With the advent of the new decade, people are looking forward to new technologies becoming available and making our lives easier. While we don’t have the flying cars that were predicted by this time by 20th-century novelists, there is still a lot of change and innovation taking place in the automotive industry. Some of the changes are already visible and predictable to the modern consumer, yet other trends may be more surprising and unexpected. We want to take a look at these exciting new directions.
1. Autonomous vehicles
Also known as self-driving cars, autonomous vehicles are already here. They are not available to consumers just yet, but various tech and manufacturing companies (like Tesla, Uber, Waymo) are working hard to make it a reality. Notably, some Tesla cars have an autopilot mode installed, which successfully drives, steers, and brakes the car on the road. However, this feature requires drivers to still keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel, while fully-autonomous vehicles will allow the driver to relax and do something else while the car is driving.
Companies like Ridecell, Vulog, and Drivezy are paving the way for a completely new way of car rental known as carsharing. Unlike traditional car rental, carsharing is a mobility solution with no time restrictions. This means that a car can be rented for just a few hours instead of the whole day, and there is no requirement to deliver it to a rental office within its business hours. Usually, such services are accessible to users through mobile apps, so they can find a car nearby with just a few taps on their smartphone.
3. More user freedom
Traditionally, car models were bought as they were designed, and offered the same driving experience to all, unless parts were replaced. Now, the industry is moving towards more dependence on data-driven solutions, including solutions tailored to consumers. Many new models (especially high-end ones) are providing drivers with more freedom than ever to customize their driving experience, from personalized temperature controls, to smartphone management, to dozens of other features developed by automakers.
4. Internet integration
Long gone are the days when your travel route needed to be printed out on paper and diligently followed. Drivers have now gotten used to applications on their smartphone accompanying them on their travels, but the apps have the drawback of offering very little personalization or integration with the car. Thankfully, automakers have caught on to the issue, and started building user interfaces into cars which help the user not only make the right turns, but also address their personal requests and requests pertaining to their cars, such as the closest suitable repair shop, gas/charging station, information about performance improvements, and a wide variety of other tailored suggestions.
5. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Although these technologies are still in their early stages of adoption by consumers, automakers have already started leveraging their visualization capabilities for the convenience of customers. For example, several notable brands like Audi and BMW provide augmented reality smartphone apps that let users not only see the car they want to buy from all angles, but also customize it with different colors, parts, and features.