Auto Trader designs the car of the future

David Murphy

Auto Trader, the digital marketplace for new and used cars, has released concept designs for what it forecasts vehicles will look like 30 years from now, based on the expertise of futurologist Tom Cheesewright, the rate of technological development, market trends, and research into consumer demand conducted amongst 2,000 drivers. 

Auto Trader’s 2050 concept car is a fully electric and autonomous vehicle that provides passengers with a spacious interior that’s geared up for business activities, as well as offering a range of technologies that allow passengers to customise their ‘in-car experience.

The spacious cabin is designed with an inward-facing seating arrangement, ideal for hosting meetings on the go. 17 per cent people polled by Auto Trader said they’d use the space to get work done whilst on the commute and 8 per cent said they would host conference calls whilst in the vehicle.The car has in-built wi-fi capabilities – a feature that 29 per cent of drivers said they would want access to – and the interior is kitted out with a large in-built TV.

The 2050 vehicle also features 360-degree panoramic windows with black-out functionality that can be activated with a quick tap.Featuring ‘digital paint’, the car enables passengers to change the colour and style of the car from the tap of an app. Auto Trader said that advances in technology suggest this feature could be widely available as early as the year 2040.

Catering to the 10 per cent of drivers who want cars to be fully voice operated in future, the car welcomes passengers with a friendly AI that helps them set their preferred driving speed and style. 

“The government’s recent announcement on bringing forward the ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars to 2035 is already influencing what Brits are looking for,” said Auto Trader’s YouTube director, Rory Reid. “Overnight we saw a 165 per cent increase in searches for electric vehicles on Auto Trader. So it’s no surprise that the 2050 car will be fully electric, but it’s fascinating to think what these advancements, including driverless tech, could mean for the actual design of cars and how they could be used.

“The development of autonomous vehicles could completely transform the role that cars play in the business world, enabling motorists to reclaim the commute and fully make use of their time en-route to meetings and events. We can see the car of 2050 becoming an extension of the office, creating new levels of efficiency within the workplace.”

Futurologist, Tom Cheesewright, added: “Tomorrow’s car takes you from A to B with minimum fuss and in maximum style. Future technologies will give designers free reign to create more space and comfort, so that we can get on with our lives while an AI takes care of the driving. While our cars won’t be flying any time soon, we can all benefit from cleaner, quieter, safer roads. In just 20 years, the age of the combustion engine will be well and truly over.”