Automotive technology has come a long way since the first cars were introduced in the late nineteenth century—without headlights, suspension, or even seat belts. As students in automotive school know, vehicles have become increasingly complex and sophisticated machines in the years since, with digital technology playing an ever more significant role.
As automotive technology continues to develop, every year brings new trends. While some are relatively short-lived—like automatic seat-belts and CD players—others end up being adopted across the industry and forever change the way we think about the vehicles we drive and how we use them. Seat belts, on-board diagnostics, and airbags, for example, all became standard over time, and now few people can imagine vehicles without these essential features.
Ultimately, only time will tell which of this year’s trends will be adopted for good, and which ones will go the way of the CD player. Either way, it’s beneficial for those interested in pursuing automotive careers to stay on top of the newest developments, to better understand where automotive technology might be headed in the future.
Here are some of the major automotive tech trends you can look for in 2019.
Top Automotive Tech Trends to Watch For
Virtual Assistants Could Become More Common in Vehicles
- Many cars can already connect to Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant
- Ford, BMW, Toyota, and Volkswagen say they will use Alexa in future infotainment systems
- Google Assistant is available in vehicles with Android Auto technology
- Mercedez-Benz and BMW are developing their own voice-command software
- Assist with predictive maintenance of vehicles
- Assist insurance companies with risk-assessments
- Detect driver behaviour
- Reduce the risk of drowsy-driving accidents
- Contribute to the safety of autonomous vehicles
Did you know? Modern high-end cars use around 100 million lines of code—more than Facebook, Windows Vista, or the Large Hadron Collider.
- Level 1: The vehicle can control one specific function
- Level 2: Can control steering and acceleration/deceleration, but the driver must be ready to take control
- Level 3: Can control steering, acceleration/deceleration, and critical safety functions, but the driver must be ready to take control
- Level 4: The vehicle can provide all driving functions, but only for some scenarios
- Level 5: The vehicle can provide all driving functions
Autonomous vehicles offer a number of potential benefits:
- Fewer accidents
- Reduced traffic congestion
- Lower fuel consumption
- Improved accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities
- Reduced travel time
Other Auto Tech Trends to Watch in 2019
- Increased use of Lane Departure Warning systems
- High-resolution, multi-angle, surround-view cameras appearing in mid-range cars
- Augmented reality improving driver safety