With growing awareness and sensitivity towards nature, we are in an age of revolution, where we are forever creating new models of society to make it sustainable and eco-friendly. Consumer behaviour is changing, affecting the automotive industry more than ever, as it strives to fulfil the vision of even the most environmentally inclined of us. With this goal in mind, car makers from around the world have effected two enormous changes that will change the face of the industry for eternity.
Electric and hybrid cars
Electric cars and hybrid cars are not a new concept, but what is new is their fame and popularity. With high performing diesel and petrol engines, nobody had bothered to perfect the electrical engine for commercial use. But now, when we finally understand the consequences of our reckless use of natural resources, the electric vehicle is getting some serious attention. The problem with electric vehicles is that they have not yet turned mainstream. Electric cars lag behind ICE vehicles in some areas. They are much heavier due to the weight of batteries and lighter models do not offer the same range and speed as heavier ones. Interestingly, the fact that electric cars make very little noise at low speeds is both a blessing and a boon. Of course environmentalists are all for it, what with lower noise pollutions and all, but tests have revealed an unforeseen hazard to blind pedestrians walking on the street, who won’t be able to detect the vehicle without some sort of noise or warning.
Many high performing models of electric cars are available in market today including the Tesla Model S, the Kia Soul and the Fiat 500e. But electric cars tend to be more expensive than conventional ICE cars offering the same performance. Also, the eco-value of electric cars is restricted, depending on how green the electric power used in them is. Electric cars and hybrids will keep getting developed but their success, environment-wise, will go hand in hand with developments in green electricity systems.
The world is growing smaller, so much so, that it is now on our fingertips. Cars will come with new, innovative, interactive features, making them more personal than ever. Besides ensuring our connectivity at all times with our homes and personal gadgets, they will also host myriad smart features, including automatic driving, automatic parking and high-tech warning systems for quicker and accurate detection of obstacles in the way.
As cars shift towards completely autonomous systems, more interactive features might get added. Who knows, there may come a time when drivers just have to enter the destination and lay back and play video games while the vehicle manoeuvres its own way through the traffic and the streets! It could happen!!
With city population and traffic congestion increasing day by day, a very practical approach is now trending in dense demographic areas. People are increasingly favouring shared means of transport, making more creative options than the traditional means of public transport. Using shared cabs or on-demand mobility options like Uber ensures that fewer personal vehicles congest the cities. The lure of on demand cars is understandable. People can hardly afford to buy a car that fulfils all their needs and requirements, and that is suited for all the situations and purposes that a car may be required for. But if we order cars on demand, we can order different cars for different occasions and requirements. The automotive industry has just realised the value of this potentially lucrative market and car manufacturers may soon build their own on-demand or car for hire options, to tap into this extra revenue.