The Future of Automotive 2035 – 7 Trends to Watch
Welcome to the new world of AutoTech— the fusion of electric, self-driving automobiles, and ride-hailing to build a new economy that will thrive. This new amalgamation, which is linked to digital networks and a slew of amazing technology, has the potential to upend the global vehicle industry!
Newly empowered market participants, such as suppliers, on-demand platforms, digital giants, and cities that have an active role in mobility, will challenge automotive OEMs' competitive positions.
I also foresee a broader lifetime of better-informed consumers and greater transparency in the future. Consumers will make decisions based on information rather than marketing. Technological advancements are rapidly moving to a future in which the car performs most driving functions. Although legislation and regulations are proving more difficult to manage.
I have no crystal ball, but the technology and consumer today suggest a clear direction towards these trends for 2035, mentioned below.
Trend 1 – 2035 Car Vitals: Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing
You call Max, your autonomous car 😊, to pick you up from the office. Max parks itself right outside the door, then heads over to pick up Jimmy, your son from school. Your car was supposed to take you to the gym but instead heads over to the baseball stadium. Then you remember, today is Jimmy’s final match and you nearly forgot! (Max saved the day because luckily, the other day Jimmy told Max that he had his final match and expected you to be there!)
So, how does that sound? Oh boy! I would love to have a Max of my own and we are only a few years away!
Voice and Text (with the background technology being NLP) will become a game-changer and provide a very rich experience. AI & ML algorithms in the vehicle will be processing voice/text, interpreting, and making decisions based on information about location, time, and authorization.
Machine learning engines & algorithms would analyze the breath of the passengers to continuously monitor their physical and mental health. Based on the data the car can make predictive decisions. Example - emergency steps if the passenger is breaking into a sweat, stops by a pharmacy and prescribes the medicines depending on his past health conditions.
Trend 2 – Autonomous Cars
There are currently several automobiles on the market that can park themselves and perform a variety of tasks without the assistance of a driver. The automated car will revolutionise transportation soon. Vehicle technology advancements will minimise the danger of accidents (research suggests that the number of Americans killed in traffic accidents could drop by more than 90% by 2050), energy consumption, insurance costs, and the environmental impact of traffic jams to a large extent.
The expansion of smart cities will be a major influence in the adoption of autonomous vehicles. Google and Apple are two big companies that are developing advanced software for the driverless car business. Tesla is currently beta testing a next generation of full self-driving cars.
We are on the edge of a revolution in transportation. In the future decades, technology will not only open tremendous potential for the global economy, but it will also greatly improve the safety and efficiency of travel.
Trend 3 - Electrification & Zero Emissions
Leading automakers are planning and implementing initiatives to better position themselves in the new era of electric mobility. Aside from Tesla and Toyota, who lead BEVs and HEVs, other automakers are still in the planning stages of electrifying their line-ups.
With increasing energy density and lower costs per KWh of energy, lithium-ion battery technology is quickly advancing. Apart from efficiency, OEMs are attempting to improve performance without having to convert to a larger engine. This will help support modern autos' growing powertrain content and increase power demand.
Automakers will soon be able to offer a mix of options that allows for lower costs, longer range, and smaller battery sizes. Electric vehicle use is expected to increase 15-fold by 2035, according to the International Energy Agency.
“2035 is a time at which my Vision Zero for Automotive will become a reality. Zero Emissions, Zero Accidents, Zero Contamination, Zero Security Breaches and Zero Errors. Enhanced user experience will become a key enabler, and the entire ecosystem will be transformed from ownership to usership."
- Asokan Ashok, CEO – UnfoldLabs Inc
Trend 4 - Shared Mobility
The problem with air quality/pollution will not be solved by just replacing all diesel/petrol cars with electric cars. The Key is to reduce the use of automobiles with more sustainable forms of transport like shared mobility. During the pandemic, we saw this firsthand with lockdowns all around the world. Nitrogen dioxide levels in the UK have dropped by 30-40%! Reduced air pollution emissions in France resulted in the averting of 2300 lives.
The perceived convenience of owning a car has decreased in densely populated locations, owing to improved access to new shared mobility alternatives. A big majority of city dwellers will use shared services as a regular commute alternative, according to 27% of respondents. As of present, the global shared mobility industry is valued at $251 billion.
Fewer automobiles will be sold as more individuals opt for carpooling, and fewer people will work in the automotive industry and related service industries. Tesla has anticipated this and launched Tesla Network, which allows consumers to conduct ride-sharing services in their vehicles, similar to other ride-hailing services, or rent out their vehicles to other customers. Last-mile delivery will, indeed, provide a consistent revenue stream for the shared mobility market.
Trend 5 - Buying & Owning Experience
Last year, nearly 30% of new auto sales in the United States were completed online. Prior to the pandemic, just about 2% of autos were acquired digitally. Buyer satisfaction has hit an all-time high, according to a recent Cox Automotive study. People want to do automobile business the same way they want to do ecommerce, online. Therefore the traditional dealership model has been threatened and will continue to become less influential.
Tesla and Polestar, for example, are selling directly to consumers through company-owned stores. Volvo's new electric C40 Recharge compact SUV, for example, will only be offered online. Then there are those manufacturers, such as Honda, that push the CX to new heights. By recording from the driver's perspective, its 'test view drives' video series gives customers an up-close and personal experience of driving their cars.
But, in the end, who will be the economic winners? Which are the car companies who are putting in the most effort to provide the finest possible CX? Or the auto dealers, who are likewise attempting to compete by moving their entire business online?
“The automotive industry has always led technological innovation. In the next few decades, the auto ecosystem will be transformed 360 degrees by the needs/wants of next-gen consumers, from the purchasing experience to the customer experience, on and off the automobile."
- Brian Friedman, GVP Sales – SoftClouds LLC
Trend 6 - Digital Transformation – Service & Customer Experience
Personalization has become commonplace and expected. Personalizing the consumer experience in the automotive industry is a no-brainer. In order to connect OEMs, vehicle dealers, and customers all over the world, data must be used for customization during auto repair.
Carmen, for example, uses predictive technology to anticipate probable vehicular issues. It gathers data while you are driving, sends it to the cloud for processing, and then sends it back to the driver's smartphone. The app notifies you and your service center if Carmen discovers any issues.
As a result, customer care centers will be aware of your vehicle's state and faults even before you arrive. In 2035, however, the customer support station will not only foresee the issue but will also update and resolve it remotely. Even the hardware issues are resolved without our having to spend a lot of effort on them.
Trend 7 - Incumbents & Investments
The worldwide car sales system is likely to shift dramatically. Traditional sales, after-sales, and financial services will be replaced by a holistic, multimodal mobility solution as the major revenue and profit drivers by 2035. This will attract new competitors and put pressure on car OEMs' established business structures and processes.
In the effort to engage with customers and collect their data, OEMs will encounter more competition from both suppliers and tech behemoths. Cities will emerge as new key stakeholders in the urban environment, defining the future mobility agenda.
As a result, automakers will pave the way for future sales by making targeted strategic investments now. Players who wait too long risk losing a significant portion of their company to competitors like Google or Tesla.
In the coming years, traditional manufacturers and suppliers will be particularly vulnerable. They will have to fight declining profits while also investing significantly more in electromobility and innovative, customer-oriented products. OEMs will concentrate on the customer's mobility requirements rather than the technical product itself.
Outsourced manufacturing will become the norm, manufacturing and supply chains will be optimised and centralised. As more new competitors enter the market, the old timers will find it increasingly harder to compete. User preferences will shift toward self-driving vehicles. By 2030, autonomous driving might account for as much as 40% of overall traffic. Europe and the United States are predicted to develop around the same time.
Between now and 2035, one of the most important success factors for car OEMs will be to foresee the growth of driving legislation and insurance coverage strategically. This will have a significant impact on the market share. Making functions work seamlessly to assure driver comfort and lowering the cost of these advanced technologies are paramount. Before a large-scale deployment to take place, issues including liability, privacy, and international harmonisation must be addressed.
End customers will anticipate a steady stream of innovations, what is ground-breaking today will become normal tomorrow. Raising price and pushing innovation.
Autonomous vehicles will play a key role in future mobility, connecting, and combining a variety of modes and technology. Future fleets of self-driving cars will provide mobility services to anyone and anything, presenting the automotive sector with intriguing new opportunities. Those who refuse to adapt to a changing world will be left behind. Changing to Thrive is the key to success in this vertical.
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This post was written by Asokan Ashok, the CEO of UnfoldLabs. Ashok is an expert in driving customer insights into thriving businesses and commercializing products for scale. As a leading strategist in the technology industry, he is great at recommending strategies to address technology & market trends. Highly analytical and an industry visionary, Ashok is a sought after global high-tech industry thought leader and trusted strategic advisor by companies.
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