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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | Top trends in automotive engineering
Top trends in automotive engineering
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The automotive industry is going through a transformative phase with changes like technology innovation, personalised vehicle experience, green initiatives, etc. While electric and hybrid automobiles have already made their entry into the market, there are still challenges with higher cost of the product, range etc. Sathyajith TK summarises some of the emerging trends in automotive industry.
The automotive industry is going through a transformative phase with the race intensifying among automakers and allied businesses to find a foot hold and gain competitive advantage in a market with changing customer sentiment and rapid progress of digitisation. The major trends in this industry are technology innovation, personalised vehicle experience and go green initiatives. The key factors driving the changes are in pursuit of new plateaus in efficiency, light weight, connectivity, new energy and autonomous driving.
On one end there are unprecedented demands from emerging markets, at the same time, many disrupting technologies and mobility solutions are available as choices. Vehicle subscription programs and sharing models are changing what it means to own an automobile, while providing more options to customers. Consumers also have a very large array of options and apart from established brands, there are multiple new entrants such as Tesla, Google etc. entering the automotive sector.
Given the scenario that the majority of the automotive market still focuses on the internal combustion engine and will continue to do so for the near future, improving the efficiency of the vehicle & improving the engine continues to be driving trend in this area.
Improving efficiency of the vehicle is being done through light weight designs, use of new materials, additive manufacturing etc. making the vehicles structurally more efficient. The aerodynamics of the vehicle is also being improved to allow better power transfer to the wheels. These in turn improve the fuel efficiency. Another major focus is on improving the engine. Responding to tougher environmental regulations and other needs, engines are becoming lighter with better power. Innovative use of turbo charging is also making new generation vehicles more energy efficient and reducing the carbon footprint.
Connectivity is another key trend which is shaping the automotive industry. It plays a major role in personalising vehicle experience and providing enhanced safety features. Voice commands, service reminders, connectivity to smartphones, infotainment systems and a host of AI/ML technologies are making the vehicles smarter, which is seen as a key differentiator in today’s market. Radars and cameras are also helping increase occupant safety and convenience.
Electric and hybrid automobiles have already made their entry into the market and are gaining acceptance. Though there are still challenges with higher cost of the product, range etc., the technologies in these areas is rapidly evolving. Battery technology and development has received a major boost following the introduction of electric vehicles and markets are coming up with multiple innovative solutions to allow for usage of electric vehicles and their charging. Electric vehicles will also lead to new design possibilities in vehicle chassis, body design etc., and allowing development of lighter and more efficient vehicles.
Autonomous vehicle technology has been steadily gaining acceptance and 40+ companies are said to be working worldwide on this technology. The technology will be a complex ecosystem with key innovations such as hands free driving, automated braking systems, vehicle to vehicle connectivity, automated parking, adaptive cruise control etc. In such an ecosystem, opportunities will lie in individual building blocks.
The automotive industry is going through a challenging phase in 2019, and this trend is well expected to continue into 2020. Increasing sales for electric and hybrid vehicles and the digital push with more value added services will remain dominant in the automotive industry of the future. This evolving market will look for agile companies and a supplier ecosystem that can respond in very short time frames while imbibing the latest trends in technology.
About the author: Sathyajith TK is the Vice President at AXISCADES Engineering Technologies Ltd - a leading, end-to-end engineering solutions and product company that delivers business value across the entire engineering life-cycle.
Electric And Hybrid Automobiles
Electric And Hybrid Vehicles
AXISCADES Engineering Technologies
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