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The Future of Car Rentals


On this, the last day of 2012, I wonder about what automakers have in store for the future of travel.  As we discussed in yesterday's post about new ethanol gasolines in the United States offered at the pump in the form of E15 and E85, the market is changing right down to the very fuel our cars use to run.  What will your future car rentals look like?  How will they drive?

Back in the '80s automakers in Japan had the brief economic freedom to explore the future car concept with several radical new designs.  Called the Bubble Cars, these bold designs that came out of Japan's real estate bubble weren't made to fill any particularly pressing needs of a rapidly changing society, therefore nearly all were forgotten so quickly you probably haven't heard of them, much less ever seen them offered as a car rental.

Flash forward to 2013 and we really could use some of that ingenuity now.  Not just a flashy, modern-looking exterior, but a new kind of car with innovative features that improve safety and environmental standards.  What about a sense and repel technology that prevents cars from colliding, an expandable cargo compartment that doesn't create extra weight or resistance when not in use, or maybe more affordable computerized systems that bring the conveniences of GPS and parking assistance to a greater range of economy vehicles?  Probably the most obvious adaptations we're looking for in the car rentals of the future are related to fuel consumption.

According to How Stuff Works, there are a handful of new and innovative car technologies that cover some of the above and more.  V2V and V2I technologies might not change the way a car looks, but it would mean great improvements in how it sees and perceives.  That's right, imagine a car that can help you detect and prevent a collision, choose the best route, and increase automotive safety.  

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