Just like mobile phones today are not limited to making just phone calls, modern cars are too expected to play multi-faceted roles. Gone are the days when cars were just a medium for point A to B transportation. People no longer want a car with four wheels and seats to potter around town, they now expect cars to have the most advanced architecture with state of the art engines and premium features.
With technology peaking every other day, cars are becoming like smart devices! Want to make a call while stuck in traffic, and voice recognition along with Bluetooth will make the call to your boss or colleague; took a wrong turn and now stuck in the middle of nowhere, the Navigation system with Google Maps ensures you reach your destination safely. Moreover, technologies like Automatic Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Monitoring minimize the risk of collisions and ensure optimum safety of you and your prized possession.
What is surprising is the pace of adoption of the new mobility patterns. This means automakers are quickly adapting to previously unfathomable future, where every American family that can afford a car won’t necessarily buy one. Here, we will look at some path-breaking ways which are changing car ownership trends across the globe.
-> Taking the ‘Uber’ cool route
There is no denying the fact that cars these days are improving the lives of drivers on a daily basis. However, one thing that has the popular opinion divided is how car ownership trends are changing. It is not difficult to recall how ten years ago, one had to rely on public transport or expensive cabs, in case of emergencies. Today, you can book an Uber, with a tap on your smartphone, and ensure that your cab picks you up from your place and drop you to your desired destination. Michael Dunne, CEO of Chinese auto consultancy ZoZo says, “In cities like New York and San Francisco, almost half the residents today do not own cars”. All of this is convenient, cheap and hassle-free. Moreover, you can opt for pooling services as well, where your cost for the total trip gets split between other passengers. Due to this very reason, a lot of people are now moving towards on-demand cabs and car rentals, rather than owning a car of their own.
-> Going all-electric
With electric vehicles taking all the attention, Internal Combustion Engine(ICE) cars look primitive and a thing of the past. In the year 2016, nearly two million electric vehicles were sold worldwide, and this number is expected to only grow. While Tesla has been the frontrunner in this all-electric movement, several other manufacturers like GM and Volkswagen have also thrown their hat in the ring, showcasing various electric concepts across motor shows. But why is the adoption of electric vehicles happening on such a large level? Electric cars not only offer low cost of running but contrary to popular opinion, they’re cheap to purchase as well. Case in point, Chevrolet Bolt is priced under $40,000, and offers a modern interior, features and safety features with an electric powertrain. Not only this, Tesla cars are considered the benchmark of performance and luxury, despite having all-electric powertrains. Further, with electric vehicles, you also get to brag about the exclusivity factor that these vehicles bring with them. All-electric cars offer a win-win situation for the manufacturers, owners and the environment alike!
-> Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
People these days no longer want a car that’s efficient and has low emissions, people want smart cars! Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have taken cars to the next level. Jason, from California, owns a Tesla Model 3, and never shies away from admitting how convenient it is to drive. With features like automatic parallel parking and AutoPilot mode, he can relax even on the move, with radar-based technology taking care of the car maintaining a straight line and speed. Apart from these, radar-based technologies like automatic-braking sensors, motorway lane sensors, mapping technology that monitors blind spots, cameras in the back and front of a car, adaptive cruise control enhance your car’s safety, nullifying human errors while driving. With cars offering so much autonomous technology, people now don’t entirely rely on cars that offer convenience just in terms of driving.
While Tesla is leading the bandwagon of self-driving cars, Google and Apple are closely following it. In fact, Google even unveiled its self-driving pod, named ‘Waymo’, which is expected to hit roads soon.
What lies ahead?
Some of the sharpest people have joined hands with the most innovative companies, in order to change the way we look at cars. The rise of ride-hailing services, electric cars, and autonomous technology have greatly evolved the global automotive scene. All of these things have their own respective advantages, like zero emissions, comfortable driving experience, cheaper mode of travel, etc. And who knows, with the automotive industry going through a transition phase, we may just expect to see auto giants seeing their highest peaks in the near future. Obviously, there will be obstacles, but the industry will surely find its way out.
This content is sponsored by Nikhil Rana.