What might the future for cars and carmakers look like? Here are some clues from recent news and features:
- After a spate of high-profile accidents involving older drivers, Japanese automakers are deploying smart tech so the nation’s growing legions of seniors can feel more confident — and be safer — behind the wheel, Bloomberg reports.
- Nissan Motor says it has achieved the holy grail of 50% thermal efficiency with its in-development e-Power hybrid tech — improving fuel consumption by 25% from the industry average of 40%, with knock-on effects for cutting CO2 emissions.
- Forklift driving could soon be a desk job. Phantom Auto, a U.S. startup, has struck a deal to provide logistics equipment heavyweight Mitsubishi Logisnext with software that enables forklifts to be operated remotely from thousands of miles away.
- Under new leadership since April, Panasonic is betting big on electric car batteries. The conglomerate expects net profit to rise 27.2% in the current business year, helped by growth in its automotive segment that supplies EV batteries to U.S. giant Tesla.
- Remember SkyDrive’s flying car trial last August? The transport ministry has started full-scale discussions on safety standards and other issues with the aim of getting flying cars working in Japan’s remote areas in 2023 and on urban streets in the 2030s.