Only those physically fit can get around on the pedal powered 4-wheeler. Since there are no roads for Rhoades cars in most cities to make it practical, and the fact that gas guzzling Trucks and S.U.V.s dominate the streets of the big city, it would take an act of Congressional proportions to design an infrastructure that would allow for not only pedal powered vehicles but bicycles and the famous Segway.
Meanwhile, there are people working on newer designs for the car with an internal combustion engine. One such thing I think would help would be to make it possible to pull into a parking space by sliding sideways from left to right. This would require a hydraulic lift with 360 degree wheels to lift the car’s 4 wheels off the ground just enough to allow for the wheels on the hydraulic lift to roll sideways then retract so the car is once more on all 4 wheels.
Parking spaces don’t allow much space for opening your door completely and sometimes not even half way. If the guy next to you is in a 2 door automobile and you get out fine in your sedan you might come back with a bag of groceries only to discover a big dent in your door caused by that 2 door car’s wide swing outward.
Not only are parking spaces too narrow there are too many variations in car and truck and sports utility vehicles overall width and for that matter, bumper heights. If all vehicles had exactly the same width and bumper height then there would be less damage in minor collisions and there would be easier access in and out of parking spaces.
The car of tomorrow would have nice gadgets like when you get to a stop sign the car’s brake pedal would go down without your help. It would then release the pedal only after it’s sensors determined no other vehicle was at the intersection and it would still be up to you to proceed across the intersection.
Cars with rear and forward sensors are not new. The idea of a car that stops at every stop sign is fantastic. I like it. A built in camera that would click on the moment you had an accident and keep a record of the accident from the moment sensors knew the car was traveling too fast or weaving in traffic or hit broadsided at an intersection.
Phones and texting are going to happen so voice activated phones on board should be state of the art and you should be able to chat not text while driving without incident or citation by cop. Before there were wireless phones there were CB radios ya know. ten four good buddy.
Sensors at the rear view mirror can detect eye contact and announce to you out loud that you need to look into your rear view mirror for driver safety in a pleasant woman’s voice until you get into the habit of doing so.
A Car that has enough trunk space for large items is never gonna happen. But a car that is both a truck and a car like the El Camino by Chevrolet is a design that provides both practicality and utility to a car design for better functionality. Too bad that design was exclusive to the Chevy and since then sports utility vehicles and vans and trucks take center stage. Either you have a sub compact car that has no trunk space or a Van or S.U.V that contains lots of extra space but makes driving visibility poor. Too many blind spots with these types.
The car of tomorrow will have to be at least an electrical or electrical-gasoline hybrid type. Speed is not as important as driver safety. Most cars today as yesterday, are capable of going at speeds that are past legal limits for safety and the results are the annual fatality rate in the USA from speed. Mostly lots of the cars are designed with speed in mind. That’s an ego thing. It’s always been. The roads are simply not designed for speed. Not for driver safety. The speed limit now on the highway is around 75 to 85 MPH. What about that old saying, “Stay alive, Drive 55.”
There are some places in the world that the modern day automobile is impractical and one site I like to visit is carfree.com. It’s truly amazing how many places in the world are going car free. But not us. No way Jose! We got to have our wheels. So the car of tomorrow will have to be less dependent on petroleum and safer to drive, less expensive to make and buy and somehow be part of the bigger infrastructure of public mobility.