Home Futuristic Innovations Hydrogen Powered Engine-Less Cars? Yes, You Heard that Right!

Hydrogen Powered Engine-Less Cars? Yes, You Heard that Right!

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cars
by cherezoff / unlimphotos

Imagine cars having artificial intelligence that will know where their passengers want to go without even being told. Or every car providing features that spells comfort and luxury. 

At some point in our lives, we all have imagined our lives being free from all the shackles of responsibilities that we face when we drive a car all by ourselves.

At times, driving seems like a piece of baggage out of all other tasks to be done. But imagine a future where you might not have the responsibility of driving a car but the cars have the power to take you to places. 

Introduction

Welcome to the WORLD OF CARS! To the cars, by the cars, for the cars.

The modern world is clearly dominated by cars. Humans could never have imagined that at one point in our lives, they would live in a world dominated by the superiority of Cars. But this is how it is.

This isn’t a hoax, but cars have proved to outlive humans and the artificial intelligence deployed in it helps it in devising quirky ways of travel and traverse.

“Cars will change more in the next decade than they have in the past century.” And that is when the world will be a witness to this spontaneous-yet-drastic change. Cars in the future will be autonomously connected!

Implying these cars would no longer demand to be driven by a person but would be sufficient for their pace. What would be the benefit of such a model then? This will prove to liberate humans from the daunting task of driving.

We do understand that driving can prove extremely daunting and herculean a task to accomplish. It requires for an individual to exemplify the correct skill-set appropriately intersecting with time and speed.

This concept would by and far resemble the Bluetooth transmission models deployed in the Information and Technology (IT) Industries of the word, wherein all the cars would radiate wireless signals within their domain of reach to show movement, threat, danger, alert, and give other wireless cars way to speed up.

While this model may seem all unique and quirky, if deployed, it should be closely monitored and all the activities by automated cars should be taken care of. Unlike the normal petrol-driven or diesel-driven cars, these cars work on technology. The 5-G world cars, therefore, need a synchronized flow of instructions.

While most of the vital instructions are pre-fed, it is also to be noted that the driver doesn’t overstuff commands and information in these cars, cause ultimately, automated things don’t have any scope for revisions. They work on a set of codes that are pre-fed and are called instructions.

Cars of the future

cars
Source: Pexels

It is quite fascinating to know and observe the developments various companies are undertaking in this project and the magnitude of investments being made in this sector.

According to an article by, The Conversation, ‘Cars Will Change More In The Next Decade Than They Have In The Past Century‘, and we quote, “Some cars already have basic automation features, but the automotive experiments currently being undertaken by the likes of Uber and Google make up a minuscule proportion of the vehicles on our roads. By 2030, the standard car will evolve from merely assisting the driver to taking full control of all aspects of driving in most driving conditions.”

In turn, this widespread automation of cars into the “new” and “modified” version of being the Cars Of The Future will look like the two illustrated example models shown below.

Cars
Source: Pexels

An article in The Conversation has also said, “When humans choose to take the wheel, technology will warn drivers about impending collisions with other road users and attempt to avoid them.

Improvements in thermal sensor technology are likely to enable cars to see far beyond the illumination range of car headlights. If sufficiently standardized and legislated for, these technologies should substantially reduce the number of road accidents in the long run. 

As sporty and exciting as these cars may seem, these cars are all set to offer the driver a vastly unique driving experience; with the myriad features and extraordinary liberations, they exemplify.

Differences to be noticed

The major difference one might notice between today’s cars and those in the future is the modification in names.

Just as Apple and Samsung have taken over the mobile phone market that Nokia and Blackberry once dominated, Tesla, Apple, Dyson, and Google could become the most recognized automotive brands of the future. They’ll look a lot varied from the models we may see today.

From the outside, the large air intakes and front grills that cool our combustion engines will no longer be needed, while wing mirrors will be replaced with cameras and sensors. Windows could be larger to allow liberated passengers to enjoy the view, or near non-existent to provide privacy. The Mercedes-Benz Vision URBANETIC shows these radical new looks with a modular vehicle that can switch bodies to either move cargo or people.

Next will be the cars’ interiors. It will be more flexible, allowing customization of color, light, privacy, and layout at the touch of a button. Volvo’s recent 360c concept car envisages a multi-functional space that can transform into a lounge, an office, and even a bedroom.

Sun visors will become outdated, with smart glass allowing us to control the amount of entering daylight at the touch of a button. The Mercedes F015 concept car doors even have extra screens that can function as windows or entertainment systems.

Many cars will be fitted with augmented-reality systems, which will superimpose computer-generated visualizations onto the windscreen or other suitable display areas, to ease the passenger’s nerves from relinquishing the wheel by showing what the car is about to do.

And lastly, the drivers will be able to communicate with their cars through speech or gesture commands.

In high-end models, we may even see some early versions of brain-computer interfaces, which would associate patterns of brain activity with commands to control the car or entertain occupants. Similar technology has already been used to control prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs.

                                                         The Vision Of The Future. Source: Volvo Cars

What will happen to the engine? 

An engine is any machine or moving part that converts power into motion. A car with a hybrid engine uses over one means of energy, combining a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor, and the two systems work with each other to move the vehicle. This allows the car to burn less gasoline, achieving better fuel efficiency than a traditional engine. 

But, with engines being hybrid, there are various advantages and disadvantages that one should be aware of:

Advantages:

  1. Environmental-friendly: One of the biggest advantages of a hybrid car over a gasoline-powered car is that it runs cleaner and has better gas mileage, which makes it environmentally friendly. A hybrid vehicle runs on twin powered engine (gasoline engine and electric motor) that cuts fuel consumption and conserves energy.
  2. Financial Benefits: Hybrid cars are supported by many credits and incentives that help to make them affordable. Lower annual tax bills and exemption from congestion charges come as less amount of money spent on fuel.
  3. Less Dependence On Fossil Fuels: A Hybrid car is much cleaner and requires less fuel to run, which means fewer emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels. This also helps to reduce the price of gasoline in the domestic market.
  4. Regenerative Braking System: Each time you apply the brake while driving a hybrid vehicle, it helps you to recharge your battery a little. An internal mechanism kicks in that captures the energy released and uses it to charge the battery, which eliminates the time and need for stopping to recharge the battery periodically.
  5. Built From Light Materials: Hybrid vehicles comprise lighter materials, which means less energy is required to run. The engine is also smaller and lighter, which also saves much energy.
  6. Assistance From Electric Motor: The electric motor assists the internal combustion engine in case of accelerating, passing, or climbing a hill.
  7. Smaller Engines: The gasoline engines used in hybrid cars are usually small, light, and highly efficient as they don’t have to power the car alone.
  8. Automatic Start And Stop: In hybrid cars, the engine is automatically shut off when the vehicle is idle and starts when the accelerator is pressed. In comparison to traditional hybrid vehicles, PHEVs can drive longer distances at higher speeds. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have lower energy emissions because they emit only water vapor and warm air.
  9. Electric-Only Drive: Hybrid vehicles can be driven entirely with electricity. This usually happens while moving at low speeds when the engine is idling at a stoplight or when the engine starts up. Normally, the internal combustion engine operates only at higher speeds, where it has more efficiency. This helps increase the overall fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
  10. Higher Resale Value: With a continuous increase in the price of gasoline, more people are turning towards hybrid cars these days. The result is that these green vehicles have commanded higher than average resale values. So, in case you are not satisfied with your vehicle, you can always sell it at a premium price to buyers looking for it.

There are many advantages to owning a hybrid car. The one you will like the best is how it helps you to control your budget as gas prices continue to get higher.

The other benefit that is not seen directly is how owning and driving a hybrid car impacts the environment. It reduces the dependence on fossil fuels and lowers your carbon imprint on the environment.

Disadvantages:

  1. Less Power: Hybrid cars are twin-powered engines. The gasoline engine, which is the primary source of power, is much smaller than compared to what you get in single-engine powered cars while the electric motor is of low power. The combined power of both is often less than that of a gas-powered engine. It is therefore suited for city driving and not for speed and acceleration.
  2. Can Be Expensive: The biggest drawback of having a hybrid car is that it can burn a hole in your pocket. Hybrid cars are comparatively expensive than a regular petrol car and can cost $5000 to $10000 more than a standard version. However, that extra amount can be offset with lower running costs and tax exemptions.
  3. Poorer Handling: A hybrid car houses a gasoline-powered engine, a lighter electric engine, and a pack of powerful batteries. This adds weight and eats up the extra space in the car. Extra weight results in fuel inefficiency and when manufacturers cut down weight, that can result in motor and battery downsizing and less support in the suspension and body.
  4. Higher Maintenance Costs: The presence of a dual-engine and continuous improvement in technology makes it difficult for mechanics to repair the car and maintenance cost is also skyscraping.
  5. Accidents From High Voltage In Batteries: In case of an accident, the high voltage present inside the batteries can prove lethal for one. There are high chances of getting shocks and can lead to life-threatening conditions. 
  6. Costly Battery Replacement: According to Green Car Reports, battery replacement of hybrid vehicles is currently rare. However, if a battery needs to be replaced, the prices can drastically hike.
  7. Battery Disposal And Recycling: The batteries that are at the end of their useful life cycle can be recycled to harvest usable materials for repurposing. This removes waste from the environment. But the main issue with recycling lies in the collection rate of vehicle batteries. The same problem lies in recycling lithium batteries in mobile electronics. Although lithium is 100% recyclable, extracting it costs too much to make it of high economic value. It is only done because of federal mandates and/or ecological purposes.
  8. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Issues: The source of hydrogen can be both “clean” sources such as solar or wind power or dirty sources like coal and natural gas. Sourcing from coal and natural gas undermines the ecological motive for the use of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

    Production of hydrogen is also expensive, and the fuel cells require to be refueled at a hydrogen station. At present, these stations are only in California and near Toronto.

With the rampant Connective Technology, the ever-flourishing market of automobiles will become a centrifugal point of focus to integrate cars that can help individuals move around. It will also help in determining how humans shall communicate with each other. 

To read more interesting futuristic innovations, click here.

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"We're all broken, that's how the light gets in." Khushi Mohunta is an 18-year-old author based in Sirsa. She is pursuing Liberal Arts and Humanities. With an equal interest in the fields of English and Psychology, she also has editorial zeal. She adheres to the saying “looks can be deceptive” and would be found in her own cocoon- reading and composing. Khushi always perpetuates for new horizons even in the adversity, because rest is mere transitory in her facet. From writing poems on sui generis days of her clan members to being orchestrated with the cognomen of Chief Editor of her school, she bloomed. According to her, “Words can paint constellation’s breathing stars into dwindling lives.” Linguaphile and an admirer of the literary world, she vehemently believes in the allotrope; “Pen is mightier than the sword.”

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