Fast forward to 2050; What surprising new features will the cars we drive have?



Auto Trader has released designs of what it predicts cars will look like fast forwarding to 2050 – and there’s some surprising features included.


The UK’s digital marketplace for new and used cars, Auto Trader, has released concept designs for what it forecasts vehicles will look like 30 years from now – based on the expertise of futurologist Tom Cheesewright, market trends, the rate of technological development and research into consumer demand.

Auto Trader’s 2050 concept car is a fully electric, colour-changing vehicle with space for passengers to make the most of the time they spend in the autonomous vehicle - by relaxing, doing yoga and even sleeping during the commute.


Featuring ‘digital paint’, the car allows passengers to change the colour and style of the car from the tap of an app, depending on their mood, with advances in technology meaning this feature could be widely available as early as the year 2040.

Designed to be a home away from home, passengers can relax and unwind on the built-in mattress in the centre of the spacious cabin – a feature which 24% of motorists said they’d use for catching up on much-needed sleep and a cheeky 13% of men would use for some intimate time with a partner.


Drivers also said they’d like to reclaim their commute time by delving into a good book from the built-in library or binge-watching their favourite Netflix shows and movies from the large in-built TV screen.


Other popular recreational uses for the spacious design include beating friends and family at board games, getting hair and makeup done en-route to an event, and 4% would even practice yoga whilst in transit.

Catering to the 10% of drivers who want cars to be fully voice operated in future, the car welcomes passengers with a friendly AI that helps them set their preferred driving speed and style, whether out for a leisurely Sunday drive or dashing home for dinner.


The 2050 car is fitted with windows that extend right over the roof in one large bubble, offering more head room to allow passengers to freely move around during transit.

It also features 360 degree panoramic views for those wanting to sit back, relax and enjoy an autonomous ride, plus black-out functionality on the windows, which can be activated with a quick tap.


Auto Trader’s Rory Reid comments: “The government’s recent announcement on bringing forward the ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars to 2035 is already influencing what Brits are looking for. Overnight we saw a 165% increase in searches for electric vehicles on Auto Trader. So it’s no surprise that the 2050 car will be fully electric, but it’s fascinating to think what these advancements, including driverless tech, could mean for the actual design of cars and how they could be used.


“The concept of digital paint and the implications this may have for those looking to buy new cars is in keeping with consumer trends and our growing desire for personalisation. People are increasingly using technology to express themselves and this tech would remove the need to wait for a colour of car to come into stock or fork out extra to have a car spray painted a certain colour.”


Futurologist, Tom Cheesewright, adds: “Tomorrow’s car takes you from A to B with minimum fuss and in maximum style. Future technologies will give designers free reign to create more space and comfort, so that we can get on with our lives while an AI takes care of the driving. While our cars won’t be flying any time soon, we can all benefit from cleaner, quieter, safer roads. In just twenty years, the age of the combustion engine will be well and truly over.”


Partnering with the world’s first applied futurist and leading futurology author and speaker, Tom Cheesewright, Auto Trader’s Cars of the Future report combines motor industry forecasting with a survey of 2,142 UK drivers, to build a picture of the future of the car industry 10, 20 and 30 years from now.


Image credits: Auto Trader

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