Future of Automobiles

1. Major transformation in the future automobiles can be divided into three elements: autonomous driving, electrification, and car sharing.
2. Google, Apple , Tesla , and others are spending billions to build or plan electric, self-driving cars made of lightweight composites.
3. Tesla has become the leading seller of electric cars in the U.S.  Global Model S sales passed the 100,000 unit milestone in December 2015, three years and a half after its introduction. Tesla is an interesting story of disruptive innovation, and its manufacturing process is revealing as it is so different from the traditional power train based automobile.

4. Google could have self-driving vehicles on the road within five years, a decade before the major automakers say they can do it.
5. A Chinese startup named Faraday Future, backed by an Internet billionaire, Jia Yueting, announced that it is building a $1 billion electric-car factory in Nevada and unveiled its 200 mph concept car in January.
6. Uber is partnering with robotics experts at Carnegie Mellon and spending heavily to design a self-driving vehicle. The car-hailing service says its core vision is to “end private car ownership.” CEO Travis Kalanick reportedly told Tesla CEO Elon Musk that if Tesla could build 500,000 autonomous cars in 2020, Uber would buy every one of them. Kalanick’s notion: a massive fleet of self-driving Uber vehicles ready to pick you up whenever and wherever you’d like.
7. Increasingly, what will differentiate the cars will be their software. A typical premium model has 100 million lines of code as on today. It will increase. Boston Consulting estimates that a vehicle’s electronics as a percentage of its total cost has doubled from 20% in 2004 to 40% last year. “Electro-mobility and digitalization are the clear drivers of the right strategy for the future,” says BMW CEO Harald Krueger. http://fortune.com/bmw-100th-anniversary-driverless-cars/
8. According to the International Energy Agency, the number of cars and other light-duty vehicles on the road will double to 2 billion by 2050.
9. In the U.S., automakers’ fleets will have to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. In the EU, regulations will force carmakers to reduce their average CO2 output per car to about 95 grams per kilometer traveled by 2021, a 27% reduction from today. Auto manufacturers are doing overtime to there.
10. Californian Challenge: By the 2025 model year, 15.4% of vehicles sold in the Golden State will have to be what regulators define (with some latitude) as having “zero” emissions, possible only with—electric, hydrogen, or a plug-in hybrid.

Between Gasoline, hybrid, pure electric, hydrogen
11. Electric requires a national network of superfast chargers that can refill an electric in 20 minutes—precisely what Tesla is doing.
12. Keeping a combustion engine onboard avoids the dreaded range anxiety of electric cars but it also adds weight, complexity, and cost compared with a pure electric.
13. Hydrogen cars has edge for long-distance travel. A hydrogen car is very similar to an electric but instead of being powered by a battery, it uses a hydrogen fuel cell to run the car’s electric motors. Just fill up with hydrogen and you can drive 300 miles or so. Hydrogen cars don’t yet have the fueling infrastructure.Tesla’s Musk refers to the technology as “hydrogen fool.” Both electric and hydrogen cars will not have transmission, complex gas engine, or cooling system, so the maintenance will be simpler.
14.Google or tesla driverless electric cars will be reducing global traffic deaths (now 1.2 million each year) and congestion. With self-driving cars whirring along the interstates at high speeds, each five feet apart, a four-lane road could handle the same volume as a 32-lane highway.
15. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/10/business/honda-debuts-clarity-first-mass-production-hydrogen-car/#.VuFw7PBOKrV
Honda has launched its first hydrogen car Clarity. After 18 months, the car will become available to the public at a price of ¥7.66 million, besides the government currently offers purchasers of such vehicles a ¥2 million subsidy. Clarity units are equipped with fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tanks. They use hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity to power the motor.The engine’s only byproduct is water, although the manufacture of its hydrogen fuel produces greenhouse gases. The world’s first commercial fuel cell vehicle is the Toyota Motor Corp. Mirai, which was launched in December 2014. That four-seater sedan runs about 650 kilometers on a full tank.The government is pushing for what it dubs a “hydrogen society” and is promoting fuel cell vehicles. Toyota Motor Corporation, as announced, will increase production of the “Mirai” fuel cell sedan, which launched in Japan on December 15, 2014. The new plan calls for production to increase from the 2015 level of 700 units to approximately 2,000 units in 2016 and approximately 3,000 units in 2017. https://ssl.toyota.com/mirai/fcv.html
16. Some of my friends in India asked me after reading my note on Future of the Automobiles, where is India positioned. I confess I don’t know the answer. However, one may like to know what the Chinese automakers are aiming at. Some of China’s top auto makers, facing among the toughest national emissions rules in the world, are lining up behind an emerging battery technology that provides a way to boost fuel economy to near hybrid performance. The Chinese car makers—including Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. and FAW Group Corp.—in the next two years will begin selling gasoline-powered cars with 48-volt battery systems that provide additional energy for steering and other high-energy devices. http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-car-makers-pioneer-mild-hybrids-1457433002
Self-driving cars coming sooner: Google, Apple, Amazon from the tech companies and Tesla, BMW, Porshe, Toyota, GM, and some more of the globally known auto companies are putting a lot of money to be the first to have their fastest commercially manufactured autonomous cars on road. At least two of the desi auto companies, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, are may soon get into the race of making self-driving cars. Both have at least one, top software companies TCS and Tech Mahindra under their fold. It will be a big plus factor as increasingly, what will differentiate the cars will be their software. Both have some inbuilt advantages. Both have some amount of experience of electric cars too. Mahindra with its ownership of Reva may have a little more advantage. As per a report today in WSJ, ‘the Obama administration has proposed spending $4 billion to accelerate autonomous-car technology during the next decade.’ And if one goes by the report, ‘for $20,440, you can get a Honda capable of driving itself pretty well on a highway today.’ Tesla too has advanced significantly. I wish ARAI and other research institutes and the R&D division of the above mentioned desi auto manufacturers in India initiates work on the development of cheap Indian autonomous car accessories too so that we don’t get left behind in the battle against the rising fatal accidents on the road that can be avoided .

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