How 2010 Changed The Future Of Cars, Forever
You Will Avoid The Airport If At All Possible
2010 will be remembered as the year that flying in a commercial airliner lost whatever smidgen of enjoyment it had left.
The Transportation Security Administration pat-downs and body scanners turned its inspections into encounters many Americans thought they'd saved for
a doctor's office or their bedrooms; pilots revolted while embarrassments mounted. Weather played havoc in winter, while a volcano grounded much of
Europe for a summer month.
AAA estimated 92.3 million people will drive for the holidays this year, none of whom will be groped without permission.
Your Next Engine Will Have A Turbo
Faced with tougher fuel economy rules around the world, automakers started rolling out smaller turbocharged engines across their lineups, from the
Nissan Juke to the BMW M5.
If Ford can sell a turbo V6 as a top-line engine to the infamously picky pickup owners, there's no vehicle that couldn't benefit from a little extra
Your Next Car Wil Have A Plug
After four years of toil, the Chevrolet Volt finally scooted out of the factory, doing pretty much what GM had promised it would do — drive about 35
miles on electricity, without "range anxiety."
Every major automaker has some kind of electric or plug-in hybrid combo in the works, and the rollouts will come quickly over the next few years —
as long as the money from governments around the world easing the high costs of their batteries keep flowing.
Haven't Had A Recall Yet? Just Wait
Thanks to Toyota's taunting of U.S. regulators over defects it knew about but didn't fix to save money, automakers decided to make a point of issuing
more recalls this year, with some 20 million vehicles recalled in the United States alone.
Meanwhile, those same regulators pushed for new powers and vowed to step up enforcement for problems that automakers might not otherwise want to
Computer Geeks Will Call You A Terrible Driver
With the unveiling of its driverless car, Google took the first step to fixing what CEO Eric Schmitt called "the bug that cars were invented before
Similar trials in Europe aimed to replace drivers with a combination of software and sensors that promise to remove the human element from driving.
Because we all know how flawlessly software runs...
You Car Will Come With Split Personalities Standard
Automakers have been trying to make buyers feel like little Mario Andrettis for years by including switches for "sport" mode in a suspension or
transmission. This year the Nissan's Leaf went the other way; it's "Eco" mode actually makes the gas pedal stiffer, requiring drivers to think harder
about burning energy.
But Ford showed what's really possible with modern control systems via its TracKey system, giving Mustang Boss owners the ability to engage a full
race-car mode with a single super key.
Cell Phones In Cars Are The New Beating Your Children
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's ongoing battle against distracted driving produced results, with 30 states banning texting while driving by
the end of the year along with a continuing line of public service announcements.
There's no proof the laws are actually reducing crashes, but LaHood's still brainstorming other ways to pursue the problem, like jamming cellphone
Did the Great Awakening come to the potentates of Volkswagen, Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren and others as they huddled together in a Swiss chalet? Or
individually, asleep under their 1000-threadcount sheets, suffering nightmares of 6,000-lb. SUVs?
However it came, the realization that the next generation of supercars would need to be lighter via massive amounts of carbon fiber spread like a glue
fire in the 458 Italia's engine bay. With a few exceptions...
America Will Decide Cars From Detroit Don't Automatically Suck
It wasn't just Wall Street that decided cars and trucks from Detroit automakers might be worth something. Whether in sales or quality surveys, General
Motors, Ford and Chrysler made a reasonable comeback from the depths of the Carpocalypse, while replacing some of their worst models with more
Hating on Detroit will always be in style in some circles, but there's fewer reasons than ever for doing so.
edit on 22-12-2012 by Skywatcher2011 because: edit title