The automotive industry was certainly not exempt from the effects of the global pandemic — from disruptions in the supply chain to radical shifts in consumer sentiments. With all these implications in mind, the industry is ripe for change. Evidently, we’re seeing more manufacturers prioritizing consumer convenience, innovation, and sustainability. So below, we have enumerated some trends that are shaping the future of the car industry as a whole:
It’s no secret that private cars are major contributors of carbon emissions. In response to the climate crisis, many car manufacturers have been shifting their focus to electric vehicles — a viable alternative to petrol cars.
In the past, electric cars were inaccessible to the average citizen due to their high cost to produce. For one, electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries (just like the ones in smartphones). Within each cell are cathodes, which manufacturers require net ties for to meet PCB design requirements. This is what enables the batteries to operate and disperse energy. Indeed, it is an elaborate process that drives up expenses for electric vehicles. Fortunately, there are now more budget-friendly options on the market that are just as reliable and modern. Some examples include the 2020 Kia Niro EV (priced at $39,090) and the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt (priced at $36,620).
Autonomous cars have been in the works for some years now. The technology for level 5 autonomy in cars (basically, a car that can complete a journey without any human input) is progressing quickly. These cars use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to process data from sensors to decide which course of action to take next. At present, the closest we have is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. With a Car-to-X system, it warns other similar models on the road of potential road hazards or slippery roads. However, the actual testing to improve the algorithms is still ongoing, and we have yet to see self-driving cars hit the mainstream. Nonetheless, the autonomous vehicle industry is still expected to be worth about $556 billion by 2026.
Vehicle connectivity, such as V2G and V2V, is important to autonomous driving, also making it a defining automotive trend. Research on 6G is also underway, and it involves high-frequency terahertz waves to make data transmission speed much faster than 5G. But what will make connectivity revolutionary is the use of OTA in software-defined vehicles. Because more software for advanced safety, convenience, and user experience features are added to the car, OTA will enable OEMs to update the software — the way you would update apps on your smartphone.
There is always a demand for spare parts, with the most in-demand parts being tires, side view mirrors, and tail lamps. In line with this, there’s also a rising need to optimize production and streamline supply chains and logistics. 3D printing could be the solution, as it can be used to produce parts efficiently and quickly. 3D printing makes on-demand production possible and is also more cost-effective, as you can produce your own parts rather than rely on third parties.