Today technologies have highly impacted the automotive industry, as digital transformation spreads across the world. Cars are slowly turning into our new tech accessories. Our sci-fi movie visions seem to get closer to reality each year.
Of course, this is mostly driven by the growing expectations of modern consumers. Once features like Wi-Fi connectivity in your car, were way too much to ask for. However, today there are not only Wi-Fi-equipped cars, but they have become IoT devices, which connect with the environment and with each other. Ten years ago this sounded like a scene from the movie “Back to the Future”.
What is more, today we are looking for even more compelling features for our cars and they depend largely on contemporary software development. According to a recent report vehicle software currently generates annual revenues of $280 billion a year, but the need for advanced safety features will increase this to the impressive $1.2 trillion a year by 2030.
Automotive companies are trying to keep their customers satisfied by implementing emerging technologies to their products and enhancing their services. This brings brand new trends to the industry all the time. Automotive software developers need to consider each one of them and constantly adjust their efforts, in order to keep up with the market, as electronics and software have now joined the group of main differentiating factors among vehicle manufacturers.
In this post we’ve gathered the top 9 trends shaping the automotive and mobility industry at the moment, so let’s get to the point and explore them:
We’re now quite used to seeing sensors that help monitor a vehicle’s surroundings. However, a brand new wave of sensor startups bring cameras into the car to monitor drivers and collect data on passengers to assist just them.
New driver monitoring systems are being implemented. They use in-cabin cameras and computer vision technology to detect the condition of the driver and measure fatigue or distraction by tracking gaze, eye openness, and blink rate. Furthermore, there are such sensors that will automate seat adjustments, lighting or temperature to reflect on specific preferences.
Vehicle To Everything (V2X)
Vehicle-to-everything has been a topic of conversation to many auto-making giants, like Ford and Audi, for example. This is a technology that provides a much fuller picture of a vehicle’s surroundings than the traditional sensors like radars or cameras, allowing a vehicle to detect all connected objects that surround it.
A cellular V2X (C-V2X) approach has already been presented. It relies on high-speed cellular networks that have been optimized especially for automotive applications, rather than short-range communications, designed for lower speed radio communications.
In fact, Ford has already announced that it would deploy C-V2X in all of its new US vehicle models by 2022.
Faster Mobility Data
The new solutions we talked about above create not only new opportunities, but they also generate a lot more data. Sensor fusion technology delivers the solution for intelligent management of all data coming from sensors in a modern car.
As we mentioned above, there are new ways of connectivity created each year. Presently, the Internet of Things is catching speed. This connectivity is important not only for improved safety but the fundamental principles of the automotive industry. Still the more connected out vehicles are, the more data is generated.
Processing all the automotive information enables mobility companies and automotive moguls to implement new services around various segments including predictive maintenance.
Less Hype around Full Autonomy
Most of the modern vehicles utilize some form of electrification. Actually, Mercedes is developing ten new electric models that are expected to arrive by 2025. This shows us that the focus on autonomy is shifted back to electrification.
Automakers and OEMs highlight new technology designed to increase the vehicle’s energy efficiency and range length becomes a priority. The idea of optimizing electric vehicles is the main point, leaving autonomous driving aside, at least for now.
A Multimodal Mobility
Uber’s flying taxi concept, provides the most impressive vehicle at the moment – a flying car called Nexus. It boasts a range of 150 miles, with speed reaching up to 150 mph, as well as vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities. Pretty futuristic, right? What’s more, Nexus is a hybrid-electric flying vehicle. It’s expected to be released in 2025.
On the other hand, micro-mobility gained great popularity over the past year. Personal electric vehicles have become many people’s preferred means of transport. E-scooters are a trend that started last year and is still going strong. Even giants like Ford have developed their small electric vehicles.
The future of auto is definitely uncertain. That’s why some manufacturers presented their multi-purpose concept vehicles, following Toyota’s example. They can be converted to carry people and deliver items.
Last year Mercedes came out with its Vision URBANETIC. That’s a concept vehicle, which is fully autonomous and fully electric. Its body can be swapped out to carry up to 12 people or transport 550 pounds of delivery goods. Such vehicles could become useful or not, but however, this concept is now a trend among car manufacturers.
A voice control technology could provide a distraction-free way to access information, stream music, and control the vehicle’s interior, which makes it especially relevant for automotive. In fact, Audi has presented its new e-Tron SUV, which has Amazon’s Alexa built into the console display. Such a voice assistant could help the driver interact with the vehicle’s features without moving their hands from the steering wheel.
Nevertheless, other car manufacturers preferred to create their own voice assistant, rather than implementing an existing one. They are designed to control different parts of the vehicle such as temperature and lighting, in addition to serving as a paperless owner manual and a resource for monitoring vehicle health.
Cars Are Becoming Digital Platforms
With technological improvements such as IoT or voice and gesture recognition, manufacturers are now designing new generation cockpits, which offer new types of content and enable in-vehicle commerce.
Modern cars could also have an in-vehicle digital wallet, that enable driver and passengers to purchase items directly from their car. This technology is set to streamline payment processing for everyday purchases, such as coffee or gas.
The emerging technologies and requirements of the shorter time-to-market process have made manufacturers invest in next-generation smart factories. That way they can produce cars fast, standardized and error-free across multiple locations throughout the world.
Modeling, digitization, and automation are some of the technologies these factories use to provide a more flexible and stable manufacturing process. In fact, automation and robotics in manufacturing are now a general enterprise trend as they’re useful in industries like supply chain logistics, quality control or maintenance.
The Future Is Now
Each year comes with fresh innovations for the automotive and mobility industry. Automotive vehicles are finding their use cases and cars are becoming highly personalized. These are our top 9 trends that are shaping the future of automotive.
Some of the listed trendy innovations are still a work in progress, but will for sure make their impact on our daily lives in the very near future. Improved safety and user convenience is what manufacturers are mostly looking forward to providing to modern customers.