Technology has always played a role in the automotive industry, from the invention of the assembly line to the development of electric cars. But in recent years, technology has become even more integral to the auto industry, transforming how businesses operate and customers interact with brands. Most notably, the rise of new technologies like autonomous vehicles and connected cars is changing the very nature of transportation, with far-reaching implications for society, the economy, and the environment.
Here are just a few ways technology is changing the automotive landscape.
1. The rise of electric vehicles
Electric vehicles are no longer a thing of the future—they’re here and becoming more popular every day. In 2018, US sales of electric vehicles reached over 320,000, which is only expected to grow in the coming years. As battery technology continues to improve and charging infrastructure becomes more widespread, we can only expect that sales of electric vehicles will continue to rise, putting pressure on traditional automakers to adapt or risk being left behind.
But while electric vehicles are becoming more prevalent, they’re still far from the norm. There needs to be a significant shift in how we think about transportation to increase the adoption of electric vehicles. We need to move away from the traditional car ownership model and towards a shared mobility model, where people can use on-demand transportation services instead of owning a car.
2. More efficient payment methods
In the past, buying a car was a complicated and time-consuming process. Because of the high price tag, financing was often required, which could add months or even years to the process. Even simpler processes like car washing, auto detailing, and parking require cash or checks. This can all be done much more efficiently now with new payment methods like contactless and in-app payments.
Most businesses now use advanced workshop and auto detailing POS systems (Point-of-Sale) that can process contactless payments, whether Apple Pay, Android Pay, or another form of NFC (Near Field Communication) payment. And plenty of parking apps allow you to pay for parking without even having to take your phone out of your pocket. This is all thanks to new technologies that make payments faster, easier, and more convenient.
3. Improved safety features
Technology is also making cars safer, thanks to features like blind spot detection, automatic braking, and lane departure warning. These systems use sensors to detect potential hazards and then take action to avoid or mitigate them. As these features become more commonplace, we can expect accidents and fatalities to decline.
But while technology is making cars safer, it’s also creating new safety concerns. For example, the rise of connected and autonomous vehicles is leading to fears about hacking and cyberattacks. As cars become more connected, they become more vulnerable to these attacks. Automakers and suppliers need to focus on cybersecurity as they develop new technologies.
4. The rise of ride-sharing
Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have completely disrupted the traditional taxi industry, and they’re also starting to make inroads into the automotive market. While Uber and Lyft don’t own any vehicles themselves, they’re having a significant impact on how people think about car ownership—and that’s starting to translate into lower sales for automakers. One study found that each Uber vehicle added to the road resulted in fewer cars sold per year.
As ride-sharing services continue to grow in popularity, we can only expect that their impact on the automotive market will also continue to increase. Many experts believe ride-sharing will eventually lead to a decline in car ownership, which would have major implications for the automotive industry. But it’s still too early to say how this will all play out.
5. More data-driven decision making
Even as recently as ten years ago, the automotive industry relied on intuition and experience when making decisions. But that’s starting to change as the industry becomes more data-driven. Now, automakers are using data to make everything from product development decisions to marketing strategies. And this shift is only going to continue in the years to come.
One area where data has a major impact is in vehicle development. In the past, automakers would develop a vehicle and then wait to see how it sold. But now, they’re using data to drive the development process. By analyzing customer data, they can understand what people want and need from a vehicle, then design accordingly. This allows them to bring new products to market much faster than before.
Technology significantly impacts the automotive industry, transforming how businesses operate and customers interact with brands. Many of these changes are being driven by new technologies making cars safer, more connected, and more convenient. As the industry continues to evolve, businesses must stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.