If you’re like me, scrolling through the daily news headlines can easily inject small doses of excitement or dread into your day. This happens almost every time I open a news app on my phone. It has nothing to do with politics, economic trends affecting my personal finances, or even the dichotomy of good versus bad news.
I’m specifically referring to technology news and the deluge of potential breakthroughs and Earth-shattering technologies that will (might) one day (what year exactly?) rule our collective lives (gulp).
The auto industry is a leading example of these headlines that paint the world like a Jetsons-to-be Utopia. Questions I sheepishly find myself asking while reading these news items include:
- How bad of an idea is it to drill tunnels into a quake-susceptible Los Angeles to ease traffic?
- So many infrastructure challenges stand in the way of a world dominated by self-driving vehicles-¦so why are people already investing in flying cars?!
- Hydrogen? Electric? New-age gas engine? Bio-Diesel? What vehicle power source will take the crown in the next century?
- What sort of labor jobs will still exist in 20-30 years?
- Will my future grandkids reading this middling column ever know the joy of driving?
Readers would get terribly bored if I was allowed to continue this nearly endless stream of questions.
The fact is, with so many emerging technologies, it is extremely difficult to guess what the future holds. So, if you’re anything like me, it’s difficult to sort through this news without feeling like the future might already be here, or maybe inaccessible for a really long time. It can get overwhelming.
To chronical this complicated relationship we all have with automotive tech news, I’m introducing Today, In The Future, a somewhat-regular news blog. Each post will present quality examples of new technology already affecting the automotive market today, other innovations most certainly coming down the pike, and of course the far-fetched illusions that may or may not be hiding in the future.
Without further ado, here are a few stories that caught my eye today:
- Aston Martin designed a 500-part convertible roof for a $200,000 vehicle made to last its entire lifetime on the road.
- Frisco, Texas is now on the map of cities boldly embracing self-driving vehicle technology, as Drive.ai prepares the debut of its new driving service.
- The public can’t yet touch Cadillac’s XT4 compact premium crossover, but that’s not going to stop dealers from letting their customers experience it in virtual reality.
- Will self-driving cars put tow trucks out of business?
- The House Energy and Commerce committee was talking the future of cars last week. The committee hosted witness testimony for a hearing titled, “Sharing the Road: Policy Implications of Electric and Conventional Vehicles in the Years Ahead.” Some witnesses included Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; Frank Macchiarola with the American Petroleum Institute; and Bob Dinneen of the Renewable Fuels Association. You can view that entire hearing right here.