How the Cars of the Future Will Transform Life
As We Know It

By on May 10, 2016 in Features

We are on the verge of a transportation revolution that will lead us to cars of the future and could send today’s cars to the same fate as the horse.

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The horse was the mainstay of daily life a century ago. It was the primary mode of transportation. Owning a horse was a major point of pride, and people idolized cowboys — they were the rock stars of their day. Horses were even the core of military power. Military personnel held the cavalry in high esteem, and cavalries played a role in military action from the days of the Roman Empire up to both World Wars.

It was hard to imagine that the horse would ever be replaced. But over time, a new mode of transportation replaced the horse: the car. According to Canadian online magazine The Tyee, the move from horse to car started with removing the horse from urban life, and later the farm, over a period of much less than 50 years.The horse has gone from being the center of our livelihood to being something for hobbies and sports.The New York Times recently profiled this shift on how our society uses horses. Farmers traded in millions of horses for tractors after World War II. And although horses are still used to a limited extent in rural or remote North American farms – the Times estimates about 400,000 farms – horses have mostly been relegated to the stadium and track.

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Since this shift, cars have become an integral part of our culture. They take us where we want to go when we want to. They’re a form of entertainment, and they provide pride of ownership. They’re even a form of art. Think of all the ways cars are embedded into our cultural identity.

 

 

 

• Formula 1, IndyCar and NASCAR have fascinated us for decades.

• The sporting event with the largest live attendance is a car race: the Indianapolis 500.
• Top Gear is a popular television show distributed all over the world.
• James Bond always looked a bit cooler when he was with his Aston Martin.
• Think of the music. Deep Purple’s “Highway Star.” The Beatles’ “Drive My Car.” Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55.” Even Prince sang about the little red Corvette. He didn’t sing about the little red laptop or a little red house – it was a car.

Ward’s Automotive Reports estimates that the number of cars in the world is now at over one billion. If you put those cars end to end, they would go around the world 125 times or make six round-trips to the moon.

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About the author: Ed Bernardon
Edward Bernardon is vice president of strategic automotive initiatives for the Specialized Engineering Software business segment of Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division. Bernardon joined the company when Siemens acquired Vistagy, Inc. in December, 2011.  Bernardon received an engineering degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, and later received an M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Butler University. He also holds numerous patents in the area of automated manufacturing systems, robotics and laser technologies.

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