The future of cars is dependent on eco-friendly solutions. With climate change soon upon us, and pollution in cities around the world at an all-time high, it’s no wonder why so many automakers are devoting research and investment into greener solutions. From novel ways of powering personal vehicles to reimagining your morning commute, there are many amazing solutions on the drawing board. In this post, we’ll cover 3 new tech features that are changing the way Americans drive for the greener. Check them out!
1. Electric and hybrid cars
Electric cars have moved from mere novelty to viable transportation solution in just a few short years. With so many new models on the market from the Fiat 500e to rumors of a new GM electric Hummer, there’s a lot to look forward to on the horizon. Electric cars are cleaner than regular internal combustion engine cars for a few reasons.
- First, they don’t rely on burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are made primarily of carbon, which, when burned, turns into CO2 and ends up in the atmosphere. As you probably know, an excess of CO2 in the atmosphere is the biggest driver of global warming, or climate change. By eliminating the emissions put out by cars on the road, car companies are significantly reducing the amount of C02 in the atmosphere, which helps slow climate change.
- Second, because they don’t burn fuel, they don’t contribute to pollution. Not only is the general addition of CO2 to the atmosphere bad for the planet, cars belch out all manner of noxious fumes from smoke to carbon monoxide. Electric cars, once again, do not emit anything, so they’re much cleaner for cities.
- Third, electric cars as well as hybrids are very quiet. Noise pollution can be every bit as damaging to wildlife and human wellbeing as atmospheric pollution, so reducing the amount of noise on the roads is huge eco-win. You won’t need Bose noise cancelling headphones just to hear yourself think while walking around town anymore.
Ridesharing isn’t exactly an onboard tech, but it’s still a tech change that’s making cars eco-friendlier. How? For the simple reason that people are using them less. Right now, the standard way that people in the US get around is with their own personal vehicle. Instead of browsing new Audi cars for sale for themselves, as ridesharing gets more popular and cheaper, people will start to ditch their personal cars in favor of a shared ride to work. How does this help the environment? Two ways:
- First, not only do cars themselves contribute to pollution and climate change when they drive around burning fossil fuels, but the manufacturing of cars is also extremely environmentally damaging. As fewer people buy cars because they’re using a ridesharing app to get to work, fewer cars will need to be made.
- Second, with more people sharing rides, there will simply be fewer cars on the roads. This is great for the environment because of the outright reduction in the number of cars people own, and also because drive-times will be shorter due to less traffic. That’s a huge win for noise pollution, city pollution, and the carbon footprint that commuters are responsible for.
3. Self-driving cars
This one seems far out there, but Uber self-driving cars are already being tested in cities across the US. Soon, driving yourself around may be a thing of the past, as autonomous vehicles dominate the market due to their superior safety and efficiency. While boosted safety features are usually touted as the benefit of autonomous cars, one huge benefit is actually the fact that they will be eco-friendlier than the current human-driven cars. Why?
- First, because self-driving cars will be able to better regulate their own fuel or electricity usage. You waste a lot of gas driving at sub-optimal speeds, speeding up and slowing down, and making evasive maneuvers on the road. By optimizing all these systems, self-driving cars stand to be much more fuel efficient.
- Second, self-driving cars won’t get in accidents as often and won’t slow down just because there are many other cars on the road. With all the cars operating in perfect sync, self-driving cars won’t often burn gas sitting in stand-still traffic. That’s a huge eco-plus.
There’s a lot to look forward to in the near future, with these cutting-edge features that are sure to make cars much friendlier to the planet!