Cars of the Future: Made from Basalt Rock?


I’ve often wished cars had a driver-to-driver communication system built right in. Something where I could type in the license plate number of the car I accidentally cut off and talk directly to the driver.

“Whoa, sorry, red Honda – that was totally my fault.”

Of course, a system like that isn’t likely, and would probably end up creating a heck of a lot of road rage and distracted drivers.

This is what I was thinking about when I read about a new concept car that EDAG is showing at the Geneva Auto Show. Called the Open-Source Light Car, it’s truly an example of forward thinking and advanced technology.

With an all-electric drivetrain that packs motors into each wheel, a chassis built from melted basalt rock that has been turned into fibers, and polycarbonate and OLED (organic light-emitting diodes) surfaces for the body, this is car is exceptionally strong and light. Not to mention futuristic.

The headlamps, brake lights, and turn signals are built into the OLED surfaces and are completely invisible when off. The dashboard is similar and lets the driver position the gauges wherever he or she chooses.

Here’s where things get even crazier (or smarter, depending on your point of view): The rear of the car also serves as a large gauge alerting drivers behind it to the car’s current speed, braking force, any upcoming road work, etc. It’s like a traveling highway safety sign that communicates to other drivers without actually having to talk to them.

While this concept is way more visionary than practical, it shows the possibilities of what could happen as the automobile evolves.

Do you think a large display in the rear of a vehicle would contribute to safety or become a safety hazard?



  1. One of the most troubling aspects of “future car” design and advanced technology development is the huge waste of time and money developing expensive, complex and unrealistic systems and features that will never be practical. What we need are safe, simple cars that do not overload the driver with information. Drivers are proving every day that they can’t even cope with the present spread of entertainment, cell phone, climate control, navigation and other devices in a driving environment that is distracting and demanding. Cars like the one mentioned take these excesses to the extreme, and also ignore servicability. (Change the rear end of the car to repair a tailight?) The cars of the future must be much more modular, cheaper to buy and maintain, and reduce driver distraction and overload, and urban vehicles will have centrally-controlled (traffic center) driving features that will allow bumper to bumper automated highways at high speeds without added high cost to the vehicle. To me, concept vehicles and show cars are the automotive equivalents of comic book superheros, all muscled and decked out in spandex, but not to be taken seriously.

  2. I too mentioned this beast in a January post, suggesting that a car with glass front and rear panels was kind of insane. Now tgriffith tells us about the rear panel, “like a traveling highway safety sign.” That’s really boring, guys. What about a TV screen the driver could program to amuse/shock/piss off following drivers? People might buy a car like that.

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