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The Next-Generation automobile

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on June 18, 2007

For all of the different styles of automobiles around, it’s amazing how similar they all are to each other. Doors that open outward (in almost every case). Driver in sitting position with passenger beside him. The list of similarities goes on and on.

How many standard features of our cars could be done differently, if not for convention?

Some are obvious; the steering wheel could easily be replaced by a joystick or rudder pedals, etc. The accelerator could be replaced with a lever, as in jet planes. The rear-view mirrors could be replaced with video displays.

What’s not so obvious?

What makes a car a car, exactly?

As an aside, many of the previously obvious characteristics that make a car a car have been challenged in recent years. Ignition keys – once all cars had them. Not any more; remote keyfobs take their place in some new cars. Analog speedometers have been displaced by digital displays in a dizzying number of cars, and heads-up displays are available, as well.

What’s next?

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