Despite safety concerns about self-driving vehicles, 94% of road traffic accidents are caused by human error, and the rise of autonomous cars is inevitable. Remove the human, and the world’s roads are guaranteed to get a whole lot safer. However, there is another reason why you might not want a self-driving car: they’re ugly. Automation changes the fundamentals of what a car is, which in turn impacts on the aesthetics. Beautiful low slung sports cars may soon be a thing of the past.
Cutting Down On Sharp, Angular Designs
Fully autonomous vehicles are a few years away, but new cars are slowly adding elements of autonomy, layering up different bits of tech. As a result, the exterior of the car has to maximise the visibility of cameras and sensors. This means rounding off edges and taking away the sharp angles you’d find on a classic Lamborghini.
Evidence from an Automotive Touch Up review reveals how much drivers care about how their vehicle looks from the outside. Therefore, companies like Waymo need to be considerate about the aesthetic of their vehicle. Fortunately, there are many beautiful cars being made today. For example Tesla, a world leader in vehicle autonomy, focuses on creating striking and attractive cars.
Higher Driving Position
Another staple of sleek and sexy cars is that they tend to be low-slung. This is difficult to achieve when autonomous technology is included. Firstly, there is a move away from traditional gasoline-powered engines towards a reliance on a battery. In order to fit a battery with a large enough range and enough power to get you up to speed, it must be fitted beneath the floor, thus raising the driving position. This also gives cameras a better view of the road ahead.
To remedy this, drivers will need a professional vehicle paint job, which uses different tones to give the impression of a sleeker looking car. For others, however, the higher driving position can feel more comfortable and improve visibility. Since aesthetics is about personal preference, the potential for customisation is essential.
Finding Space For All That Tech
Creating a vehicle that drives itself requires a huge amount of tech. Non-autonomous cars have technology as well, but it tends to be smaller and less complicated. When designing a car that doesn’t require a human, new systems have to be built to communicate with a range of cameras and sensors. This leads to a logistical problem of where to put it all. That’s why self-driving cars tend to have a bigger and wider front, which can be considered unsightly. Hopefully, this will change as the tech becomes smaller.
For many people, the aesthetics of a vehicle is equally as important as performance, comfort and safety. While electric and self-driving car makers are working hard to create a high performance and ultra-safe vehicle, they need to do more to design products which are beautiful. The extra technology required poses unique problems for automobile design, but these should be solved with time.