Regardless of whether you are a serious car enthusiast or just another “easy-going” car consumer, it cannot be denied that we live in exciting times. Just take a look at the automobile timeline from when this industry was born in 1898 up to the present time – the leaps in technology have been quite phenomenal in recent years, and 2018 will only see more changes for cars. Here are some of the more interesting trends to watch out for this year.
Growth in alternate fuel cars: Hybrids and Electric cars have been around for a while now, but thanks to the increasing demand for fuel efficiency by consumers, and more importantly the push for regulation and green mobility by most government including India, alternate powertrains and electrification will gain greater momentum in the overall automobile market.
Autonomous driving and connected cars: Tesla were pioneers in the autonomous self-driving technology, and now with Google also creating its own proto-type of a self-driving vehicle, we can expect to see greater opportunities and enhancements for drivers particularly in regard to safety features, in-car entertainment and work productivity. Some experts believe that there is major headway being made in this technology and we could see the first self-diving car hit the roads within this year itself.
Rise of ride-sharing services: Thanks to inadequate infrastructure and economic advantages, more and more people, particularly the millennials are choosing ride-sharing services over car ownership. Ride-shares like bike-sharing, car-sharing, car-pooling and platform-based ride services have even managed to crush the traditional taxi-service in many cities. Companies like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the urban commute. Since owning a car is no longer a necessity, this is definitely affecting the automaker industry to a very large extent.
Emergence of the Cross-over vehicle: A cross-over utility vehicle (CUV) also known as the compact SUV is gaining greater popularity over the traditional SUV, thanks to it being a more comfortable and easier to handle drive. Having sold over six million units in the US alone, this segment is one of the fastest-growing in the automobile segment. As a blend of the SUV and sedan, it has increasingly become the preferred family vehicle providing greater fuel efficiency and better agility. This popularity has prompted many car makers to offer this segment in India, with some of the top-ranked affordable crossover vehicles being the Honda Pilot, Nissan Murano and Hyundai Creta. Many other CUV brands are expected to be launched this year in hopes of also capitalising on this growing trend.
Building price efficiency with Blockchain: One of the common challenges automakers have been grappling with for many years now is counterfeit automotive parts. Car manufacturers are now adopting Blockchain technology to vet spare parts, thus hoping to improve transparency and encourage better pricing strategies. Both, conglomerates like Microsoft and IBM as well as start-ups like CyberCar have been collaborating with auto suppliers to create software platforms that should revolutionize their supply and distribution chains as well as aid in connected car solutions. Clearly, Blockchain solutions have a mass-market potential in this industry that in gaining impetus.