The mobility sector has experienced numerous innovations over the past century. But as we head into the next decade, the automotive industry will endure a considerable amount of technological advancements.
Cars have not only transformed the global economy, but our lives in general. From the millions of jobs that the manufacturing industry creates to the latent services that it provides, the potential behind it is infinite.
So there is no limit as to the ways this sector can influence us. Yet the consensus is that there is a lot more to come.
We are the brink of an automotive revolution.
Technological interventions such as electronic stability systems and infotainment systems have incredibly altered the driving experience. But in forthcoming years, we will be witness to more radical changes.
At a glance, the mobility of the future will aim to become much easier, more flexible, and more sustainable.
So what can we expect? Here are just a few ideas that have recently entered the mainstream:
1. Cars as a service
With the rise in traffic congestion and the availability of rising ride-sharing options, people now have alternates to automobile ownership.
Trends are indicating that the younger generation is interested in cheaper and more convenient ride-booking services. Hence the fame of businesses such as Uber and Lyft! In fact, 28% of companies are exploring shared mobility models for readily available “on-demand” services.
Yes, Millennials and Gen Z indeed think more about experiences and less about ownership. Moreover, transportation is more accessible because a driver's license isn’t required.
Above all, it’s also a more affordable option since customers only need to pay small amounts per use rather than a substantial amount upfront. Plus, this generation is more sensitive about environmental issues.
But this does not necessarily mean that the next generation will not purchase or lease cars.
Just like any other business, the automotive industry realizes that in order to snag as many customers as possible, they will need to provide products that align with the customer’s needs.
So it’s all about creating a vehicle that supports environmentalism yet delivers all the features for a luxurious ride. And yes, we know how much these youngsters crave comfort!
2. Boost online experience
Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to carry out transactions online than any other generation. These influential tech-savvy consumers are forcing companies to rethink how they engage with their customers.
As the auto industry is yet again catering to their needs, online vehicle purchasing is slowly entering the arena. Lincoln, Infiniti, and Lexus are utilizing immersive technology to promote the car-buying process. They aim at developing a virtual experience that literally puts the person behind the wheel.
But more importantly, the-car buying process depends significantly on the level of trust between the customer and the auto dealer.
As digital dealerships focus on this aspect initially, customers will pick up on this trend sooner than later. The freedom and ease of buying cars and making payments online substantially speed up the entire process.
Currently, only 7% stated that they would purchase their vehicle online and 5% via a mobile app, quotes thinknow.com. However, they also said that individuals with higher incomes (+$80K) are more likely to purchase vehicles online.
3. The buying process
Cars manufacturers once used to market vehicles solely for ownership. That included either cash payments or finance through loans. Recently, we’ve seen a rise in leasing. And with CaaS, ownership is still questionable.
But those who still value this option have continued the process onto the digital platform. Online banking has been around for quite some time. But with the backing of blockchain and cryptocurrency, there will be a considerable change in the way transactions are carried out.
As of yet, there is still enormous scope for both businesses and consumers in the flexible environment that crypto transactions are offering. This lies in the fact that Millennials are leaders in cryptocurrency adoption (17%), followed by Gen X (9%) and Boomers (2%).
4. Safer for the environment
Trends are indicating a rise in the demand for sustainable cars. Hence, we’ve already seen the incorporation of the hybrids and electric vehicles. Jabil.com stated that automakers are prioritizing growth strategies to prepare themselves for future trends. 48% are already working on developing fully electric cars.
Elon Musk has merely nudged the market in this direction with Tesla. But the coming years are sure to focus more on enhancing EV models. Priorities include reducing battery costs, improving battery capacity, and reducing the cost of designing and building EVs.
But with very low levels of harmful substances from exhaust fumes and practically no noise, it has proven to be a more eco-friendly option. And as the supply of nonrenewable resources continues to decline, this is the future of the mobility sector.
The concern, however, remains on the production of electricity that is used to charge these vehicles. Efforts must focus on ensuring a complete CO2-neutral mobility solution and developing infrastructure to support mass charging.
5. Autonomous mobility
What if no one needed to drive?
Well, this seems plausible now more than ever. With the rapid progress in AI and ML, autonomous cars are just around the corner.
There is already a demand for vehicles that provide a reprieve from mundane activities such as driving. And the integration of the latest hardware and software will instigate newer developments.
Emerging technologies are creating a whole new experience. But aspects such as liability challenges, cybersecurity issues, and safety concerns need to be resolved before autonomous vehicles enter the mainstream. With that, the future of commercial autonomous-vehicle (AV) taxi services seems bright.
6. Connected cars
Innovative technology such as IoT and 5G networks will soon facilitate connectivity between vehicles and their surroundings.
Autonomous vehicles will rely on effective communication among connected cars. Therefore it is essential that the design and engineering of various models promote the capture and use of real-time data, such as relative speed, road conditions, and other factors.
Whether it’s related to traffic delays or maintenance issues with the car, the information will be readily available. Decisions on what to do next will be taken automatically. So a detour or an appointment for car service will be made accordingly.
But it’s not only cars that are communicating through V2V technology. Drivers and passengers will need to interact with others as well. Currently, many are looking forward to the change that connectivity will bring to the mobility sector.
The automotive sector will continue to exhibit unprecedented changes in the coming years. The rate of innovation within this industry is picking up rather quickly.
At the moment, we are already exposed to technologies encompassing electrified, autonomous, and connected mobility features.
And with rising consumer expectations and newer technological advancements entering the industry, it’s only natural that the novel ideas pick up greater momentum. Automotive companies are already thinking beyond providing traditional services.
So the question now is, are you prepared for the revolution?