Here's how autonomous driving tech, EVs, and robot workers might change tomorrow's road signs.
Lots of automakers are spending considerable R&D funds to get ready for the future: electric, driverless cars. Not only will the automobile as we know it today go through significant changes, but road signs will also be modified in order to adapt to the new world. The folks from CarKeys decided to imagine some of the new signs which they believe will be added in the new era of zero-emissions, self-operating vehicles.
The one on top is an "electric e-charging lane" destined to fill up the batteries of EVs while on the go, without having to stop the car and plug it in. That would be a dream come true taking into account one of the main problems with today’s electric cars is represented by the lengthy charging times. Efforts are already being made to develop electric car charging lanes and at the same time automakers are working on inductive charging systems, so there are reasons enough to believe it will happen.
The "autonomous car lane" pictured above is pretty much self-explanatory, as it’s only for fully autonomous vehicles that do not require any human input at all. Daimler recently unveiled a driverless "Future Bus" and it believes that in order for it to work in real life, the first step that needs to be taken is to introduce a separate lane for autonomous buses on bus rapid transit (BRT) lines. As such, the sign makes perfect sense.
While China’s ‘straddling bus’ has turned out to be pretty much a hoax, perhaps there is some way it could actually work to fight traffic congestion by having buses glide over cars in crowded cities. If the straddling bus will become a reality, a road sign similar to this will be necessary to alert drivers.
As for Hyperloop, the idea of doing 700 miles per hour (1,126 kilometres per hour) seems amazing. It has already been tested successfully (at 400 mph / 643 km/h) and we believe it has what it takes to revolutionize transportation. Hopefully, we’ll get there one day, and if we will, there’s obviously going to be a road sign for it.
Lastly, CarKeys believes robots could eventually replace humans at roadworks. That would require a new road sign to inform drivers the road up ahead is being fixed by automated machinery.