21st Century Hearse: What Will Future Funeral Cars Look Like?


21st century funeral cars and the mobility internetWhat will the next incarnation of the funeral car look like? Back in 2012, authors William Mitchell, Christopher Borroni-Bird, and Lawrence Burns believe they know. A new book describes what they call the “mobility internet,” and the implications for the funeral car business are incredible.

For starters, this trio are suggesting that all cars, funeral hearses included, will not only be driven electrically but be electronically controlled. Translation: That means they’ll have a battery that needs charging, but the inside mechanisms of the vehicles themselves will be electronic.

Another idea floated by these authors is technology that allows vehicles on the road to communicate between themselves and the surrounding infrastructure. You’ll be able to see traffic ahead of you, say, between the funeral home and the cemetery, and pick alternate routes if you have to.

One implication of the interconnected infrastructure is something they call a “clean energy grid.” A reduction in auto emissions plus the entire transportation ecosystem being driven by the internet.

Just over five years later and we’ve already seen advancements that show these authors were on the right track.  Electric cars are now seen on roadways thanks to Tesla and advancements in batteries and automotive technology mean that autonomous driving features are now almost standard.  While there’s still no communication grid between cars and their environments, the idea seems less far-fetched.

Another idea that was mentioned by the authors and may come to fruition is the idea of dynamic pricing for markets such as parking, roads, electricity, etc.  Imagine your funeral customers being able to reserve their parking spaces at your funeral home before they arrive. You can have assigned parking spaces for the cars joining the procession after the service and those that won’t be going to the cemetery service. And you can have electric battery chargers as an added service.

Of course, these advancements haven’t entirely made their way to commercial vehicles such as funeral hearses … yet.  But as consumers and the general public embraces these changes, it becomes a lot more likely we will see them become a part of professional options as well.

There’s no telling how the mobility internet might affect the overall funeral business and your ability to manage your funeral car fleet, but if the vision of these authors is any indication, it will be a wild ride.

About the Author

Stacy Jo
Stacy Jo is our reporter on the beat, covering everything from vintage hearses, events, etc.