The future of cars


Ben Hoey

Imagine going to work in 2040. You get in the car, start it, and pull out of the driveway. On your way to work, you happen to get into a small accident. Your car has small cracks in the frame, and frame damage like this may seem permanent. However, with the direction that technology is headed, permanent damage will be an easy fix.


  Advances in the automotive industry are being made constantly. Recently, MIT and Lamborghini revealed an early stages concept car called the Lamborghini Terzo Millenio. The car itself is one of a kind and is the most advanced car being developed by Lamborghini. This car is bound to advance the entire auto industry with the different technologies that are being implemented.


  When a car brakes for a stoplight, that braking produces energy. With electric cars, however, some of that energy is able to be harvested into kinetic energy and create additional power. Lamborghini aims to further improve this. According to Lamborghini’s website, the Terzo Millenio will introduce a supercapacitor, which is an electronic component that has the capability of storing high amounts of electric energy, in order to harvest energy more efficiently to produce more power. Through braking, cars will be improving the efficiency of their energy use.


  If a car gets into a small crash, the frame of someone’s car may suffer some damage. Small cracks in the substructure of the car can be dangerous. With the new systems being designed for the Terzo Millenio, this car will be able to self-repair. Road and Track states “If the car detects carbon-fiber damage, micro-channels generate heat to seal cracks and mitigate risk of any further damage.”

  Airflow and weight are very important when it comes to designing a car. Both factor into the amount of speed that a car can attain. Weight makes the car consume fuel at different weights as well as making the car able to pick up speed faster. Good airflow improves aerodynamics and decreases the amount of air resistance a car experiences. The material that a car is made of can influence both of these factors. The Terzo Millenio looks to capitalize this with a carbon fiber structure. This material is extremely lightweight compared to other common materials in cars now. This will drastically reduce the weight of the car, allowing for easier acceleration. Also, the design is being generated for maximum airflow, making air resistance close to nonexistent. And if that isn’t enough, Lamborghini says that the body will even serve as an additional battery, with the materials being able to store extra electrical energy that can be harnessed.


  With advances like these, common sedans of the late 21st century may see total overhauls. Although the tech seems very futuristic, the unique aspects of the Terzo Millenio may become more commonplace in future cars. With structures made entirely of carbon fiber, cars can become more aerodynamic, sleeker, and lighter. This would allow for more speed and easier handling of the vehicle. Self-repairing systems in the car itself will put the owner at ease, knowing that the car would be able to monitor the integrity of its substructure and make the necessary fixes. The energy system that is being designed for the Terzo Millenio is bounds ahead of the current system used in other electric cars. The cars of the future will need to have a similar supercapacitor system in order to “close the gap with conventional batteries in terms of energy density,” so the car can output a peak amount of power to the vehicle.


  Times are beginning to change. Lamborghini knows this, and they are ready for their automobile to change with it. Of course, none of this tech exists completely right now. And, although the Terzo Millenio will never go into production, the technology being designed for it will help the auto industry leap into the future.