Tune in and buckle up for an exciting, fast-paced ride into the year 2030, as the Discovery Channel presents its revved up, brand new four-part series, FutureCar! Each episode is packed with outrageous new insights into the future of the automotive industry. New designs and incredibly diverse automotive technologies from all around the globe are presented to you by the best designers and experts the automotive industry has to offer!

The first episode, The Extremes, takes us on a journey to the extreme outskirts of the automotive world, where only the limits of imagination govern what is, and isn’t, possible. You’ll travel the globe, getting sneak peeks into the minds and workshops of the world’s foremost visionaries of the extreme automotive industry. Gather your own inspiration by visiting the experts in automotive technology who are making ideas of the future come alive sooner than ever thought possible. What will speed mean to drivers in the year 2030? What could possibly propel these future vehicles? Will we recognize something as normal and ever present as the taxicab or eighteen-wheeler? The answers are all waiting for you in The Extremes!

Large commerical trucks of the future prototypes

The large commercial trucks of the future may resemble the ones, pictured here, designed by German industrial designer, Luigi Colani.
Credit: www.wikipedia.com

The second episode, The Body, will show how vehicles will change, starting from the ground up. Even the wheel, the world’s first invention, will undergo an amazing makeover! If you think 2007 has an overwhelming variety of cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles, etc., think again. The year 2030 is fully packed with new takes on old body styles, including ultra-light cars, leaning cars, hydrogen-capable chassis, and more. Watch as seven GM interns take youthful approaches in designing their own future car. Discovery.com offers several “webisodes” that follow each intern through the multiple phases of designing, building, and operating their individual mobile innovations.

So, with the extreme automotive designs, complete with awesome new body styles, what kind of fuel will we use to put these brand new beauties down the road? The Fuel, the third episode in the series, explores the various propulsion possibilities that could be available by 2030. The Fuel covers some of the alternative fuels and advanced technologies that are already available today, such as ethanol, lithium ion batteries, hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells, solar panels, and compressed air. However, the alternative fuel visionaries explore each fuel and technology in detail using wild-model prototypes for demonstration. In fact, you’ll witness one brave soul quenching his thirst using the fresh water exhaust produced from a hydrogen-fueled vehicle! It is also suggested that by using electric cars, enough excess electricity will be generated to power items used in our own homes.

When you ponder these new future cars, think the Tin Man and what he could do if he “only had a brain!” The last episode in the FutureCar series, The Brain, introduces automobiles capable of thinking and communicating using super-powered computers. Imagine hands-free and worry-free travel as your car talks with other motoring machines; they’ll know when and where they need to be to create a world without car accidents, as they will be programmed to protect their passengers over all else. The Brain will show you how these new rolling whiz cars will affect your world in just about twenty years and maybe tease you with a few items that are just around the corner!

Check your local listings for a chance to view FutureCar on the Discovery Channel, and visit the Discovery Channel Web site (www.discovery.com/futurecar) for more information on the series and activities, including interactive videos, GM intern webisodes, a section where you can vote on your favorite designs, a slide show of the great Harley Earl and his amazing concept cars, and more! The series would also function as a fantastic learning tool for students of all ages interested in the future of the automotive industry and the alternative fuels that will be used to propel these new machines. It is available for purchase in most Discovery Channel stores and online (www.shopping.discovery.com).

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