Warp drive? QUT researches cars of the future

WHAT will cars look like and how will they operate in 2030? It is a challenging question that Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers are going into overdrive to answer.

A QUT research team is investigating the future of vehicles and mobility in the Asia-Pacific region by asking up to 200 experts throughout Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand what vehicle options they forecast will exist 15 years from now, and by asking 6000 residents in those same countries what vehicles they would purchase in the future. 

The results sould help determine the shape of transport and city infrastructure into the future – decisions that have to be made now by governments.

Experts from academia, industry and government will be recruited to answer one of two surveys for QUT’s AutoCRC project.

The first survey will focus on the most likely vehicle and mobility options that will be offered to consumers in 2030, while the second survey will seek insight into which of these options consumers will prefer.

The QUT team of researchers is led by Professor Simon Washington, Associate Professor Robert Perrons, Professor Lionel Page and Dr Zuduo Zheng.

Prof. Perrons, from QUT Business School, said cars, trucks and motorcycles would likely continue to be the mainstays of transportation throughout the Asia-Pacific region into the foreseeable future.

“But many aspects of our world and the global marketplace are changing, so it follows that the vehicles of the future will probably have to change in several important ways too,” Prof. Perrons said.

“First, advances in technology are constantly opening up new opportunities for improving efficiency and performance.

“Second, increasingly urgent calls to reduce carbon emissions will likely have a growing influence on the vehicle market.

“And third, the world’s energy mix will probably undergo significant structural changes as markets and policymakers wrestle with how to deliver energy to an increasing global population with steadily rising living standards.” 

Prof. Perrons said the survey results would give vital information about the forces of change and trends that would shape the future of transportation.

“Our goal is to improve our collective understanding of these trends within a subset of countries in the region and what they mean for the future of vehicles and mobility in this part of the world,” he said.

“These insights will, in turn, be valuable as policymakers and ‘thought leaders’ in universities and companies around the world think about these industries and the organisations, people, and infrastructure that are connected to them.”




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