Over the past years, it seems like the automotive industry never ceases to amaze us in terms of innovation. New car models with the most revolutionary features and updates are released almost daily. As there are a multitude of technologies and innovations hitting it from all sides, the automotive industry is experiencing a continuous evolution.
Throughout history, compared with any other industry, the automotive sector has always been the most receptive when it comes to emerging technologies. Over time, technology has redefined the way cars are manufactured, the type of fuel they use, and the way vehicles are operated. Yet, innovation in the automotive sector doesn’t seem to stop here. Soon, we will be seeing the self-driving cars we only used to see in Sci-Fi movies on our roads.
If you want to know what’s in store for the evolution of the auto sector in the near future, here are 4 major technological innovations that will make cars look like a futuristic concept:
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1. Electric vehicles
These days, there is a lot of hype about electric vehicles. They are young and promising, and all eyes are on them as they are expected to be our world’s solution for long-term sustainability.
The electric car model which was believed to take electric cars mainstream was introduced in March 2016 called the Tesla Model 3. Since then, some of the most popular car makers have also poised to launch electric vehicles of their own.
Electric cars function in broadly the same way as vehicles that are powered by diesel, petrol or hydrogen. However, the fuel source is changed into a more environmentally-friendly option: rechargeable batteries.
Considering the increasingly stricter global emissions regulations, established car manufacturers have made aggressive commitments to reduce carbon emissions from their cars by increasing their production of electric vehicles.
Today, the electric vehicles market is huge in terms of production and daily innovations that are developed for electric cars. Yet, there is still a lot of room to grow for the market as, according to data, in 2018, there were only almost 3.3 million electric vehicles in use globally.
However, experts believe that the number of electric cars will significantly increase in the near future as our planet is dealing with more and more environmental concerns and people become more aware of it. And, it isn’t a surprise that electric vehicles are the environment saving vehicles.
2. Autonomous technology and self-driving systems
Self-driving cars used to be a futuristic concept only a decade ago. However, it won’t be long until we will be seeing cars that drive themselves on our roads. According to data from Statista, the US market is expected to be the first market that will see autonomous vehicles on its roads. However, experts also predict that China will be the leading market for autonomous cars by 2040.
Today’s modern cars have autonomous systems integrated into them from an autonomous emergency braking system to road-user interpretive software. Autonomous systems combine sensors and software to control and navigate the vehicle. There are multiple levels to define how autonomous a car can be from level 0 to level 5. And, while level 0 cars are entirely operated by humans, the level 5 cars are completely capable of self-driving no matter the situation.
How do self-driving cars really work? As mentioned before, self-driving cars feature multiple sensors and software which process all types of information involved in the process of driving from traffic to speed limits. Then, the software uses the information to send instructions to the autonomous systems of the vehicle be it acceleration, braking, and steering systems. Based on the movements of other road participants, be it other vehicles or pedestrians, the features of self-driving cars make intelligent decisions to either brake, avoid obstacles, speed up, or stop the vehicle.
One of the main advantages of self-driving cars, according to experts, is the fact that self-driving cars could, hypothetically, reduce the number of road accidents. Since autonomous systems are less error-prone than humans, there will be fewer vehicle crashes leading to deaths or disabling injuries among passengers.
3. Smart technologies
Struggling to talk on the phone while driving? Not anymore, thanks to today’s smart car technologies.
Cars have never been so fun and enjoyable before. Most modern cars are equipped with smart technologies such as Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto which allow users to enjoy all the functionalities of a smartphone without even having to pick one up. The good news is that as drivers will be able to interact with the interface of their vehicles, they will be less prone to get distracted while driving by their phones.
Moreover, smart car technologies also come with features such as Gesture control. So, basically, if you want to change the radio channel while driving, you won’t have to press any button, which can get you distracted from the road. All you have to do is to do a hand gesture and the system will perform the operation you want it to. For example, changing the volume will be represented by a circular motion of your hand, whereas answering or dismissing a phone call would require you to swipe your hand to the left or right.
4. Car-sharing apps
While car-sharing apps aren’t a feature that can be included in cars to make them more innovative, they are, however, an innovative concept that can have a huge impact on the automotive industry.
But how can car-sharing apps reshape the automotive industry? They will bring huge changes in how we define now “car ownership”. Today’s young generations have already embraced the idea of not owning a car but only use one as a service when you need it.
Theoretically, car-sharing apps pose a threat to the auto sector as the concept of car ownership is being redefined. Simply put, the fewer people want or need to own a car, the fewer vehicles are likely to be sold.
Ride-sharing technology may have been a great addition that facilitated the taxi industry. However, carmakers aren’t necessarily positive about this market. Taking the environmental benefits into consideration, the car-sharing concept is doing great for our environment. However, if there is anyone who certainly doesn’t appreciate this trend, that will be car manufacturers.