A 14 year old’s perspective: the future of automotive

The automotive industry is changing. Millennials are the target market for the majority of vehicle manufacturers, but do they really know what young people want?

Studies show that the idea of car ownership is becoming less appealing to many. People are car sharing and opting for public transport, in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint or to save money. Businesses such as Google and Uber think that in 20-30 years having your own car will be rare, with autonomous vehicles emerging and millennials preferring to have options and flexibility rather than being tied down by ownership. Critics say that millennials are less interested in spending money on vehicle ownership than they are spending it on experiences.

Despite the new ideas on car ownership, the amount of vehicles being produced is growing, creating an increase in demand for fuel. For example, a vehicle population of 2 billion would require the world to produce at least 120 million barrels of oil per day, up from about 87 million today. Given the slow depletion of accessible oil sources and the gradual move towards more expensive alternative oil sources, it’s not clear how the world could support this huge fleet of vehicles. There is also the problem that petrol and diesel cars release many harmful gases and contribute to rising global CO2 levels. Transportation currently amounts for 23% of the world’s emission for the greenhouse gasses. So we need an alternate fuel for cars and EV (Electric Vehicles) are increasing in popularity. By 2050, it is anticipated that EVs will dominate the UK market. I like the concept of electric cars, hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells and I’m excited to see this grow more as the automotive industry is changing.

When I am older I definitely want to have my own car. As a 14 year old girl, I can’t wait until I can get my license. I believe it will give me independence and a sense of freedom. I am open to the option of self-driving cars, as it is capable of sensing its environment and it may decrease the number of accidents we have on the road. However, I am equally concerned with the car’s environmental impact and how safe it is.

To get me interested in buying a car the vehicle manufactures will have to make it safe, eco-friendly and from a car company which I know I can trust. I need to know the disadvantages and advantages of having a car to see that it’s worth buying. When I am older I would like a car, but I don’t want to drive a car that will have a negative impact on the environment.

The APC will be hosting a debate titled ‘Driving into the digital age’ at the Royal Institution on the 15/3/2017. Join us to debate about what experts believe the future of automotive will be.