are given innovative ideas that will bring the desires of the future one step closer to our realities.