Future: The car will soon no longer have a steering wheel


The car will soon no longer have a steering wheel

Future: The car will soon no longer have a steering wheel-soon

The first prototype of the Google car is still equipped with a steering wheel and pedals. Later on, a few buttons should be enough, and driving is then autonomous

Source: dpa-tmn / dil zeh

Google’s self-driving car egg is still being ridiculed. But in around two decades all cars could look like this. We should say goodbye to some of the interior fittings we have come to love.

I.n the 129 years since it was invented, the equipment in the car has changed little. But the next 20 years could see a revolution. By 2030, rear-view mirrors, horns and manual brakes are likely to have disappeared from mass-produced cars. At least that is the result of a survey among the participants of the IEEE symposium on the autonomous car in Dearborn, USA.

Furthermore, the experts predict that the steering wheel and accelerator will no longer play a role by 2035. The background to this is the increasing autonomy of the car; Instead of humans, the computer is increasingly taking over driving. And it can do without manual controls.

Against this background, the recently introduced car prototype from the Internet company Google gives a foretaste of the car of the future. In addition to seating and storage, the interior is limited to buttons for starting and stopping as well as a screen that shows the current route. Around 200 vehicles are now to be built and tested in a field trial.

But there has long been no guarantee of existence for other parts in the car either. Progress has reached a pace that brings more and more changes. There are many things that celebrate their farewells quickly or slowly in the car.

Start button instead of ignition lock

For example the speedometer. It has been showing the speed in cars for more than 100 years. But even today, real pointers are sometimes no longer used for the speed display.

Car manufacturers are increasingly relying on freely configurable flat screens on which they simulate the instruments. Upper-class models such as the BMW 7 Series or the new Mercedes S-Class are examples. With the Volvo V40 or the BMW i3, the trend is already conquering the upscale compact class.

Many modern cars can do without a classic ignition key. It is of great emotional importance because handing it over when you buy it is literally a key experience. But the ignition key is less and less needed to drive.

Even small cars now have a starter button and recognize the driver by the chip in the key housing, which can remain in your pocket. Depending on the price and equipment, this works not only on the ignition but also on the door lock. Renault, for example, has already replaced the key with a chip card that never has to leave your wallet.

Exterior mirrors increase fuel consumption

Since every drop of fuel counts, everything that leads to high consumption will be dispensed with in the future. For example, exterior mirrors. A car could save around 0.1 to 0.3 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers if it had small cameras instead of bulky rear-view mirrors. That is why the auto industry recently applied for cars without mirrors to be allowed.

"In view of future regulations on greenhouse gas and average consumption, which will apply from 2017, camera-based systems are one way of increasing the efficiency of cars through improved aerodynamics," says the application submitted by the alliance of automobile manufacturers.

Even the spare wheel is just unnecessary ballast. For the developers, it is literally the fifth wheel on the car, it takes up space and increases the weight. That is why the spare wheel has been on the decline for years and is increasingly being replaced by so-called tire repair systems.

You rely on a sealing compound that is filled into the defective tire and thus closes the hole. Then it is inflated with the enclosed compressor. The ADAC gives the engineers backing: a flat tire threatens only every ten years.

Window crank almost completely gone

The CD player is also disappearing from our cars. The cassette player has already been taken out of service, and the CD player will soon disappear completely. At least the organizers of the US electronics fair CES assume that the USB or Bluetooth connection to the mobile phone or MP3 player will be the more important music source.

On that occasion, classic radio could also fall by the wayside. Vehicles are already bringing many web radio stations into their cars. That could make conventional transmitters dispensable.

The window crank has almost been forgotten. Unless you buy the basic equipment of the Dacia Sandero, the cheapest car on the German car market, there is hardly a new car where the driver and front passenger have to crank. Even small and cheap cars have recently been fitted with electric window regulators as standard.

The trunk handle could suffer a similar fate. After all, why should you still grab hold of a handle when a swivel of your foot is enough? In vehicles like the BMW 5 Series, the Audi A6, the VW Passat or the Ford Kuga, you can open the trunk in this way – without even pulling out the key.

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