A survey of automotive industry trends reveals information-centered technologies are playing a key role in the future of the industry. The auto industry is adding new technologies to its operations at a rapid pace. While technologies like big data & analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are not new, newer technologies like blockchain and internet of things (IoT) have also found applications in automotive. Let's look at the auto trends taking the industry by storm in 2021

1.   Autonomous Vehicles (AV)

These self-driving vehicles do away with the need for human drivers and are set to revolutionize everyday transportation. AVs reduce downtime, make public transportation safer, and enhance last-mile deliveries. For example, roads will be safer because AVs will reduce accidents caused by tired and negligent drivers. They feature modern recognition technologies which allow them to detect hurdles along the road--like AI-enhanced computer vision.

The US startup Intvo has a technology that predicts pedestrian behavior. Unlike 2D and 3D technologies which consider fewer parameters, the software checks pedestrians' eye contact, head position, and leg movements and allocates a risk level. It also monitors the weather conditions. This improves the security of autonomous vehicles by reducing false positives in weather or pedestrian detection.

2.   Connectivity

New cars now have a digital identity that makes them different from other cars. This allows for easy monitoring of data for various purposes, such as driver safety, insurance, fleet management, and predictive maintenance. Sharing car data transforms the whole mobility ecosystem, it doesn't just help the individual customer. For example, NoTraffic features a traffic signal platform powered by Artificial Intelligence. The platform links drivers to city roadways to help control different traffic issues. 

Soon, drivers will be able to speak to their virtual assistant and ask questions, such as "where can I get the cheapest gas near me" or "what is the best restaurant nearby," and get answers as well as directions.  These technologies will create incredible convenience, but also allow monetization of vehicles, from getting auto title loans, to becoming a driver for different services, to providing in-vehicle ads. 

3.   Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI technologies like machine learning, computer vision, and deep learning are now used in the auto industry. The technologies enhance services such as insurance or vehicle inspection, direct self-driving cars, assist drivers to drive safely, and manage fleets. Artificial Intelligence is also used in car manufacturing. It helps reduce costs by increasing the production rate.

RevitsOne, an AI software for managing fleets, can manage different sizes of fleets. The system gives information about speed and running vitals. Voicera ID, the software's virtual assistant, helps drivers to have all the information they need close by. The software is also equipped with a speed recorder which controls the speed to prevent dangerous driving behavior.

4.   Electrification

Fossil fuel reserves are getting depleted. They also harm the environment; burning fossil fuels produces air pollutants that are harmful to the environment and our health. Electric vehicles (EVs) are slowly doing away with traditional cars. But to become mainstream, EVs must be more affordable, have long-lasting batteries, and a good charging infrastructure. They must also be able to power renewable energy-based charging grids.

Automotive technologies are changing the industry as we know it, and that's a great thing. Transportation is slowly becoming safer, efficient, affordable, and convenient.