Driving Futures

6 Cars That Have Captured Our Imagination

Futuristic cars have always captured the public’s imagination, from Knight Rider to Batman, and as we stand on the verge of a new technological revolution, many of our childhood dreams look likely to become reality.

Here are a few examples of how driving is about to become unlike anything we’ve experienced before.

Google’s Self Driving Car

Many experts believe recent developments in artificial intelligence will have as much impact on society as the industrial revolution and the advent of the internet. There’s little doubt AI will change our life on the road forever too, as Google’s self-driving cars are beginning to appear. Now at the stage of being fully tested on roads, it’s hoped the pioneering software will improve road safety, reduce pollution and give road access to those with restricted mobility.

A Google self driving car drives past a double-deck commuter bus at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, CA, USA

Mercedes F 015 Luxury in Motion

If Google are developing the self-driving car for the everyman, then Mercedes have their sights set firmly on the higher end of the market with their F 015 Luxury in Motion. The stunning driverless vehicle is built with urban professionals in mind, to whom space and time are increasingly scarce. Why waste work hours stuck in traffic when you could host a meeting in the walnut wood and nappa leather-clad confines of your car? Imagine Ron Burgundy’s office on wheels and you’ve got the idea.

Mercedes F 015 Luxury in Motion at the Geneva Motor Show 2016 (photo taken on the first press day)

Honda Wander Stand

With this compact self-driving pod, Honda may have nailed the future of urban transport in one cutting-edge concept vehicle. Aimed at a young tech-savvy generation, the Wander Stand takes up minimal space and contains an infotainment hub so passengers can be plugged into social media as the autonomous system controls the journey. Definitely the smartest golf buggy we’ve ever seen.

Terrafugia TF-X

No machine symbolises our idea of the future as vividly as a flying car. For years we’ve watched movies with dreams of owning our own gravity-defying vehicles, and by the looks of the Terrafugia TF-X we may be less than a decade away from getting them. According to developers, the fully electronic TF-X will come fitted with automated navigation and can reach speeds of up to 200mph on land and in the air. Marty McFly would be so proud.

BMW GINA

While many avant-garde vehicles are celebrated for their cutting-edge software or fuelling systems, the BMW GINA is unique for the very material it’s made from. Covered in a perfectly smooth sheet of super-strength fabric, the GINA can literally shape shift according to requirements. At the touch of a button features such as headlights, spoilers and headrests can appear from nowhere, defying our core belief in how a solid structure behaves. Rarely does the future look so stylish.

Le concept-car BMW Gina

Renault Twizy Hatchback

One of the biggest challenges facing the motoring industry is how to power our vehicles without fossil fuels, especially in densely populated areas. The good news is sales of electric cars soared by 65% in the UK last year, meaning it’s likely the future of urban driving looks like this nippy little character. In fact, more manufacturers are turning to electronically powered single or two-person vehicles as the car finds its place in the 21st century.

Renault Twizy at the automobile show in Baden, Lower Austria, Austria

IMAGE CREDITS

Google Self Driving Car: Michael Shick | Mercedes F 015: Norbert Aepli, Switzerland | BMW GINA: ravas51 | Renault Twizzy: Sae1962