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The Car of the Future ?

         Is this "snail car" the car of the future ?  It does not resemble any of the cars we use today, and indeed it is very different.... and totally high-tech.  But you won't see a car like this on the roads tomorrow. The future is coming, but not quite so fast.

Car of the future?    Is this "snail car" what tomorrow's car will look like ?
    Here is the car of the future!     This car is the opposite of todays' cars; today's cars are noisy and dirty, this one is silent and clean. Today's cars have wheels, this one does not. It moves like a snail, but much faster than a snail !
    This car will use electric energy, not petrol or gasolene; it will have batteries that can be recharged instantly from chargers in the road. It will also be very easy to drive.
    In fact, you won't need to drive it; it will drive itself. You will just need to tell the computer: "Go to X" and the car will go there. Also, it will reach X very quickly, much faster than today's cars. It will also be very safe and comfortable.
    A lot of the technology already exists, but it is very experimental.  Already today scientists are developing new materials for the surface of roads: In fifty years from now, perhaps sooner, some new roads will capture solar energy : they will store this energy under the road, and some cars will be able to use it.
    However you probably won't ever drive a "snail car", even if you're under 20 today. This, perhaps, is the car of the year 2100, the car that your grandchildren will maybe drive.
    Driving will be nice in the 22nd century ! No pollution, no traffic-jams, no stress.
    If, of course, we reach the 22nd century....With all today's problems of global warming, pollution, and natural resources, nothing is certain any more. Scientists have lots of ideas about the car of the future: but the future itself is perhaps less sure.....


Word guide
WORDS
are noisy : they make a lot of noise - snail: look at the picture - petrol or gasolene: In Britain people say petrol, in the USA they say gasolene. It is the same. - capture : catch, absorb - traffic jams: when there are so many cars that they all stop.


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Student Worksheet

The Car of the Future?

Put back the missing words in this extract from the article.  Some test your vocabulary, others will test your grammar !

     This car is the opposite of __________ cars; ___________ cars are noisy and _______, this one is _________ and clean. Today's cars have ________, this one does not. It moves like a snail, but much faster _______ a snail !
    This car will use electric energy, not petrol or gasolene; it will have batteries that ______ be recharged instantly from chargers in the road. It will also be very ________  _____ drive.
    In fact, you won't need to drive it; it will drive _________. You will just need to _______ the computer: "Go to X" and the car will go _______. Also, it will reach X very quickly, much ________ than today's cars. It will also be very safe and comfortable.
    A lot of the technology already exists, but it is very ___________.  Already today scientists are developing new materials for the surface of roads: In fifty years _ ____  ______, perhaps sooner, some new roads will capture solar energy : they will store _______  energy under the road, and some cars will be able to use it.
    However you probably won't ______ drive a "snail car", _______ if you're under 20 today. This, perhaps, is the car of the year 2100, the car that your grandchildren will ________ drive.

   

Ideas for teachers

The Car of the Future?

Comparing: Have students take a sheet of paper, and divide it into two columns. In one column, they should write down characteristics of one of today's cars; in the other, comparable features of the "car of tomorrow". Some are mentioned in the text, others can be observed from the photo; still more can be imagined.
Explaining: Ask students to describe or define: dirty, silent, a wheel, electric energy, petrol, a battery, a charger, a computer, great-grandchildren,  global warming, natural resources, the ozone layer.
All these words, or the concepts they represent, are understandable; defining them is altogether a different task! Some are easy, others not!
Creative writing: Leading to an oral presentation.  We are in the year 2100, and the snail car has just been shown to the media. Working in pairs, students should write a short report about the new car. They have one minute (or at most two) on "classroom radio" to present it.

 



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Revised 2015 . Originally published in Freeway, the intermediate level English newsmagazine.
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A Linguapress.com
easy intermediate English resource

Target readers : teenagers, young adults

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Updated 2015 from an article originally published in Horizon, the Easy-intermediate level English newsmagazine.
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