The automobile industry is an incredibly fast-growing one. Only a century and a half ago, automobile vehicles were not a common household item, unlike today.
Over the years, cars have become cheaper, more durable, comfortable, and user-friendly. Keeping up with current and emerging trends in the automobile industry can be beneficial for a lot of people.
Why Should You Be Aware of New Technologies?
Students who are confused about choosing their field of study or research, people applying for jobs, and entrepreneurs looking to invest in start-ups. All these people can benefit from knowledge about the recent technological developments.
These technologies in the automobile industries end up forming sub-industries and creating a lot of jobs. The scope of emergent technologies is usually very huge. The people that gauge it and invest accordingly end up becoming millionaires or even billionaires,
That is not to say everyone initially investing in new technologies will necessarily earn a lot. It depends a lot on how the technologies are utilized, marketed, and how their demand plays out. Let us take a look at a few technologies that have shown incredible potential.
Self-driving cars are currently being produced in prototypes. Like auto-pilot, self-driving cars eliminate the need for a person to control the mechanics of a car. This eliminates any accidents caused by human error. In the future, it will make the roads a safer place. Right now, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being applied to control car mechanics.
Sensory systems are installed to guide the car one when to slow down and speed up. However, any prototype can not be sent on the roads and driven at normal speed. They will have to be driven very slowly to maintain a safe braking distance.
Technology has been developed that actually predicts pedestrian behavior and increases the safety of self-driving cars. These algorithms are already being practically used in delivering food to peoples’ homes.
Additive manufacturing is a form of 3-D printing. This involved adding layers of material to build the prototype. It allows car manufacturers to perform rapid prototyping and even have custom spare parts made at a short notice.
This has the added benefit of being a zero-waste method of prototyping that allows manufacturers to make lightweight parts to go into automobiles.
Companies like 9T Labs have done extensive research on 3-D printing for car parts. The material used in 3-D printing is lighter, cheaper, has better longevity and its mechanical structure is more stable.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things basically refers to daily use objects that are now embedded with microchips and sensors. They can connect to the internet and form a network of sorts. They have the capability to communicate data and information to each other and perform functions accordingly.
In the automobile industry, IoT allows vehicles to communicate with other vehicles. It is even used in the communication of internal components within a single car.
Much like cell phones and other devices can be tracked through their IMEI numbers, nowadays, vehicles come with a digital identity as well. This helps in maintaining an entire network of cars and keeps track of factors like traffic and driver safety. Some cards even allow you to make bank transactions through them!
Companies like V2X Network are working to increase user data safety and privacy on car networks to safeguard against hacks.
Big Data & Data Analytics
Cars now have the capability to collect a lot of different types of data about their usage. This data comes from thousands and millions of cars that naturally need special computers to store and process it. Data warehouses and marts are usually used to process data of this caliber. This kind of data is known as ‘Big Data’.
It allows manufacturers to make improvements in future car designs. Different issues drivers face are solved and a new prototype model is produced for testing.
Electric cars, although not a new concept, have a lot more potential to be developed and popularized. There are a lot of environmental issues that require this development directly as well. With the depleting reservoirs of oil and gas threatening to run out, sustainable technologies are very much needed.
Electric cars are a much greener solution to the unprecedented amounts of pollutants produced by regular petrol or diesel-run cars. Electric cars are run on batteries or fuel cells.
Companies like Tesla and Nissan are leading manufacturers of electric cars. Companies like ZJ Beny are manufacturing EV Charging stations. These can even be installed in people’s homes and charge the EV.
Solar-powered cars actually have panels installed on the roof of the car and work on electricity converted from sunlight in real-time.
There is also a battery installed to save energy so the car can be used at night time when there is no sunlight. This technology is possibly the closest to a zero-carbon method of automobile transportation that has been developed.
There are so many different fields that can be potentially applied to the automotive industry. These technologies actually improve cost and time efficiency in producing these vehicles. It even improves the user-friendliness of the final product.
However, the main aim should be sustainability and green automobiles. More research needs to be done to popularize and make electric cars easily accessible.