One of the industries where industrial and tech sectors have to work together to produce amazing products that we need and use on a daily basis is definitely the automotive industry. With the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, such as AI and big data and analytics, the automotive sector has improved in leaps and bounds and there is no sign this trend will slow down any time soon. On the contrary, we can rightfully expect even more breakthroughs. While it might be difficult to hazard a guess when it comes to long-term future, we can predict with great certainty what the nearest future has in store. So, what is it?
AI-based autonomous vehicles are now the most interesting project in the industry. They don’t require drivers and rely on sensors and software for navigation and control. The rationale behind this invention is to reduce the need for human drivers and make transport easy and people are slowly starting to accept the idea, though the number of such vehicles is still very small, but big players, such as Tesla and Google, are really pushing the limits of autonomous cars.
While you couldn’t imagine buying a car without actually visiting a dealership store and taking it for a test drive, the current pandemic has significantly impacted the way cars are bought. Namely, many modern dealerships have focused on online car selling, offering provisions starting from virtual tours to secure checkout, online financial options and return policies. While the number of prospective buyers happy with this change is still relatively small, it is expected to rise in 2021.
Car manufacturers are trying to create fantastic products in every sense of that word. They want their cars to be both reliable and attractive, as well as to provide the best possible performances. However, that is not possible, since the technology is developing very fast and by the time a new model is launched, some development has already been created, which can further improve the performance of appearance of the model. One such example is a modern exhaust muffler created by specialists in the field, with an aim to provide maximum power and minimum sound level. This example may indicate that we’ll be seeing more and more customized cars in 2021 due to the availability of parts with improved performance.
Needless to say, the increase in fossil fuel rate and the damage to the environment caused by their use has shifted the automotive industry outlook to electric vehicles. With cars contributing to around 15% of carbon emissions and depleting precious fossil fuel reserves, it’s no surprise that electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. For example, in August 2020, there were over 1.6 million electric vehicles on the US road, which is exponentially higher than the expected 1.4 million by 2024. On the other hand, for greater adoption and people’s acceptance, electric vehicles need to come up with solutions on high price, poor battery, inadequate charging infrastructure, fleet electrification and renewable energy-based charging grids, but we can be quite certain that technological development will manage the cope with all these obstacles.
With the automotive industry developing at such a high rate, there is an increasing demand for new vehicles and spare parts. Not only that, but the thirst for newer, better performing vehicles and the need to optimize production and streamline supply chains and logistics are also spiking. Again, technology is the one to provide the solution. In this case, it’s 3D printing, which is being explored across all areas of automotive production. Apart from its extensive use for rapid prototyping, it is also heavily involved in production of tools and end parts.
These are just some of the changes we’re going to see in the automotive industry this year. Naturally, many more will occur and a great majority of them will be due to technology and its advancements. In a nutshell, this is a very exciting period for the automotive industry and the main catalyst of these welcome changes is technology.