What was still science fiction yesterday will be part of everyday life tomorrow. ZF asked experts to provide an outlook on our lives in the future.
May 26, 2017
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Configuring your new car and immediately viewing the results on the screen, ordering new shoes or accessing an inexhaustible music and movie library – anytime, anywhere. That which is child’s play for every smartphone today was a vision of the distant future 20 years ago. The small all-rounders represent a larger and fast-paced process of change towards a digital, networked and automated world.
It has long been anticipated that household appliances that communicate with each other and function independently will shape our everyday life in the near future. Even the feasibility of classics of science-fiction literature such as space elevators and brain-computer interfaces are being discussed. Those who want to keep up in this extremely dynamic environment of technological progress need to think outside the box. This applies in particular to a technology company such as ZF. The company is therefore concerned not only with the future of mobility but also deliberately with the further development of society and technology in general.
Thomas Le Blanc
Thomas Le Blanc
Mathematician and physicist Thomas Le Blanc works as a freelance journalist and is considered an expert in science fiction. Le Blanc is the founder of the Phantastische Bibliothek Wetzlar [Fantastic Library]. With approximately 270,000 titles, it is the world’s largest publicly accessible collection of fantasy literature. He spoke with ZF about the potential and dangers of networking of computers and humans as well as the fully automatic “smart homes” of tomorrow.
We no longer need to clean, cook or wash. Our home does that for us.
Science fiction expert Thomas Le Blanc about smart homes
Ray Hammond, a British futurologist and speaker in demand worldwide, concerns himself with the key trends of today and their influence on the future. This includes world population growth, globalization, climate change and the increasingly rapid progress of technology. In his field of research, he is one of the leading scientists in Europe. For his contributions to futurology, Mikhail Gorbachev awarded him the United Nations Medal in Gold in 2010. Hammond was one of the first authors to recognize the commercial potential of the Internet. Listen here to his assessment of the mobility of the future.
As Head of the Mobility and Urban Systems Engineering Business Area at the Fraunhofer IAO, Steffen Braun deals with the urban habitat of the future and the numerous challenges associated with it. These include rising levels of urbanization as well as climate change, demographic change and increasing scarcity of resources. All of this calls for completely new approaches to solving problems. According to Braun, one approach is the introduction of artificial intelligence into the public realm.
Internationally renowned futurologist Lars Thomsen advises numerous companies and organizations on the development of new business models and strategies for the future. He also serves as a speaker at congresses in Europe and the USA on a regular basis. He is regarded as an expert in the future of mobility, energy supply and smart networks. In our video you will learn how children will see manual driving in 30 years according to his assessment.