Wednesday 26 October 2016

Zero crash hope for 'smart phones on wheels'

Published 16/09/2015 | 02:30

Mary Barra, chief executive officer of General Motors Co.
Mary Barra, chief executive officer of General Motors Co.

Call it 2020 vision but five years from now most cars will be 'smartphones on wheels' - and a future free of crashes will beckon.

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Those are the forecasts of two of the world's most powerful motoring chiefs.

General Motors' Mary Barra - in revealing plans in Frankfurt for 29 new models in the next five years - says development of cars in the next decade will outstrip anything that's gone in the past 50. And she said that gives real cause for optimism as she held out the prospect of "a world of zero crashes".

Ms Barra said the safety systems in the cars of today - including the new Opel Astra - are becoming so sophisticated that they represent an "an important step into that direction (towards zero crashes)".

Volkswagen group chairman Prof Martin Winterkorn, says the 'digitalisation' of cars is sparking a massive transformation.

He forecast: "By the end of this decade we will have transformed all of our new cars into smartphones on wheels."

He also promised that the group would produce 20 more electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2020.

But he also appealed to policy makers. "We have the right cars. Now what is needed is the right framework for this key technology to really catch on."

Indo Motoring

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