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Is this what your car interior will look like 30 years from now?

Auto Trader thinks we will be running around in auto driving versions of camper vans

Move over flying saucers, Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital marketplace for new and used cars, has released designs for what it predicts cars will look like in 2050 – and experts are saying it could be the modern day camper.

The UK’s largest digital marketplace for new and used cars, Auto Trader, has released concept designs for what it forecasts vehicles will look like 30 years from now – based on the expertise of futurologist Tom Cheesewright (pictured), market trends, the rate of technological development and research into consumer demand.

Auto Trader’s 2050 concept car is a fully electric and autonomous vehicle which provides passengers with a spacious interior that’s geared up for leisure activities and offers a range of technologies that allow passengers to customise their travelling experience.

Designed to be a home away from home, passengers can relax and unwind on the built-in mattress in the centre of the spacious cabin – a feature which 24% of motorists said they’d use for getting some shut eye and a cheeky 13% of men would use for some intimate time with a partner; the perfect aid to a romantic road trip.

The 2050 car features 360 degree panoramic windows, perfect for sight-seeing, plus black-out functionality on the windows which can be activated with a quick tap when privacy is needed.

The windows extend right over the roof in one large bubble, offering more head room to allow passengers to freely move around while roaming between tourist hotspots.

The spacious cabin is setup with an inward-facing seating arrangement, ideal for socialising and spending quality time with family and friends.

According to the Auto Trader Cars of the Future report, 16% said they’d use the space to challenge family and friends to boardgames and 19% said they’d use the large built-in TV screen to binge-watch Netflix (if still around in 30 years’ time, though no reason to think not) – a feature that could come in handy when the kids get restless or during mundane motorway stints.

Drivers also said they would make use of their travel time by delving into a good book from the built-in library (22%) and 5% said they would even cook meals in the car.

The car has in-built Wi-Fi capabilities – a feature that 29% want to see – enabling travellers to immediately share their holiday snaps to Instagram and look up the best local attractions online.

Catering to the 10% 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, whether out for a leisurely drive along the coast or dashing to make dinner reservations.

The AI also translates foreign road signs into the passenger’s preferred language (a feature 13% would like), taking the stress out of navigating abroad.

Featuring ‘digital paint’, the car also allows passengers to change the colour and style of the car from the tap of an app, a feature that would enable holidaymakers to alter the colour of their vehicle to blend in with the local environment. Advances in technology suggest this feature could be widely available as early as the year 2040.

Auto Trader’s Rory Reid comments: “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. Overnight, we saw a 165% 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.

“We see the car of 2050 taking on the role of a modern day camper – with all the comfort and tech modern families, couples and friends need to travel in style on their holidays. The spacious design makes the car ideal for long journeys, helping travellers to feel less cooped up and putting the fun back into cross country travelling – so every moment can be spent relaxing and enjoying the ride.”

Futurologist, Tom Cheesewright, adds: “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 (internal) combustion engine (ICE) will be well and truly over.”

Partnering with the world’s first applied futurist and leading futurology author and speaker, Tom Cheesewright, Auto Trader’s report combines motor industry forecasting with a survey of 2,142 UK drivers, to build a picture of the future of the car industry 10, 20 and 30 years from now.

To view Auto Trader’s Car of the Future design and full report, including a timeline of the evolution of the car, please visit here.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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