Many people are opting for overhauling public transportation or riding bikes over buying a new car every few years, which means that the auto industry needs to adapt to some of the reasons behind these decisions or become obsolete. With advances in technology across industries, automakers are putting out new designs embracing everything from alternative fuels to connectivity with a focus on environmentally friendly comfort.
Electric vehicles are more popular in Europe than in the US, but that does not mean that American automakers are sitting this one out. More designs, and more affordable ones, are hitting the market every year in electric vehicles with improvements to battery life, speed and power as well as luxury comfort levels. Taking blueprint classes can help you understand how these vehicles are being improved each year and where the technology is headed in the future.
Many countries and cities are banning the sale of petroleum powered vehicles to try and reduce carbon emissions from roadways, it is still unclear how these bans will affect hybrid vehicles, making manufacturers uneasy about investing in this technology. Many companies are still improving the hybrids they have introduced or introducing new models with better range and lower price points. These hybrids offer incredible mileage, and many can be plugged in to charge as well as using gasoline to recharge the batteries, giving drivers more choices for refueling.
Trucks and SUVs
Automakers with popular SUV lines are adding trucks based off those models and vice versa, giving consumers more choices with the vehicles they love. For instance, Jeep is launching a pickup truck based on the popular Wrangler model and Hyundai is hinting at a compact pickup truck with many features standard in the Santa Fe SUV. New offerings in trucks and SUVs are focusing on increased mileage and comfort, blending the best parts of both vehicle classes.
Customizing interiors is becoming easier than ever with some companies offering vegan friendly options for seat coverings or smart glass instead of sun visors which adjust the amount of interior light with the push of a button. The customization does not stop there, however, with movable seats and consoles that can easily be reconfigured for car camping, luggage space and leg room. Mirrors will gradually be replaced with cameras which have a smaller profile and larger range of sight to eliminate blind spots for drivers.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, IOT, refers to connectivity between devices with no human-to-computer or computer-to-computer interfaces. In terms of the changing auto industry, IOT means upgrades designed to ease the world into driverless vehicles such as upgraded road signs sending distance and speed information to the vehicle’s sensors, and tire sensors letting infrastructure maintenance crews know road conditions and needed repairs. This can help improve traffic conditions and reduce fuel consumption as well as wear and tear on the vehicle.
More technology does not necessarily mean more safety features, it can take some time for that part of the equation to catch up, most of the safety features in vehicles are standard across the industry and improved gradually over the years. Cameras instead of mirrors, backup cameras and better connectivity to emergency services are important to safety. The leading cause of accidents is distracted or impaired drivers, with the main distraction being the use of cell phones. Automakers are taking these things into account by connecting more phone functions to the vehicle, adding better voice commands and easier to adjust buttons, and giving warnings to the driver when obstacles are detected. Some have even put automatic braking options, center line detection and drowsy driver warnings into models on the current market.
The technology and attitudes around the auto industry are changing more rapidly in this century than they have in the past, forcing automakers to catch up with innovative models featuring customization, connectivity and alternative fuel sources. Learning about these new and future innovations can help you choose your next vehicle, get a job in the industry or gain confidence in the safety of the road.