This article will be included in “Redesigning the Industry,” a five-part Automotive News series exploring the future of a business in the throes of change. Part I begins in our Nov. 6 issue with a focus on “Predictions & Possibilities.”
It saddens me to say it, but we are approaching the end of the automotive era.
The auto industry is on an accelerating change curve. For hundreds of years, the horse was the prime mover of humans and for the past 120 years it has been the automobile.
Now we are approaching the end of the line for the automobile because travel will be in standardized modules.
The end state will be the fully autonomous module with no capability for the driver to exercise command. You will call for it, it will arrive at your location, you'll get in, input your destination and go to the freeway.
On the freeway, it will merge seamlessly into a stream of other modules traveling at 120, 150 mph. The speed doesn't matter. You have a blending of rail-type with individual transportation.