Friday, March 2, 2007

FutureCar, Pt IV

Another series of made for TV programs from the Discovery Channel, FutureCar examines today’s technologies and designs and how they might lead to tomorrow’s vehicles.

The 4th of 4 programs is titled "The Brian." This program speculated that in the year 2030 we will see:

  • A worldwide network (a vehicle web, or "automatrix")
  • Highways without speed limits
  • No drivers
  • No accidents
  • No traffic jams

All the above based on the fact that as digital power increases, so does safety. Their speculation is based on an interconnection of computers, roadways, people and cars, as well as on advances in computing power and ubiquitous sensing.

And featured these future vehicles:

  • Rinspeed Senso (
  • GM Intern Design Program: Cocoon and Nanny Car
  • MIT Media Lab "stackable" cars

As was the case with the previous three programs, car enthusiasts will love this show, as will those that study the future.

Nanotechnology is explicitly mentioned this time in regards to sensors; they use Moore’s Law to illustrate that by 2030 computers will have more than 3,000 times the processing power as today’s computers. I found a quote by Michio Kaku interesting "the application of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and micro-sensor technology will shake everything up concerning our car." As with the previous programs, nanotechnologies are implicitly a factor in such things as self-healing paint and color-changing body colors.

Bottom line: the whole series is worth the watch.

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