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The end of the combustion engine

Are you considering to buy a car? Keep this in mind: just like the dinosaur and the dodo, the traditional car will become a dying species. Petrol heads need to find another passion.

In many European countries legislation that prohibits selling cars with combustion engines is in the process of acceptance and implementation. Take Germany for example, the world leader in the production of high quality cars. Germany’s Bundesrat, its upper house of parliament, passed a bipartisan resolution calling for a ban on sales of new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, which includes both gasoline and diesel. In order to curb climate-warming emissions, the legislation says no new combustion engine cars should be allowed on roads after 2030, just 14 years from now. If this becomes the law of the land, the impact on traditional car manufacturing will be monumental.

This all means that eventually, the combustion car will fade out. So what will the future bring? At this very moment, all major car manufacturers have stepped up their innovation programs for electric drive systems, BMW ahead of them all. But not just that – Tesla, the ‘iPad on wheels’, demonstrates the reinvention of the car as a self-driving, hyper-connected work of art. Tesla has inspired its competition to think outside the box by creating completely new concepts of transportation, car sharing and design.

From a connectivity point of view, this kind of sweeping change to the industry will result in a situation where the car itself and its driver will exchange large volumes of data. During the trip, the driver will be more like a passenger, having time to finish up some work or browse social media as the car drives itself. Meanwhile, the car will be exchanging data with other cars and systems around it, in real time, and with the cloud. For example, BMW just unveiled its smart Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept motorcycle with active self-balancing that prevents accidents. The automaker believes this technology will be on the roads within the next 30 years.

In the end, all objects in the public space (like cars, motorcycles, bicycles, roads, traffic lights, parking lots and road signs) and participants (human or animal) will send and receive data. Because of this, connectivity will become omnipresent and critical in keeping our roads functioning and safe – as we’ll need to make sure no computer crashes cause crashes on the roads.

As for the petrol heads – well, they’ll give way to power heads in near future. When will you?
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