The automotive industry is constantly developing, with new trends that shape it entirely. At the moment innovative technology, new lightweight materials and alternative fuels are shifting the manufacturing process as well as the cars on the market.
From Hybrid and electric cars to self-driving vehicles – these are just some of the engineering trends that are taking the automotive industry by storm. According to global industry experts, the following are top trends we can look out for in 2017 and beyond.
1. The return of enormous SUVs
We can expect to see giant SUVs making a return, but in the form of colossal crossovers. The name ‘crossovers’ is given to vehicles built on a car frame with the design features and functionality commonly associated with sport-utility vehicles - think back to the Hummer. According to a report on AutoGuide.com the popularity of crossovers is constantly growing and bigger versions than what we have seen are set to become even more common. Full-sized three-row crossovers such as the new Audi Q8 and Subaru Viziv-7 will continue penetrating an increasingly anti-minivan marketplace.
2. More high-tech features on all cars
Bluetooth audio streaming is becoming the new norm, and soon we will forget about having a standard CD player in our cars. According to industry experts, in some new cars, such as the new Chevrolet Spark, there are no CD players at all. Instead, you can access music, and more, on the go through infotainment systems. We can expect to see more and more high-tech features such as this one make their way into budget cars.
3. Cars that communicate with each other
Can you imagine your next car being able to communicate with every other car around you? Although it may be a while before we see this in South Africa, according to an article in USA Today, there are already cars that will offer such a revolutionary system in 2017, such as the Cadillac CTS sport sedans with which you are able to share information about driving conditions like speed, accidents and weather. This is the start of what is termed vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, a Wi-Fi-like technology that will eventually be integrated into every new car.
4. More electric vehicles
According to the Washington Post, automakers will be manufacturing even more all-electric and hybrid vehicles. Ford recently announced that they plan to produce 13 electrified models by 2020, and Mercedes is set to produce 10 by 2025. Although statistics show that sales remain low, there is hope that there will be a shift in the market. A lot of money has been spent on their research and development.
5. Systems that will override the driver
We may already be familiar with cars that will stop if the driver fails to apply the breaks. Driver Override Systems relate to autonomous technology, but this is different because the car is actively ignoring a driver’s commands and making its own decisions. There have been reports that by 2020 the rapid increase in car sensor technology will force a shift in priority, giving the car final say – not the driver.
While all these emerging trends sound exciting, if they eventually become the norm in every car, they might increase the price of your desired vehicle, but the good news is that they could have a positive impact on other costs such as your Car Insurance premium - which already rewards drivers whose vehicles have parking and security automation features. You may also be interested to read about South Africa’s Safest Entry-Level Cars.
This article was created in collaboration with Hippo.co.za