Saab 9-1 consumer futurology and anthropologic trends

Traffic and sociology research for initial phase progress
of Saab 9-1 concept car, due out in 2014.

Historical aspect

The car has evolved for approximately 100 years now. The first vehicles to compete with horse-led carriages appeared in the 1700s. But these were not yet automobiles, even though the terminology, “automobile”, means exactly this: a carriage that moves by itself. (latin: automovile).

Auto means by itself, in latin language. Motive is for movement (movile, mobile, mobility). Automobile is thus a self moving (object). Even though the car does not actually move without a engine, we can assume that the engine is part of the automobile.

Though never take these kinds of things for granted, since there is possible that like certain other technological objects, especially my memory reminds me of so-called Winmodems, the modem does not contain the chips necessary to do modulation demodulation functions, as they were moved into the
responsibility of the computer in these cases.
[Modems are computer hardware meant to enable birectional data transmission].

As I’m writing this text, with the goal of explaining and researching into the new Saab 91’s information systems, I also revisit the history of a whole industry. If you have good knowledge of automobile history, please contribute to the article by leaving a comment on this page.

The car is an interesting object of study. Its creation and especially birth in history involves many INVENTIONS, and it was not so clear in the beginning that such a thing
would ever succeed – just like it was not clear with many great inventions.

Cars were merely “test beds with wheels” for steam power! Some said that cars will never replace horses. But these engineering wonders evolved and became dominant way of land transport.

There are two main defining terms in a car: self-propellant, and personal.

Cars have evolved in several areas. The transmission, engine, and many facets that involve safety have been improved over the years.

Many challenges remain in the whole industry: reducing pollution, considering alternative fuel sources to fossil fuels, choosing safe, lightweight and environmentally friendly construction materials; and reducing accidents – among other things.

The automotive industry is like any other: good ideas
spread, they become a norm, but there is usually a manufacturer that pilots the idea first.

I’d like to however pick up two big trends coming over in the early 21st century: ecology and the amount of electronics (“intelligence”) a car has.

Both these are very interesting forks, and prove plenty of challenge to the designers.

Saab 91 is aimed mainly at the 20-30s who want to extend their mobile life style into the driving experience as well. The essential tagline for the project is: extend yourself!

This by no means rules out other potential users; with its highly
advanced navigational and other driving aids, combined with Saab’s tradition for safety-first principle, the car is ideal for people with slight cognitive disabilities like eyesight problems and such. As the growing population

Saab can guide the person on the road- both in terms of navigation and realtime, computer-aided scenery interpretation (“eyesight” for the computer).

The car will enable people to leave for work or leisure, without
worrying about whether they have a computer, a network, or the correct type of music CDs with them. The car is an extension and a bridge between the home and other places. Your drive is more comfortable, varied with choice and pleasure.

Picture this: usually you are disconnected when your car trip begins; you set your phone somewhere, you certainly cannot access your laptop while driving; and even the idea of streaming music, realtime to your environment is usually impossible or difficult. Ford has done lot of research and development with Microsoft, and they have come up with the system for delivering rich experiences while driving.

With Saab it’s different; you’re seamlessly connected with the cellphone, controlling it from the car’s steering wheel and with voice commands.

An incoming call is not anymore a hassle; you can swiftly handle talking, without having to grab your phone from a bag or other difficult place.

In addition, you have a superb navigational system with realtime objects in the map: restaurants, places to take a break, gas stations, information about congestion and
hazards – all that you can imagine of.

Saab connects to networks using any technology that is available:
directly through its own mobile network; using wideband, fast wireless connection (perhaps ultrawideband, or UWB), or by using your mobile phone’s shared connection. The car minimizes the offline time, yet doesn’t make too much of data plan costs if instructed to do so.


Issues:
speed of vehicles
reach, and dayreach
power distribution; or fuel distribution
costs of driving, per km in certain timeslot
social habits of people
environment
pollution awareness
1970
1990
2000
2010
the CO2 problem
which segments are cars competing with in general?
interview a lot of carless people
environmentalism
green wave
people’s stress
mobile work
leisure time profile
accidents
insurance
gasoline cost
25% of all crashes happen in shop parking spaces, worth $4000-$6000 per incident

4G rollout
-coverage
-timetable
-speed test results
-average results
-max results
-minimum worst case
4G rollout is extremely important for good LivingIP system.
Though by no means are we tied to 4G, but basically
meaning a 4G-like radio mesh.

mobile services
shopping assist
logistics with shopping chains
people’s preference

The branches

1. nothing changes
cars get faster
power is stabilized
consumption gets down to asymptotic minimum
fuel considerations; biofuel is available in 10-15% of cases
tech increases slightly; radars, multimedia, but nothing radical

2. medium change

3. radical change, Saab dream
– autos become autopiloted
– gradual increase in % of autopilot cars in traffic
– optimal driving; luxury. Manual override always possible
– consumption least, saving energy
– traffic lights unnecessary in robo roads
– no speedings; cars become actually safe as they can be
– the earth traffic can be modelled like space traffic,
neglecting pretty much things related to human nervous
system inaccuracies

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