By Gabriel Dupuy
Starting from analysis of the 1990s, this paper offers a prospective view of the 2020s. Liberating the driver from driving tasks and making the car more autonomous seem to be the current perspectives for the automobile. The future intelligent and autonomous car needs to be oriented toward a greater human mobility. But ambiguity seems to be at the heart of research itself. On the one hand, the car seems to remain essential for the lives of drivers and automobile dependence has become very important. Nonetheless the autonomous car does not emerge from nowhere. The dependence comes from the old past through very powerful factors that many decades of dependence can justify. A probable scenario could then be a double one. We may certainly have new vehicles and components that are highly autonomous compared to today. This would offer more possibilities to drivers for redrawing their itineraries in a more personal and distinctive way. But at the same time we would also observe the ‘traditional’ automobile network which would stay the same for a long time, in a sort of spatial containment. This containment would probably question the liberating nature inherited by so many years of car use. This double scenario would strongly affirm, much more than today, the segregation between a “premium” car network and the ordinary car network.