The automotive industry is undergoing some massive changes. Automobiles are becoming more technologically complex with an array of fancy electronics yet the industry as a whole is also changing. Let’s take a look at some of the top trends.
More Used Vehicles are Hitting the Market
The pace of new “light vehicle” sales is still expected to increase in 2016 yet it will be at a slower pace than in the past. An abundance of pre-owned vehicles have recently come into the market and their numbers will likely continue to increase in the near-future. Off-lease vehicle numbers are also poised to drastically increase. According to J.D. Power and Associates, the number of off-lease vehicles that will come off-lease in 2016 will increase by nearly 800,000 units. This is an incredible jump from the 95,000 units that came off-lease in 2015. Cash-strapped millennials are especially interested in buying used vehicles. The need for auto repairs will only continue to increase as more people opt for used vehicles rather than new ones.
Computers are Taking Over Automotive Functions
Remember the vehicle called “Kit” from the 1980s TV show Knight Rider? Can you imagine owning your own Kit automobile? It might happen in the next few decades as computerization alters the mechanical nature of our vehicles. Computers allow for highly sophisticated electronics to be built into our cars. Apple’s Siri technology that actually verbalizes directions and destination information to drivers. Google is actually attempting to diagnostically evaluate automobiles so that it can make alterations to vehicle software through patches and guide drivers to the nearest mechanic for mechanical aid. In a nutshell, vehicles are quickly becoming computers on wheels.
Fossil fuels are slowly being phased out in favor of greener sources of energy. Though there are plenty of electric vehicles on today’s roads, they have not exactly reached a mainstream tipping point. Eventually, vehicles will be able to generate their own energy, allowing humanity to preserve our precious fossil fuels and protect our environment for future generations. Vehicle-to-grid technology will work as follows: those who own electric vehicles will plug into a grid to charge their automobiles. They can even upload energy to this grid when there is a period of high demand.
Driverless cars could change the automobile industry as we know it. Though it might be a decade or longer until driverless cars are commonplace on our roads, a handful of Google’s autonomous vehicles are currently being tested on California’s roads and beyond. It is quite amazing that these autonomous vehicles have only been responsible for a single accident. Still, the bottom line is that technology is not perfect and automobile accidents (as well as repairs) will still occur in the future.
Automobiles as Entertainment Centers
Today’s vehicles have everything from MP3 players to flat screens in the back of seats. Toyota, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have all announced plans to implement Android and Apple CarPlay in their vehicles as “infotainment” options. The vehicles of tomorrow could become rolling entertainment centers. Imagine a future in which people rely on autonomous vehicles for free rides as long as they are willing to watch commercials or trailers for movies/upcoming product releases.
Automakers are Reaching out to Silicon Valley
There is a rapidly changing shift in automaker attitudes towards Silicon Valley tech companies. Automakers now view tech businesses as partners rather than competitors. General Motors has invested $500 million dollars in Lyft, a ride sharing service that is soaring in popularity. General Motors has also publicized its plans to create a network of “on-demand” driverless vehicles for Lyft services.
All around Auto Repair is completely abreast of the new changes occurring within the industry. It is our duty to keep you well informed on any best practices and help you maintain your car’s technological components. Contact us for a consultation.