In 30 years’ time, you could change the colour of your car with an app, take a nap on its built-in bed and cruise to your destination via self-driving technology.
Auto Trader has released concept designs for what the average car will look like in 2050, based on the expertise of a futurologist, market trends, the rate of technology’s growth and research into what consumers of the future will want.
According to predictions, the car of the future will be fully electric and will feature “digital paint”. This will allow passengers to change the colour and style of the vehicle with just the tap of an app, depending on their mood.
“Advances in technology [mean] this feature could be widely available as early as the year 2040,” AutoTrader says.
The car will be fully autonomous, meaning it can drive itself. To ensure passengers can make the most of not having to focus on the road, it will feature a built-in mattress in the centre of its “spacious cabin”.
In a recent survey of 2,142 UK drivers, 24% said they’d use the car mattress to sleep, while 13% of male respondents said they’d rather use it for sex.
Some 22% said they’d spend their commute reading a book from the car’s extensive library, while 19% said they’d be binge-watching their favourite programmes and films from the in-built TV.
Others said they’d use the space to play board games or do yoga. 15% of women surveyed said they’d use the free time to do their hair and make-up en-route to an event.
The car also features a ” friendly AI” that will select the perfect driving speed and style, whether passengers are out for a leisurely weekend drive or need to dash to their destination.
It will look different to 2020’s typical car in that it will be fitted with a “bubble” window that extends over the roof, giving passengers more space to move around in. The bubble also gives 360 degree panoramic views.
If passengers want more privacy, they can turn on the glass’ black-out function with a tap.
Auto Trader’s Rory Reid says the design reflects changing preferences and expectations among British consumers.
“The government’s recent announcement on bringing forward the ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars to 2035 is already influencing what Brits are looking for,” he said.
“Overnight we saw a 165% increase in searches for electric vehicles on Auto Trader. So it’s no surprise that the 2050 car will be fully electric, but it’s fascinating to think what these advancements, including driverless tech, could mean for the actual design of cars and how they could be used.”
He says the idea of digital paint reflects a growing desire for personalisation.
“People are increasingly using technology to express themselves and this tech would remove the need to wait for a colour of car to come into stock or fork out extra to have a car spray painted a certain colour.”
Futurologist Tom Cheesewright, who helped with the 2050 car’s design, says the vehicle of tomorrow “takes you from A to B with minimum fuss and in maximum style”.
“Future technologies will give designers free reign to create more space and comfort, so that we can get on with our lives while an AI takes care of the driving. While our cars won’t be flying any time soon, we can all benefit from cleaner, quieter, safer roads. In just twenty years, the age of the combustion engine will be well and truly over.”