The automotive industry is always one of the most innovative and dynamic industries, with new technologies being developed constantly. In just the past decade, the advancements in automobile technology have been incredible, and they are showing no signs of slowing down. This year is set to be one of the most exciting ever with innovations under development which could transform the way we use cars for the next hundred years.
From electric vehicles to cars that drive themselves, here are the biggest automotive industry advancements to look forward to in 2021.
1. More Charging Stations for Electric Cars
We all know the amount of harm that burning gasoline does to the environment, and so the global switch to electric cars cannot come soon enough. While the previous administration was reluctant to implement any green policies, President Biden is pushing for a $2 trillion infrastructure bill which will include a national network of charging stations for electric vehicles such as those seen in the image by Compare the Market, which will make this an attractive option for many people. It currently costs around $9 to fully charge an electric vehicle, which is considerably less than it costs to run a car on gasoline or diesel fuel. Once the charging systems are in place, there really will be no reason for anyone to drive anything other than electric cars.
2. Further Development of Autonomous Vehicles
It was only a few years ago the idea of autonomous, self-driving vehicles were the stuff of science fiction. Autonomous vehicles are the most sophisticated of all self-driving vehicles in that they can make on-the-spot decisions by themselves. For example, you could just tell your autonomous car to take you to work, and it will devise the best route and deal with any situations that arise, such as traffic, poor road conditions, and other vehicles. Elon Musk of Tesla had committed to a fully autonomous car in 2021, but that looks to be delayed for the time being. There are many cars on the market, however, that have integrated self-driving technology, including many of the new models of Mercedes and Fords which have been approved on many roads around the world.
3. Internet of Things (IoT)
The “Internet of Things” literally refers to the network of connected devices such as smartphones, computers, and tablets which are all linked online. With smart technology now being introduced as standard in many new vehicles, the Internet of Vehicles is expected to reach more than 125 million vehicles by the end of next year. This will enable cars to communicate with each other, which will increase their autonomy and guarantee the safety of traveling in a self-driving car. Through GPS, all vehicles in the network will know exactly where all the other vehicles are. Through constant communication with each other, they will be able to avoid collisions, choose the least-congested routes, and reduce traffic. For the Internet of Vehicles to work properly, the vast majority of vehicles on the roads must be on board, and then the benefits to passengers in terms of travel time and safety will be enormous.
Blockchain is the underlying technology that enables Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to work. In terms of the automotive industry, there are so many potential applications, some of which are already beginning to emerge in 2021. One very useful way in which Blockchain can be used to save money and improve safety is in the case of vehicle recalls. This can be incredibly expensive for a manufacturer and also put people at risk who don’t know that there is a technical fault with their vehicle. Now with Blockchain technology, manufacturers can assign every part of a vehicle with a unique VIN. If the manufacturer discovers a problem, they can simply track where every single vehicle with that part is located and contact the owners to bring in the vehicles for repairs or replacement parts. With tens of millions of cars recalled each year in the US alone, the benefits for customers and car companies could be significant.
The future of the automotive industry is always difficult to predict because developments move so quickly. What is certain is that some of the world’s top minds work in the industry and are constantly looking for new ways to make our cars faster, more powerful, and increasingly greener. Look out for these technological innovations in 2021, and you may be able to predict the future of the automotive industry.