Over the last couple of years, the digital tide swept over all major industries completely changing not only how we perform some tasks within these sectors but even how we think about these industries themselves. So, it’s not really a surprise that the automotive industry, which always kept pace with the rest of the technological landscape found a way to use the rapid evolution of digital tech as well.
Still, cars have always been associated with very tangible, mechanical qualities like speed, endurance, safety, and comfort.
How can digital technologies be used to improve these traits that are decidedly analog? Well, it turns out they are used quite effectively and to a surprisingly large extent.
Let us take a look then at some of the most critical ways in which technology plays part in forming the future of the automotive sector.
The rise of automotive IoT
If you are unfamiliar with the term, IoT refers to the Internet of Things or in other words the system of devices, gadgets, and sensors that are capable of gathering information about the surrounding environment, sharing information with other systems, and regulating their behavior according to the information they get. This tech has made a pretty strong mark on the rest of the sectors, like, for instance, the construction industry. Now, the tech is steadily breaching in the car industry as well allowing drivers to make calls, access the car status diagnostics, get assistance with parking and perform countless other actions.
Self-driving vehicles becoming a reality
Self-driving vehicles were always one of the most popular science fiction tropes. Be that as it may, once we have worked out a couple of child diseases and solved some legislative and ethical questions, the autonomous car industry is expanding by 16% on an annual basis which are admirable figures. Much like in the previous case, the foundations for this trend are laid by the Internet of Things. But, this time, its power is not aimed at the vehicle's internal systems but rather and the objects on the road. So, the cars are able to perform actions like braking, streaming, and similar with AI assistance or completely automated.
Breakthroughs in maintenance software
When we said that digital technologies have started making a major breakthrough in the automotive sector, we didn't think meant exclusively the car manufacturing industry but all the ancillary industries as well. For instance, repair shops these days can use detailing equipment with the assistance of cutting-edge digital tools and AI assistance. That can drastically improve the overall quality of the results. When we take into consideration that such trends are present across all the associated industries we can expect that all these tech-powered maintenance processes will drastically improve cars' lifespan.
The overall data consumption is experiencing exponential growth on year to year basis. The cars, that now pack advanced smart features and internet capabilities are becoming an increasingly important part of this story – not only due to the fact that more and more new vehicles are coming equipped with internet connectivity but also that the list of web-based tasks the cars need to handle is also becoming longer. These challenges can’t be solved without a capable infrastructure so the automotive industry inevitably needs to start using 5G tech, spearheading this new trend, still in its inception, into the mainstream.
Ecommerce vehicle market
The car market was always associated with direct retail sales. Even when ecommerce became a strong force in the global economy, due to the very nature of the product and mechanical qualities we have mentioned above, preferred to buy these products on-site and try them out before the purchase. Well, these things are gradually turning around. In the period between 2021 and 2022, the ecommerce vehicle market grew from $66.34 billion to $75.28 billion. Although this trend can be tied to the expansion of EVs, these numbers will only keep growing making the ecommerce market a force to be reckoned with.
Last but not least, we would like to point out that modern AI-powered vehicles won't rely so heavily on their benchmark performance but instead try to adjust their performance to the driver's style and driving habits. The advanced analytics systems will become capable of carefully assessing routes, average speeds, traffic condition terrain types, as well as braking, steering, and all similar factors and leverage their internal systems to fit those needs. So the competition between the major brands will not be held in terms of the performance they are capable to offer but rather the available customization options.
So, there you have it – the top six ways the latest-gen digital tech is influencing the automotive industry. As we can see, a lot of these changes are not cosmetic in nature but rather cut deeply into the way we think about cars, we drive cars and even the way we buy them. This is yet another argument speaking in favor of the theory that digital tech is the biggest disruptive tech ever since the invention of electricity. With things as they are, the only thing we can do is to wait just how far will this evolution go.