Like in many industries, technology has worked hand in hand with the automotive sector to revive a machine that once simply transported us from point A to point B. Now we have heated seats, internal SAT NAVs and assisted parking to make our driving journeys into an experience.
Over the next few years we should expect to see more sophisticated technology fuelling all types of vehicles. From self-driving cars, to electrified vehicles, those once outlandish ideas are now becoming a reality. Keep reading as we explore a little into the future of the automotive industry.
- Autonomous vehicles
Whilst the US is already on its way to a future filled with driverless cars, the UK is playing catch up – it is expected to have autonomous vehicles on the road by late 2021. The potential for driverless cars is exciting. Tesla, for example planned to roll out 10,000 ‘robo-taxis’ by the end of 2019, but the pandemic halted production. For other manufacturers, the pandemic has inspired an entirely new design concept, toying with the idea of cars being used to collect groceries, thereby limiting social contact.
However, as these cars do not require drivers, but rely on sophisticated software to navigate the roads, there are a number of safety and ethical concerns to be addressed, particularly involving accidents and who would be liable.
- More models
We’re seeing more of the country choosing vehicle leasing over buying, where you rent a car for a fixed period and then exchange it for a newer model or a different brand altogether. To keep up, the automotive industry is shortening the model cycle from 5-10 years to 1-2 years, which is usually the length of a modern day lease. With this arrangement, manufacturers are able to keep up with the demands of technology and drivers are satisfied with the hi-tech specifications of their upgraded vehicle.
- Electric vehicles
The ban on any new petrol and diesel cars has been brought forward to 2030, which means our roads are getting closer to reducing air and noise pollution by vehicles. It also means electric cars are becoming much more sophisticated in responding to all our needs. Before, we may have seen a push for electric cars in cities with high congestion, such as London, but with more charging stations around the country as well as cars with longer battery life, these vehicles are becoming more desirable to a much broader range of drivers.
- Multi-functioning cars
As drivers licences are declining at a rate of 40% amongst young people in the UK, research suggests these drivers are looking for vehicles with more than one use. For example, having the ability to take up a ‘side hustle’ as a delivery driver after their daily commute to their office job.
Car-sharing is also becoming highly popular, particularly in areas where single use vehicles are discouraged. In the future, we could see more station based car sharing, where you collect and return a vehicle at a designated location for the next driver to make use of.
- Interactive interfaces
Much like interactive smart-home assistants, in the future we should expect our cars to be controlled by our voices, making for a much more enjoyable driving experience. This could include anything from voice-activated temperature control to engine starting. We should also expect to see our voice assistants provide support with parking as well as traffic management suggestions.
There are lots of exciting opportunities that technology will continue to provide the automotive industry. If you too would like to be part of shaping the future of this industry, then an automotive course with Walsall College could put you in the driving seat to your future career.
Apply now to secure your place for September. See our Automotive courses.