From today’s scenarios, it is quite clear what the users are looking for in a car. They value convenience and ease over anything. See how gladly we have accepted complex smartphones. Who could imagine people will be creating videos, editing images and posting stories on their own to express themselves? Nowadays, we are accustomed to using these complex social media platforms without any trouble and we are open to better technological changes.
These similar values are now guiding the automobile industry. The automobile industry shapes our societies and is no more just a social commodity. It is much more! People today consider their automobiles as a part of their personalities. They are looking for something more personal, enjoyable and safer. In this article, I would like to discuss such trends in the car industry and highlight the future of automobiles.
The Electric Car
Electric cars are becoming more and more popular in every industry today. According to iea.org, in 2020 there were more than 10 million electric cars on the road. Despite the pandemic, the registration for electric cars increased in major markets. In 2020, about 3 million electric cars were registered and Europe took the lead with 1.4 million new registrations followed by China with 1.2 million registrations.
One of the main reasons for a sudden increase in the number of registrations for electric cars in Europe is the increasing amount of Carbon-Dioxide emissions in their environment. Moreover, the European governments have increased subsidy schemes on electric vehicles to counter the effects of the pandemic. In China, the car market was impacted by the pandemic and therefore saw a 9% decrease in registrations.
The future however is expected to be much brighter for the electric car industry. This is because nations are actively working towards lessening their carbon footprint.
The Autonomous Car
The future is self-driven! The automotive industry is looking forward to climate-friendly, budget-friendly, self-driving, autonomous cars. The process of development of self-driving cars will be done in stages. At first, cars will be developed to drive on their own and then the next step would be 100% autonomy. There will be cameras and sensors that will act as human eyes allowing the vehicle to make the navigation decisions on its own.
However, this would not be the only place where all the budgets of 2021 would go. This is because the pandemic has caused major changes in the economies of the world. As per the reports, Google, Apple and Tesla, the tech giants will be working to create autonomous cars but we do not expect anything much shortly. Reports also suggest that companies like Uber and Lyft have developed business plans regarding autonomous vehicles and are waiting for the technology to dive into the common man’s life.
The Connected Cars
Another big focus of automobile engineers in 2021 would be connected cars. But what does that mean? You can turn on and off your car with your smartphone. The vehicle will report any problems like oil leaks, or other service requirements on its own. Connected cars will be able to communicate with other vehicles through a network and trigger important information such as traffic, location, weather, service stations, condition of the vehicle et cetera.
There are discussions that connected cars will also be able to communicate with infrastructure such as roads and buildings sharing the essential information. The vehicle will be able to find the available parking spaces or locate an address on its own with the help of technology.
Another major improvement of connected cars is that the vehicle will be able to protect against accidents and collisions which are quite common in the cities these days. Also, there will be media, entertainment, and WiFi for the passengers in these connected cars. This means you can stay connected with the world, answer your emails or facetime a friend while you reach your destination.
Better designs and materials
The manufacturers are not only working on the functionality of cars but also on their design and materials. It is expected that all the hardware and software of cars will be designed again with better quality. For instance, cars will have cameras, sensors and computers. They will be made of lightweight materials and will be efficiently designed to reduce pollution and increase safety.
If you do not know, the automobile industry is the third-largest industry to spend money on research and development, behind healthcare and software & electronics. The car manufacturers are constantly looking for materials that can help in achieving the key objectives of the automobile industry. From steel being the only material, the engineers are now switching to magnesium, titanium, carbon fibre, cotton, and flax. Many manufacturers are including natural fibres in creating the interiors of cars.
We are already familiar with the shared services of the car industry. In many big cities, car services like commuting or shared cab services can be ordered from anywhere. Shared cars are not only economical but an easy-to-commute option in the busy life of city people. But, there is one condition to it. The car must be in your surrounding area. However, the future expects the on-demand service of cars no matter where they are located.
According to a report by PWC, there could be three different manifestations of car sharing: online car-sharing companies will create driving communities, online platforms will act as brokers and will offer journeys in private cars, and there will be better taxi companies offering their services via smartphone applications.
Life in urban cities is growing more and more cumbersome these days. Cities are growing at a fast pace, leaving less space for people. Jennifer, who offers assignment help Sydney. for automobile engineering students says, “parking spaces are a matter of concern in most metropolitan areas where people have no place to park their cars. Therefore, people are more inclined towards sharing cars rather than buying cars. Moreover, the car manufacturing firms have also noticed a similar trend and are hence trying to alter their business models.”
In short, the future of the car industry seems to be full of surprises. While we want to experience self-driving cars conquering the roads, the world also demands more eco-friendly cars. As the technology of machine learning and the internet of things will evolve we can expect autonomous cars to be a new trend very soon. We must also expect more sustainable cars with eco-friendly materials to be used in their manufacturing.