The Future of Transportation: Connected, Autonomous, and Electric

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The Future of Transportation: Connected, Autonomous, and Electric

Smart, self-driving, clean vehicles are redefining mobility.
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Smart, self-driving, clean vehicles are redefining mobility. #smartcar via @SaraGBM

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Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 6:15am

I have just spent the past few days in the Motor City. Downtown Detroit’s long-gone glory days still faintly reverberate from the crumbling brick Avant-Garde buildings, built in a distant glamorous age, but the city is only a shadow of its former prosperous self. Nonetheless, there are pockets of revival—a trendy restaurant here, a group of eager young professionals enjoying a night on the town there, and pride for the blighted city everywhere.

I’ve traveled the world, and I don’t think I’ve ever been to a city that is more expressive of its hometown pride. “Made in Detroit” signs and wares are prominently displayed in almost every restaurant, store, and public venue.

While not the thriving industry that it once was, the grandeur of Detroit’s history is still manifested in its automotive sector. Massive corporate campuses sprawl throughout Detroit suburbs, and within the walls of these well-kept corporate campuses, creativity is at an all-time high, with innovative minds redefining the very concept of mobility.

Connected, electric, and autonomous vehicles are paving the way to a clean transportation future. Smart vehicles will not only inform us of optimized routes based on factors like traffic, weather, and road construction, but they’ll also be able to self-diagnose problems before breakdowns occur, and their “geo-fencing” capabilities will interact with our homes and offices to turn on HVAC systems, lights, music, locks, entry doors, appliances, and other connected technologies.

With 90% energy conversion efficiency, electric vehicles are a no-brainer when it comes to emissions reductions (not to mention noise attenuation). As range-capacity and battery life increase and purchase prices and recharging costs decrease, electric vehicles are quickly becoming a cost-effecticve, viable solution for a clean transportation future.

Self-driving cars will enable us to literally and figuratively take our hands off the wheel, freeing up valuable commute time that can be used for relaxing, reading, working, or engaging with our fellow passengers.


Keywords: Technology | Clean Tech | Energy | Energy Efficiency | Green Builder Media | Green Innovations | Sara Gutterman | Sustainable Solutions | and Electric car | autonomous vehicle | connected vehicle