Autocar’s motoring predictions for 2021

…But charging point rage will become a thing 

Charging point rage is already with us, occurring often between BEV owners who must have charge to proceed but are impeded by PHEV owners for whom it’s less important. Nothing quite is as infuriating as waiting for an occupier staying longer than they need. But even that problem is temporary. BEVs will soon predominate, charging points will become more ubiquitous and there will be space for all.

Next-generation consoles will raise the bar for racing games 

History is littered with scintillating rivalries. In 2020, the gaming world’s equivalent of Schumacher versus Hakkinen got lively with the release of the Sony PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.

Ultra-realism from their 4K graphics, quicker refresh rate and lightning-fast load times are just some of the major upgrades. Those quicker refresh rates will be a bonus for fast-paced racing games. Highlights include Dirt5, WRC 9, the much-hyped Gran Turismo 7 and the rival Forza.

The Microsoft and Sony systems both have their strengths and weaknesses, of course. Technically, the Microsoft machine is more powerful and gives access to Xbox Game Pass, the Netflix of the gaming world, but the PlayStation has the more immersive controller with the next-gen of haptic feedback.

For once, built-in obsolescence isn’t part of the deal. All your carefully curated games from the previous-gen consoles will play on certain versions of the new ones.

Any 2021 lockdowns just got easier to bear.

We’ll see a better alternative to a touchscreen 

Touchscreens in cars are getting bigger. They’re getting more feature laden. They’re getting more complicated. And with all that, they’re getting ever more dangerous. It’s simply not safe to try to navigate your way around many touchscreens on the move. They have become portals not only to classic ‘infotainment’ features but also now key functions for controlling some elements of the car, and increasingly the heating and ventilation, too.

Try using some of these essential features when you’re driving. Eyes off the road to find the right menu and press. Eyes off again once in the menu to select. Eyes off perhaps a third time to slide your finger to increase the temperature. Eyes off a fourth time even to check the system has done what you wanted. Back left your glance may then have to go again if it hasn’t. Repeat a couple of minutes later when you realise you’ve turned the temperature up too much.

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