Future car technologies

Automobile propulsion technology under development include gasoline/electric and plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles, hydrogen cars, biofuels, and various alternative fuels. Research into future alternative forms of power include the development of fuel cells, Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI), Stirling engines,[43] and even using the stored energy of compressed air or liquid nitrogen. New materials which may replace steel car bodies include duraluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and carbon nanotubes. Telematics technology is allowing more and more people to share cars, on a pay-as-you-go basis, through car share and carpool schemes. Communication is also evolving due to connected car systems. Driverless cars Main article: Driverless car A robotic Volkswagen Passat shown at Stanford University is a driverless car Fully autonomous vehicles, also known as robotic cars, or driverless cars, already exist in prototype, and are expected to be commercially available around 2020. According to urban designer and futurist Michael E. Arth, driverless electric vehiclesin conjunction with the increased use of virtual reality for work, travel, and pleasure ould reduce the world's 800 million vehicles to a fraction of that number within a few decades.[44] This would be possible if almost all private cars requiring drivers, which are not in use and parked 90% of the time, would be traded for public self-driving taxis that would be in near constant use. This would also allow for getting the appropriate vehicle for the particular needa bus could come for a group of people, a limousine could come for a special night out, and a Segway could come for a short trip down the street for one person. Children could be chauffeured in supervised safety, DUIs would no longer exist, and 41,000 lives could be saved each year in the US alone.[45][46] Open source development There have been several projects aiming to develop a car on the principles of open design. The projects include OScar, Riversimple (through 40fires.org)[47] and c,mm,n.[48] None of the projects have reached significant success in terms of developing a car as a whole both from hardware and software perspective and no mass production ready open-source based design have been introduced as of late 2009. Some car hacking through on-board diagnostics (OBD) has been done so far.