If the Royal Family were ever to fall upon hard times, they could easily set up a nice little sideline as a London taxi firm – a luxury taxi firm, mind – and maybe even do stag nights, hen parties and college proms, such is the size of their prestigious fleet.
Obviously, it’ll never come to this, but regardless of whether or not future Royals will ever have to put in for their test and maybe even get ‘the knowledge’, what is for sure is that the cars they will be driving will look very different to the ones we’re driving today.
So what can we expect to see future royals hitting the streets in 20 years from now?
It’s well documented that Google’s fleet of driverless cars are getting ever closer to covering a million, accident-free miles and autonomous automobiles are now being road tested, in various guises, across the UK. So by the time the royal babies have passed their driving tests there’s a good chance they won’t have to do any driving at all.
Of course, being royals, there’s a good chance they won’t have to do any driving regardless of whether or not driverless tech takes off, but don’t rule out the idea that we could all be driving at least partially-autonomous cars within the next two decades.
Augmented reality displays
The dashboard display will be a thing of the past by time the royal babies are cruising around Kensington – it will have been replaced by augmented reality displays that will project things like speed, distance and directions straight onto the windscreen.
And while having information projected onto the windscreen may appear intrusive, it’ll at least make sure drivers can keep their eyes on the road and not have to glance down to dashboard or centre console displays.
In the future, we’ll all get used to the idea that our vehicles talk to each other – this doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be incessant motor-mouths like Knight Rider’s KITT, though they might be – but more that they’ll communicate with each other and road signals to make for smoother traffic flow and less congested roads.
If implemented correctly, this technology could help to reduce road accidents and traffic jams and make motoring a safer and more pleasurable experience for all. If it all goes wrong though, we could be in for some ‘Rise of the Machines’-style dystopian future.
Keeping with the Terminator theme here, if the future royals happen to have a prang in their motor, say they scrape a gate post while reversing off the Buckingham Palace driveway, there’ll be no need to get the car to a body shop as the scratches will disappear as the paint ‘heals’ itself.
This paint technology already exists but hasn’t yet found its way onto consumer vehicles.
Bodywork battery power
With fossil fuel reserves rapidly depleting, the royal babies’ generation won’t run cars that run on petrol, they’ll either be powered by hydrogen cells or be fully-electric.
And there’ll be no need for heavy, expensive battery packs like in today’s EVs as the ultra-thin batteries will be housed in the body panels of the car, possibly with some integrated solar panels thrown in to boot.
So, with all that future tech in mind, what can we expect the royal babies’ car of the future to look like? We reckon it won’t be a million miles away from the Mercedes F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car, as revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas, January 2015…