Top Trends Emerging From Current Advanced Automotive Technologies

Technological advances are leading to some major changes in the trends of the automotive industry.

It is clear that technological evolution is creating new opportunities within the automotive industry. Broadband cellular networks (LTE, 5G) combine with miniaturized PCs that easily fit into mobile devices, and this provides massive computing power and affordable sensors open the gates for automotive ICT[1].

The rise of internet connectivity radically reshaped the advertisement industry, and later, the broad acceptance of smartphones created a similar impact on that market. It seems that the connected cars packed with tons of sensors and computing power will have a similar effect on the automotive industry. Since the early 90s, development and deployment activities are planned and executed in a specific industry area called Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). ITS leverages ICT in an automotive environment with the intention of increasing vehicle safety and providing automation in order to make transportation safer, greener, more efficient – and thus, sustainable.

Vehicle connectivity is expanding rapidly. According to various market research studies[2] [3] the penetration of newly sold internet capable connected cars can be 100% by 2025. Even the pessimistic forecasts predict that within 10 years, most of the newly sold cars will have some sort of connectivity: embedded[4], tethered, or mirrored. Internet connection enables the car not just to receive, but also to send information back to the infrastructure about practically everything – from maintenance issues like low tire warnings, to reminders about upcoming cultural events. That is how the car becomes an integral part of the IoT ecosystem.

Self-driving technology has moved from the distant future to current reality. Leonardo da Vinci made a sketch of a pre-programmed clockwork cart in the 15th century, but we still have to wait for the market introduction and type approval of the first fully automated car. Level 1 and level 2 grade features (adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance, highway assist, traffic jam assist) are already implemented and available even in volume brands. There are critical technologies, for example artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which are also in the advanced phase and are necessary to enable the go-to-market of self-driving cars.

Source: based on SAE & Mike Lemanski @ TRW

More and more OEMs and tech companies have announced the date when their Level 4 or Level 5 automated[5] cars will hit the road. Google’s new strategy – providing self-driving car software as a service – can increase the go-to-market expectations.

More and more people are ready to use shared mobility services (e.g. Uber, Lyft) instead of having their own car. Younger consumers and those who live in a developing countries tend to be significantly more attracted to using a car on demand instead of owning one.[6]

The willingness to use a self-driving cars is also rising. As people experience the successful public tests, such as the famous and well documented Google example, the trust in self-driving cars is getting stronger.

Several motivation factors may support the deployment of driverless vehicles. Self-driving cars promise safer transportation and no wasted time for searching empty parking lots. It gives mobility back to blind, senior, and disabled people.

Once self-driving, internet capable vehicles become widespread, new services and new business models will appear. When Level 4 automation becomes a reality, passengers will be able to use their time on the road for productivity. They can focus on work-related activities like sending emails and video conferencing, or for entertainment, such as watching movies. As the car becomes more of an on-demand shared service instead of an owned asset, people could use vehicles as a transportation service and pay for that by watching ads while the car drives itself to the airport. In this new future business model, the advertisement companies will own and operate the cars.

Considering that market-ready or already implemented/piloted ITS solutions have reached critical mass, the relevance of the interaction between IoT devices, such as smart connected cars and smart infrastructure, will rise. Users want to maximize the benefits of smart mobility services, therefore the car should not be only autonomous self-driving, but cooperative. The vehicle shall establish communication channels towards smart parking systems, smart buildings, charging stations, payment providers, other vehicles (V2V), and even with humans. The demand is growing for optimized routing at city level, and replacing driver-only itinerary calculation. With the implementation of such a macro level approach, traffic related problems (such as wasting time in a traffic jam, increasing CO2, NO2 emission, and overloaded road infrastructure) can be eased in modern smart cities.

Automotive software companies are excited about the evolution of connected vehicles and vehicle automation. One of the greatest challenges and opportunities we face today involves making cars connected, and that includes creating an ecosystem which allows the internet capable cars to be part of broader smart cities and IoT. It is also a great intellectual question of how to create an appropriate HMI which enables smooth interaction between human actors and self-driving cars – both inside and outside of the vehicle.

Source: SAE J3016

[1] Information and communications technology

[2] The quest for Telematics 4.0 by EY

[3] Connected Car Forecast: Global Connected Car Market to Grow Threefold Within Five Years by GSMA

[4] Connected Car Forecast by SBD predicts 50% by 2025


[6] Global Automotive Executive Survey 2016 by KPMG


Subscribe to this blog

Get notified when a new post is out.