New technologies are transforming industries at all levels. The automotive industry is no exception. Technologies like artificial intelligence, analytics, and big data are changing things.
It is an exciting time for the industry. The modern and very demanding customer has a lot to look forward to.
Our article will explore the top trends shaping automobile technology.
We looked at several car reviews to develop a list of automobile technology trends. So what are they?
Herbie, Knight Rider, Total Recall, and Minority Reports are movies you may know. What do they have in common? They all have autonomous or self-driving vehicles. For movie buffs, it added to the excitement of the movie. We marveled at the imagination and creativity of producers.
But, autonomous vehicles are something that the automobile industry is working towards. Companies like Tesla, Nissan, Nuro, and GM are already making inroads. The impact of autonomous vehicles on the transport industry will be huge.
We can look forward to fewer accidents that arise from human error. Logistics will be more efficient due to fewer human issues like downtime or fatigue.
Incorporating artificial intelligence will equip the vehicles with enhanced capabilities. Such include identifying the best routes while avoiding obstacles.
Automobile companies are already investing in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality. And now it makes more sense because of the pandemic. Many people would rather keep away from showrooms. The same applies to test drives due to social distancing calls.
A virtual showroom provides a similar experience to the physical one. Companies like Porsche have an AR Visualizer app. Users can check out and test drive the latest models right from the comfort of their living rooms.
Honda recently launched a virtual showroom. Customers enjoy the digital exploration of their vehicles.
Connectivity and digitization will also ease the buying process. Buyers want the convenience of completing purchases online without visiting a showroom. For the business, it will lead to lower operational costs.
The move to digital advertising, for example, is cheaper than analog. Yet, the potential to reach a broad audience base is much higher.
The internet of things (IoT) has made significant inroads in smart homes. And now the automobile industry is incorporating it into the vehicles. Connected cars have communication capabilities with other IoT devices.
Users can send and receive data. They can also download software for better functionality. There is so much more to connected vehicles. You will no longer have to deal with inconveniences like finding parking spots. With the relevant apps, you will get timely communication on available slots.
The use of big data and analytics is critical for decision-making. It can help with predictive maintenance. Fleet owners can also use such information to manage the vehicles.
It results in higher efficiency. They can also get timely alerts in case of any accidents. Those in the production lines can use such data to come up with better products.
The internet of things allows for voice control capabilities in vehicles. It provides convenience and less distraction for the driver. Most smart homes already have such capabilities. Going forward, it may become a common feature in most vehicles.
No more fiddling with knobs to look for interesting content on the radio. Accessing information, streaming music, and control will only need a voice command. You can find such in Audi’s e-Tron, which uses Alexa voice assistant.
Modern customers are more demanding of sustainable practices. It is crucial to conserve the environment for future generations. The world can also not ignore the rapid depletion of fossil fuel reserves. Electric vehicles (EV) may very well be the solution we need.
Electric cars are not a new concept. Companies like Tesla already have products in the market. In 2017, China sold over half a million EVs. Within that year, customers bought over 1.1 electric vehicles.
But, the technology has still not reached a level where the masses can buy such vehicles. There are still issues that manufacturers must deal with. Such include faster charging and the production of higher-quality batteries.
There is a need for charging infrastructure if the vehicles hit a mass market. Such include setting up renewable energy charging grids. It will help take care of the demand while using natural energy resources.
The Jetsons cartoon may soon become a reality if the flying car trend takes root. Imagine how much time you would save in commuting if you own a flying vehicle. No more sitting in traffic jams for hours.
It may very well become something that we will see on our roads or is it air, very soon. Uber, in partnership with Bell Helicopter, is working on Nexus, a flying taxi concept.
The car can reach a speed of 150 mph and covers a range of 150 miles. It incorporates hybrid-electric capabilities as well as vertical take-off and landing capabilities.
The company projects that it will release Nexus in 2025. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it. It will be even more interesting to see how much the cab fare will cost.
3D printing is changing the automobile industry. An Italian startup, XEV, used the technology to mass-produce a vehicle in 2018. They worked in partnership with Polymaker, a Chinese 3D printing company.
The collaboration led to the release of the vehicle, LSEV. The electric hybrid car costs $7,500 and weighs 150 kilograms. A large percentage of the car other than glass, seats, and Chassis are 3D prints.
3D printing will help with rapid prototyping, design, and product testing. Manufacturers can also customize spare parts depending on what they need. Car manufacturers can also reduce their production costs by up to 70%. They can then pass on the benefits to the end consumer by availing cheaper cars.
We have looked at some of the top trends shaping automobile technology. Incorporating technology into vehicles will have so many benefits.
Autonomous cars, for example, will help increase safety by eliminating human errors.
Electric cars powered through solar systems can help with sustainability. Most of the trends are yet to hit the mass market. But, the automotive industry is working hard to bring them to fruition.
What we can only imagine right now may soon become a reality.