Ever wondered what renting a car will be like in 10 -20 years time? Will the car rental staff take you to your flying George Jetson type hire car? Or will the car drive itself and pick you up from the front of the terminal? Without a doubt, the future of the car rental industry, as well as the transport industry in general is due for some awesome upgrades. Here’s a few of our favourite ideas.
Driver-less vehicles, or autonomous cars are the most likely and revolutionary change that will happen in the near future to the transport industry. Google has been playing with a modifying autonomous Toyota Prius for years that has already clocked up over 500,000 km without incident. These vehicles drive themselves, and uses sensors that keep an eye on all objects within the surrounding area, taking necessary precautionary measures much faster than a human can, keep you under the speed limit (no more speeding tickets) and get you and your family to your destination safely. The benefit of being able to go out for a drink with friends and having the car drive you home, or pickup the kids from school for you, or allow you to catch up on that last minute work project you needed to finalise while it drives you to that work presentation. All very convenient.
Goodbye Counter Queues
Lining up for any service, let alone one after your long-haul flight at the airport isn’t any fun. Being able to skip the queue is ideal, and very plausible. Booking your car online, being sent via SMS or email the exact location of your assigned rental vehicle and its unlock code, could allow you to go straight to the vehicle mentioned, jump in, and drive off. This kind of technology kind of exists in the car sharing industry, but not apparent in the airport rental car industry. Not yet anyway.
No More Damage
Imagine not having to pay for vehicle damage liability cover. Imagine if the car would simply repair itself instantly if you were involved in an accident. This type of technology has only just started to appear with self-healing car paint. This paint uses a special compound that absorbs sunlight in order to repair scratches and scrapes. Obviously if you wrap the car around a pole this ‘smart-paint’ isn’t going to help. But for small tiny scratches, its pretty neat.
New Smart Car
Remember KITT from Knight Rider? Well this idea takes the term ‘smart car’ to a whole new level. Imagine getting into your rental car, and it greets you by your first name, presets the adjustments of your drivers seat and air conditioning to exactly how you like it, and remembers all your computer, tablet and phone history to make suggestions based on places and things you have searched recently.
Well, some of this is already possible. Google (again) Android OS, typically designed for phones and tablet is entering the vehicle industry with Android Auto. It basically connects your existing Google account with your car, allowing you to use a variety of Google products and pull through your historic data from your other devices to give a customised driving experience. Check out the video:
Do you have any thoughts to the future of the transport industry? Are you excited or worried about autonomous vehicles? Leave a message in the comments.