Car design is to see an increasing level of variety and customer choice in the future. But plans for future car use differ between drivers and industry experts, according to new research from the Automobile Association, in conjunction with steel group Corus.
The report, 2020 Vision, shows that most drivers think cars will still form an essential part of their work and social lives in 20 years time. A considerable proportion actually foresee increased use of their cars for leisure purposes, despite official plans to promote public transport. Most drivers also wish to see vehicle design to take increasing note of environmental concerns, however.
Drivers and experts agree that an increasing variety of car designs will be on the road in 20 years. Faster development times and “mass customisation” techniques will allow a far wider choice of body styles to be applied to similar base models, they suggest. Only 24 per cent of drivers expect car designs to look more and more alike.
Reduced car weight, from an increased use of more advanced or expensive materials, is also predicted. This factor, too, is likely to influence design concerns. Car experts see great potential in the future for the use of aluminium, as opposed to steel, because of its weight and therefore fuel savings, says the report.
“Science fiction may yet provide a better blueprint for the future – we can and should be more ambitious about what future technology can bring,” says AA policy director John Dawson.