It is safe to say that the world of automotive is changing and its most rapid pace in history. With autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, digital retailing and the general IoT (Internet of Things), automotive looks vastly different today than it did 10 years ago and is destined to look even more different 10 years from now.
So, what are the technology trends that are driving this rapid change? Here is a look at what has changed and will continue to change automotive in coming years.
Autonomous vehicle technology started finding its way into cars several years ago with features like adaptive cruise control and emergency brake assist. Now we have vehicles that will park themselves and perform other limited self-driving tasks.
Although we have had this technology for a long time, it is uncertain as to how ready the general public is to accept fully-automated machines. As the technology continues to develop and the infrastructure grows to support it, however, we can expect that autonomous vehicles will grow in public favor to become mainstream in daily life.
Battery technology has long been the biggest downside to electric vehicles. Nobody wanted to drive a vehicle that took all day to charge and would only go 100 miles. Fortunately for EV’s, that is all changing rapidly. With Tesla leading the way, manufacturers are aggressively developing batteries that will charge in 1-2 hours and provide a range of 300+ miles.
As this technology continues to improve, we can expect that more of the vehicles on the road will be sporting an electric plug instead of a fuel door.
This buzzword is just about all that any of the reports from the recent NADA convention was talking about. Digital retailing involves the ability to complete part, or all of a vehicle transaction online. Companies like Carvana have proven that some buyers are ready to make the leap to buying a car site-unseen, but the rest of the industry has some catching up to do.
Look for digital retailing to become a bigger part of retailing and for more dealers to adopt processes that allow consumers to buy online.
In much the way Uber has changed the face of Taxi services, there is a movement within automotive retailing that is pushing away from ownership and toward a subscription-based ownership model. The concept of owning (or even leasing) a single vehicle for several years might become a thing of the past. This is especially true as autonomous vehicles gain more traction.
As buyers become less attached to their vehicles, the subscription-based model might become more popular than ownership.
AI and Analytics
Behind all of these technologies above is a high level of data, machine-learning and artificial intelligence (AI). For many years now, the automotive industry has gotten very good at collecting data. So much data that most of it is not even usable with current technology.
As AI continues to evolve, look for a greater amount of this data to get utilized in helping to create a more connected, autonomous world for cars and their supporting ecosystems.
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