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Future Trends

  • Winning five Euro NCAP stars for safety is about to become a lot tougher

    The Datsun GO -- a budget hatchback built specifically for emerging markets, including South Africa – recently came in for severe criticism for failing to score a single star for adult occupant protection in a Global NCAP crash test. The Indian-market Datsun – the first model from the budget automaker since it was revived by Nissan – does not feature airbags or ABS. But this lack of seemingly basic safety equipment wasn’t the main reason behind its embarrassing zero-star rating. No, the fact that the vehicle structure quite simply collapsed during the standard 64km/h frontal offset crash test was...

  • Your future car could also be your first robot: here’s why

    The first real robot you own could very well be the same machine that ferries you to and from work everyday. Unfortunately for the adolescent dreamer in all of us, that doesn't mean we'll be driving around in cars that can magically transform into robot warriors intent on defending the Earth. What it really means, if tech research company Gartner is to be understood, is that autonomous cars -- which it believes are much closer to reality than we think -- will be the first truly pervasive robots capable of autonomously sensing, interpreting, deciding, acting and communicating that most...

  • Are windowless planes the future of aviation?

    South African low-cost airline Mango has a great advert that hangs at the exit of Cape Town's main train station. It reads: "Johannesburg by Bus = 21 hours. Johannesburg by flight = 2 hours". It is cruel but true. The other advantage to flying is sitting at a window seat and staring down at the world below. It is not even that one sees a specific thing but it is the view of all things in their indefinite and their panoramic appearance that allures passengers. It is the vastness of water, land, the panoramic view of the topography of cities...

  • 4 tech-inspired motoring pilgrimages future generations might make

    It's difficult for most people not to start feeling warm and fuzzy any time the words "road trip" are mentioned. In an instant, memories of breathtaking scenery, forgotten faces and incredible soundtracks come flooding in. No matter how old you are, chances are those two words will make you feel young again, even if it's only for a few moments. For the true petrol-head though your average road trip isn't always going to cut it. They need something more, something special, a motoring pilgrimage if you will. Whether it's travelling Route 66, testing their mettle at the Nürburgring or...

  • 5 ways people are trying to build the roads of the future

    With all the technological advancements being made to cars both on the driver-facing and internal ends, it's easy forget that the stuff we drive on is still a pretty low tech with the choices pretty much limited to asphalt or concrete. Except that's not quite true. While it can, at times, seem like we're quite happy to keep laying the same kind of roads we have for years now (with perhaps the odd tweak to the kind of mixture used in laying it down), there are people trying to make sure that the roads of the future don't get...

  • 8 cool car tech trends that could feature in your next vehicle

    This may sound a little dramatic, but the humble automobile is evolving at a far greater speed than ever before. Huge handfuls of gadgets are being crammed into increasingly advanced vehicles as consumers demand more and more from their cars. What once was a mere transportation box -- designed to do little more than move you from your front gate to the shops – has morphed into something resembling a radical smartphone on wheels. This, of course, excites us here at Motorburn. Which means it should excite you, too. So, we looked into the (very near) future to identify eight...

  • 4 reasons why city cars are the future of driving pleasure

    There was a time where the only cars to lust after were the big Germans, sharp Italians, suave English, a smattering of hatches that would blow your socks off and some Japanese rockets. All for different reasons these kinds of cars would evoke the sense of want, the desire to be driven. In most recent times, though, the more people are able to afford those big Germans and the like, the less appealing these cars have become. It's a mix between everyone in the neighborhood driving one and the need to appeal to a bigger market. With the ever-growing...

  • What does Audi’s new Smart Display tell us about the future of motoring?

    The English-speaking world is quite good at coming up with new words..., well, kinda like all other languages actually, so that's not surprising. But if you where to ask the average Jo what the noun “infotainment” means, he'd probably not know. From a simple Google search: In•fo•tain•ment (ˌɪn foʊˈteɪn mənt) -- broadcasting or publishing that strives to treat factual matter in an entertaining way, often by dramatically re-enacting or fictionalizing real events. This sounds clear enough, and in 2013, one group bombarded us with this word more than any other -- the big automakers. If you followed last year's trends,...

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