2050: Cars and drones one and the same

Futurist Chris Riddell told News.com the expected Australian roads to be filled with autonomous cars well before 2050, and predicted nostalgic car lovers who wanted to keep their steering wheels would have to pay a high licence price for the privilege.

“Personal drones will absolutely be a thing by the year 2050,” Mr Riddell said.

“What you’ll see eventually is the converging of the two… you won’t be able to separate cars and drones.”

Dubai already had plans to begin using drone taxis to ferry people over the city, claiming eventually cars and drones would become one and the same.

RACQ’s Steve Spalding said anything was possible and flying cars could become reality, but there would be a lot of hurdles to get over before we saw these changes.

“To say that Australia would phase out current cars by 2050 could be a stretch, we still have some cars that are 100 years old on the road today,” Mr Spalding said.

“We’d need a huge push from the government to make autonomous cars and passenger drones the standard, and that would have to be based on good products with consumer confidence.”

Mr Spalding said research suggested it took 10 years for vehicle technology to being adopted by just half of the cars on the road once available as a standard feature.

“This means if we’re going to have a predominantly autonomous or drone fleet by 2050, we’d need to see those vehicles on the market and being bought by a lot of consumers in the 2030s at the latest,” he said.

“Is it possible yes, will it be a reality? We’ll have to wait to find out.”