In this time of drought and water shortages, it’s essential that we keep our cars clean. After all, the future of well-kept cars depends upon it.

So a team from the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) has predicted the way drivers will wash their vehicle in 2020 is in some kind of giant dishwasher type contraption, reports the BBC.

Using an ecologically friendly mix of steam and water mist, the inflatable (yes, we said inflatable) unit uses just 4 litres of water, compared to the average 135 that would be used in a traditional hosepipe scrubbing session.

MIRA’s Derek Charters said: "One hot summer day, we had a thought shower - we don't like to call them brainstorms anymore” [Oh stop - Ed].

He added: "There were a number of ideas that we considered - cars that came with paint that never needed cleaning or even a process in which thousands of polyester balls are fired at the car to act as an agitator".

"But this was the best idea and the beauty of it is that is uses just 4 litres of water, which can be filtered off and used again afterwards. Depending on whether you have used a biodegradable detergent, you may even be able to use it to water your garden."

"I'm sure it may start off just being used by commercial operators, maybe when you drive to the local supermarket, but it could quickly become an aspirational item, just like dishwashers in the kitchen. You'll just be able to zip your car in and come back an hour later to a clean car."

A superbly flippant response to a very serious problem, then - eBay Motors, who commissioned the research - should be proud for lowering the tone of ecological issues as well as the reputation of MIRA for the sake of a quick and dirty summer (no) news story.

And, by looking at the picture, one can only assume that we will all be driving DeLoreans in 14 years. Now that is cool.