What does the next 25 years in automotive look like? We popped down to the Future Lab at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend to find out.
The Festival of Speed has plenty of automotive past and present, as well as new cars yet to be launched - but what about the tech behind the cars of the future?
The Future Lab is a self-contained space - as you can see above - but one of the innovations showcased by Samsung and Vodafone at this year's Future Lab was a driverless car that could be piloted over a 5G connection. While the driver was sat inside the Future Lab, the car was elsewhere on the Goodwood Estate (below).
Check out more about that here: This driverless car was completely remote-controlled over 5G
This stunning machine is the AeroMobil flying car concept - a real flying car with foldable wings. It's a hybrid on the road and can deliver 300hp of power to the propeller. It's a VTOL craft - like a Harrier Jump Jet it'll vertically take off and land. The concept has been a long time in gestation though, with an early test flight first taking place in 2014.
The car-plane above is Version 4.0 which is set to be on sale next year. The company has version 5.0 slated for 2025 at present.
This is the Lightyear One. We've written about the vehicle before, but now it's been shown off for the first time in the UK at the Future Lab. The car features five square metres of solar panels but it won't be cheap when it hits the streets, costing just over £100,000.
Range is around 250 miles, while the company says its one of the most aerodynamic cars in the world. It reminds us a little of an old Citroen DS or CX with its covered back wheel.
Epic isn't it? This is an autonomous tractor from Case - the Case IH. And yes, there's no cab because there won't be a driver. While it's a concept for now, we're not far off the time when a farmer will be able to set one off to plough the field while he or she gets on with other duties.
This is a large tractor designed for vast US fields, but there's no reason why it couldn't launch elsewhere. Case says a new control interface has been developed so that field boundaries can be plotted and that the tractor will be most useful for operations that need minimal input - such as mowing, spraying, planting and cultivation.
This simulator - by Triton Submarines - was used by explorer Victor Vecovo to train for his historic Five Deeps Expedition, enabling real-world experience of piloting the world’s deepest diving submersible.
Vescovo trained in the equipment remotely at his home in Texas. With reactions monitored via telemetry, Vescovo familiarised himself with diving the Triton 36000/2 without having to get into deep water himself.
Recently, Vescovo completed a dive at Horizon Deep in the Tonga Trench, reaching a depth of 10,823 meters - the second deepest point outside of the Mariana Trench. He will finish the Five Deeps Expedition in September with his final dives scheduled for the deepest point in the Arctic Ocean.
This is the Alauda Airspeeder, which we saw in test flight action at Goodwood. It's an octocopter that can carry a single person and has been developed for racing, with Aluda's founder and CEO Matt Pearson (above) telling us that he wants to create a racing series for the craft which has been developed in Australia.
The 4 metre-long Airspeeder is powered by 50mW electric motors and is capable for around 120mph. The flight we saw wasn't manned, however, the startup wants to experiment with a manned demonstration in the Mojave desert later in the year.
However, there was a problem with the end of the test flight we saw - after a minute or two of controlled flight, it rose upward and seemingly the operators lost control of the crafter as it crashed into a field.
This is Kar-go, a roadworthy autonomous delivery vehicle. Developed by The Academy of Robotics, the electric vehicle promises to reduce the cost of getting parcels to your house. It's fairly cheap for companies like Amazon to get parcels close to your home - to a local delivery depot - but getting vans to your home - 'last-mile delivery' is expensive. Kar-go belives this vehicle can help to reduce this cost.
McKinsey believes that in the next decade over 80 percent of parcels will be delivered autonomously.
The vehicle - which we saw drive around the site - is manufactured in Brighton by Pilgrim Motorsport. Chief designer Paul Burgess formerly worked for the McLaren Formula 1 team.
There was also a showcase of the 900kg ExoMars Rover Vehicle which is slated for launch in 2020 and will take up to nine months to reach Mars as part of the next Mars expedition. This isn't the actual rover, since that needs to be kept in a clean room so as not to be contaminated with organic particles from earth,
The ExoMars Rover will use parachutes, thrusters and damping systems to land safely on the surface of Mars and will be the first Mars rover designed to find evidence of past or present life. It will carry nine experiments to analyse the physical and chemical properties of Martian samples. It can cover 70 metres per day when navigating autonomously depending on the amount of solar energy available.
The Future Lab didn't just showcase automotive tech, either as you'll see from these final examples. The centrepiece of the Future Lab is an exhibit designed and built by international artist Stanza called ‘The Emergent City’.
It explores the idea of the connected city and is intended to showcase how cities function as vital hubs of information and communication. It is the largest and most complicated sculpture Stanza has ever constructed and is designed to challenge our awareness of the vast amount of information generated by us.
Ai Build showcased tech that enables real-time detection of defects in 3D printed items - errors can cost a great deal in addition to the material waste. “By detecting printing defects in real-time, our AI technology offers the potential of automating quality control," says Leonidas Leonidou, Ai Build’s head of applied research. "At the same time [it can act] as a form of feedback to the designer about the printability of their design and how such printing issues could be eliminated in future prints.”
And the Future Lab wasn't all about automotive and vehicle tech either - here's Ooho - an edible pouch designed to reduce plastic use. It's made from seaweed and could be used for marathons or other situations where large numbers of plastic bottles or other drinking vessels are needed. You just need to pop it in your mouth and it'll dissolve. It feels a little odd, but it works.