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Top Automotive Trends In 2019: A Year Of Wows And Woes

This year, according to Forbes, will be a combination of wows and woes. Automotive technologies will be fresh, exciting and innovative but the uncertainties caused by Brexit, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and China taking its foot off the growth accelerator will threaten to throw a spoke in the wheel. We’re likely to see the fall of an automotive giant, the (near) extinction of a car segment that has long defined the popular vision of the automotive industry, a windfall for the titans of new mobility, and much, much more technology-driven disruption. But before that, watch out for the convergence of connected, autonomous, safety and electric technologies as they create three critical platforms—electric, digital, and electronic—that will form the building blocks for autonomous vehicle development. Amidst widespread change in vehicle systems and architecture, get ready for improved diagnostics and vehicle health monitoring, streamlined electrical power systems, redundant braking and steering systems, enhanced ease of use, better human machine interface (HMI) and infotainment features, superior cybersecurity modules and the growing redundancy of electronic control units (ECUs).

  • Internet Of Things (IoT) And AI Unleash Transformation: IoT and AI technologies will continue to revolutionize the automotive sector, driving unprecedented transformations across vehicle and device connectivity, autonomous driving, electric powertrains, and shared mobility. Think of your vehicle becoming a mini-office with your in-vehicle personal digital assistant making the driving experience safer, more productive, and less fraught.
  • A Connected Environment With Features On Demand: A connected vehicle ecosystem is closer than we imagine. From powertrains and advanced driver assistance systems to connected services and smart interiors, cars are becoming more connected both internally and externally. Business models—ranging from freemium where connected features are offered either as a demo, charged one off or are subscription based to short and long term subscriptions with one time, monthly and yearly payment models—will evolve to keeping pace with this highly networked and connected environment. Just check out Audi’s new eTron launch strategy of offering an à lacarte menu of options where you can buy connected car features on demand.
  • Autonomous Shuttles And Taxis Zoom Closer To Reality:Forget all those sci fi films. The day is not far when you’ll be hopping into an autonomous shuttle or a self-flying taxi in the real world. Car manufacturers, mobility service providers and autonomous technology companies are furiously pushing to be the first to debut their vision of autonomous shared transportation.
Despite growth in EV and hybrid vehicles, don’t count out petrol powertrains just yet. Advances in petrol engine technology will further affect already beleaguered diesel powertrains but will facilitate the transition to alternative fuels. And finally, charging technologies will make a quick dash to catch up with advances in EV technologies. While BEVs will move toward 350kW+ DC charging, PHEVs will start 50kW+ DC charging. As Combined Charging System (CCS+) technology becomes standard, fast charging EV charging stations will become as convenient to use as your local gas station.  

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