The best minds of Silicon Valley, where to buy used cars in NY and Detroit are merging to begin the next generation of auto industry innovation. American consumers once desired tough, gas-guzzling muscle cars. They now appreciate high-tech gadgetry. James Bond (007) would be proud of this shift.
Each year, the changes become more and more shocking. Things are progressing at breathtaking speed. To help startups know where to focus their resources, following are the latest advances being worked on by both major auto brands and individual TechStars.
Many major automakers are testing their self-driving vehicles for broad releases in coming years. Ford hopes to have one available as soon as 2021. The Ann Arbor, Michigan Toyota Research Institute (TRI), has over $1 billion in funding. The staff consists of some of the brightest minds in automobile engineering. Meanwhile, the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab is also working in the area, especially trying to ensure the safety of autonomous vehicles.
Yet, for all the work being done there are still serious concerns defensive driving courses are computing. Driverless cars pose a dilemma. The computer does not know how to react the way a human does. For example, everyone knows upon observation whether to slow down or speed up when another car is trying to merge into an ongoing traffic lane. The law says the approaching driver should yield. Yet, reality is quite different. It all depends on the speed this person is approaching.
/Startups that can help create programs and applications that allow these vehicles to both respect the law, while understanding the need to deviate from the rules at times, can expect to be in high demand.
Yes, it is reported that Airbus is developing a flying personal vehicle. Known as the Vahana, the Airbus project remained top secret until fairly recently. No more worrying about congested roads. We could all be driving on elevated freeways reminiscent of the cartoon Jetsons.
Startups that can help develop ways to deal with the problem of airway safety concerns will be highly valued in the future.
Mobile Meeting Rooms
The Mercedes F105 is both a self-driving car and a meeting room. They have turned the automobile into a 21st century office, complete with work area and video monitors.
Busy executives can hold meetings right from their car seats, alleviating concerns over getting stuck in city traffic. Just enable the autonomous drive function and welcome colleagues into the virtual boardroom.
Though we already have battery-powered vehicles on the road, they are few. The price proves daunting for most consumers. Thus, for now, society remains dependent on oil.
Top TechStars are working on long-lasting, economical electric batteries. Once prices for electric cars come down from the current level, more people will be able to afford them.
Smart Contract Technology
These devices allow coders to set terms that will initiate contracts upon acceptance and shut things down when there is a breach. Smart contracts can operate as failsafe systems that prevent such problems as children starting cars, dogs being left in hot interiors and motorists remaining behind the wheel when tired.
Startups able to code these contracts will be especially needed in coming years. In particular, those who can create smart contracts that can be structured to meet unique needs of individual car owners can expect venture capitalists to be knocking at the proverbial door soon.