At the Automotive Forum 2017 event, taking place in April in New York, industry experts will attempt to answer the question, what will transportation look like in 10 years?

Will we all look like characters from the old Jetsons cartoon, flying through the sky in our bubble-shaped autonomous cars on our way to the shopping mall or to work?

Will co-workers be commuting together and holding meetings in seats that face each other while they are being driven by their car’s computer without their help?

Will parents be able to send a driverless car to pick up their children from school or a playdate and bring them back home safely, without them?

Maybe not, but there’s no doubt that the various ways people get around 10 years from now will still look very different than they do today.

Speakers at Automotive Forum 2017 will discuss a wide range of topics concerning that very question.

For example, two of the biggest trends in personal transportation these days are the concepts of connected vehicles, and driverless vehicles.

Automakers are already debuting new models of connected cars, which are more like sophisticated computers on wheels. In-car displays feature bigger screens, WiFi capability, 3-D mapping, streaming music, and even shopping and social media connectivity.

Many governments around the world are also looking toward driverless vehicles to help solve growing problems like traffic congestion and limited parking in busier metropolitan areas. If people were able to use a smartphone app to hail an autonomous car right to their front door to drive them and drop them off right at the front door of their job, there would be no need for the car to park, opening up areas for more housing developments.

Experts also argue that people will be much more productive if they can check email, hold conference calls and even work on their laptops as their car does all the driving. Some consumers excited about the technology say they look forward to catching up on extra sleep in a self-driving car, and parents say they would have to spend much less time driving their kids around to school and various activities if they can just send them in a robot car.

Many experts and analysts also think self-driving cars will be much safer. Thousands of people are killed in car crashes every year for many reasons such as distracted driving, driving under the influence and simple human error. Autonomous vehicles operate through GPS mapping along with several sensors placed all over the car that use radar to detect obstacles and figure out where they are at all times. These systems and sensors can detect potential crashes that human drivers may not notice. Therefore many think self-driving cars could save a lot of lives by preventing accidents. In addition, being tired or under the influence wouldn’t matter if the car is capable of driving itself.

Theoretically, there would also be fewer train crashes with driverless transit, due to fewer chances for human error. Many experts also think public transportation like buses and trains would work more efficiently and on-schedule if systems were automated.

All of these topics and more will be discussed by industry experts and executives from top companies like Ford Motor Company at Automotive Forum 2017, taking place April 11 in New York in the United States. There will also be many opportunities for networking.


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