By the year 2050, Ford Motor Co. expects nearly half the cars it sells will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Fifty years after that, some Ford officials muse, the company might be making high-speed trains for commuters tired of traffic. They expect one thing won't change, according to the Associated Press: Ford's commitment, ever since founder Henry Ford started the business, to an inexpensive, reliable vehicle for the common person.
The most radical change Ford anticipates in its next century is the conversion from gasoline to hydrogen fuel. Scott Staley, Ford's fuel cell manager, expects hydrogen fuel cell cars on the road by 2020 and believes they'll make up 40 percent of Ford's sales by 2050, according to AP.
In the meantime, Ford says it's the only U.S. auto company aggressively developing an internal
combustion engine that runs on clean-burning hydrogen, a technology Ford believes is a bridge to fuel cells, AP said.
Ford also expects major advances in safety, according to AP. Eventually, Ford engineer Ron Miller says, radars will make sure drivers are staying in their lanes while cameras watch the road in front of them, classifying every object on the road by its size and speed. If anything goes wrong, seat belts will tighten and air bags will determine the position and weight of every passenger in order to best protect
them. If a driver swerves, the vehicle will shift back and right itself electronically, according to AP.