How Will New Technological Trends Impact Vehicle Development?Fri, 09/01/2017 - 12:12
The automotive industry is gradually transforming into a mobility industry and in this paradigm shift, technology will play a crucial role in determining how vehicles will evolve. Electrification is but one of the angles companies are now analyzing when constructing the car of the future. Autonomy is gradually making its way into the mainstream and with it, developments such as the internet of Things, connectivity and new ideas regarding what is best for the driver and for the passenger. Though the trend-setter might be automakers, suppliers will also have to change their strategy and offering to participate in a high-technology environment.
The future will be autonomous and cars will become boxes of data, proving a new challenge especially for companies in the premium segment. Although we were previously distinguished by our drivetrain and performance, new technologies will shift clients’ focus. People will stop driving and will use vehicles as a platform to work on other activities. The car will have to know what its passengers want, your likes and dislikes and even how are you feeling health-wise. We are already on top of these new trends, becoming the first company to release a production car with license plates for autonomous-driving tests in the state of Nevada. For 131 years, Mercedes-Benz has been a trend setter striving for constant innovation. That is what will make us move forward in the future.
We are currently working with artificial intelligence, connecting tires to the vehicle to send the driver information, adapt to surfaces or different climates to provide the correct displacement to prevent accidents. Tires will be able to connect directly with service centers when the car requires maintenance. Sending this information to the vehicle from the tires will be on the market sooner than we think. We have several products being developed for the passenger car and SUV segment, but for heavy vehicles, tires in our product line contain a chip that provides this information. Located inside the tire, the chip reads performance and the load, monitoring the speed and continuous periods of driving. All this information allows us to investigate the needs of our clients and adapt our innovations to them.
Kia has been evolving in an interesting way. In terms of efficient powertrain technologies, we are already working on hybrid and electric vehicles and developing fuel cells. The company has evolved in autonomy with a program called DRIVE WISE. This sub-brand was created by Kia to incorporate automotive innovations into an improved driving experience. In the next decade, we will see autonomy become a reality. Approximately 30 percent of vehicles will have a certain level of autonomy by 2025 and by 2030, 20 percent of all cars can be fully autonomous. With this vision, we are developing technologies focused on security and comfort.
Cars will become an extension of your office or your living room. Clients will be able to choose if they want to relax, work or simply enjoy the ride, or if you want to drive and feel the excitement of being in control of the vehicle. The technology is already on its way but regulations and law enforcement are still missing. I think Europe will be the first to incorporate autonomous technology considering it is already working on agreements focused on what must be fulfilled for a car to be certified to drive by itself. California will probably follow given its technological advances and its apparent commitment to continue fulfilling the Paris Agreement.
Connectivity will differentiate cars in the future. Companies have mastered the technology that makes a car move, now they must master integrating new systems into their existing platform. The world is facing many challenges in terms of emissions, mobility and traffic and Nissan’s goal is to find the best way to help its clients overcome these hurdles. We want to empower clients to choose whether they drive their vehicles or let technology take over while they admire the landscape or simply make better use of their time. The company is investing heavily in these technological advances to be marketing cars with autonomous technology by 2020. The industry is moving quickly and people now want mobility rather than a vehicle. Nissan’s bet is on Intelligent Mobility.
The classical individual car may not dominate mobility as much in the future as in the past. Our Automotive division became the Mobility Solutions division. This is not just a name change. Our aim now takes people and goods that move more into account than just vehicles. Sensors, the internet of Things, Big Data, machine learning and faster processing power with communication technology allows for much reduced latency in decision-making processes, which will help us reach considerable innovation. The possibilities regarding the application of these technologies in the mobility sector are endless and fascinating. Many companies are looking to participate in this process, both from within and without the sector.
Autonomy is already a priority for the industry and it will only grow in importance as technology moves forward. The Renault-Nissan Alliance is already working on autonomous developments and we are very fortunate that we can take advantage of these innovations in INFINITI models. Our plan is to include more and more autonomous capabilities in our new vehicles. We are already featuring single-lane autonomy in some of our models and the next step is to integrate multiple-lane driving. Connectivity is also key for future vehicle developments. INFINITI cars are now equipped with technology to connect with mobile devices and use different applications but we expect our technology to keep evolving according to user needs.