Digital transformation trends in the automotive industry

If there’s a sector that’s constantly innovating, it’s the automotive industry. After all, between the numerous updates and dynamic customer needs, there are a lot of developments that brands and manufacturers must keep up with. As a result, this industry has become one of the most avid adopters of technology—whether they’re pushing state-of-the-art sensors or connectivity algorithms.

Below, we look at four digital transformation trends in the automotive world.

Virtual Showcasing

In our previous article entitled ‘Top 5 Digital Transformation Trends to Survive Aftermarket Disruptions’, it was found that at least 25% of potential buyers use digital channels to gain a clearer picture of cars’ cost and quality. This has prompted automobile brands to meet the market where they’re at: online. For instance, BMW created an app called the BMW i Visualiser, which lets potential buyers ‘interact’ with a full-sized virtual model of a vehicle through their smartphone. From toggling with the model colours, to experimenting with the dashboard—BMW provides a unique opportunity for people to learn more about their products.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance is nothing new. In fact, plenty of manufacturers across all sectors use this technology for the machines that build their products. This technology is able to predict machine errors, so mechanics can work on the defects before they happen. While this has mostly been utilised in factories, the benefits of predictive maintenance have since extended to personal cars, too. As an example, Annata 365 is used by a lot of rental companies to ensure that their vehicles are always in good condition whenever they’re deployed.

Self-Driving Cars

Companies have dreamed of building automated cars for years. But aside from their sleek and futuristic looks, these cars have the potential to solve numerous road problems, ranging from traffic delays to human error accidents. ZdNet reports that automotive brands like Honda are making huge strides in this area. However, despite years of development, they still aren’t ready for mass production. And this is due to the technological refinement involved. Altium’s guide to the various types of PCBs explains that multi-board printed circuit boards are constantly being adapted to the technological capacities of today’s engineers. And it this evolution that is slowly helping push the self-driving vehicle industry forward. Car manufacturers are using multi-layer PCBs “for many of the mechanical and electrical systems that help a vehicle drive itself”. This includes everything from the smart sensors to the cameras that relay data back to the on-board computer. Yet, despite the advances we are still in the early stages of testing. It may take a while to see fully self-driving cars on our roads, but the advances in technology are showing that it will happen soon.

AI Assistants

The goal of Artificial Intelligence (AI), like Siri and Alexa, is to enhance the user experience. But recently, manufacturers have found a way to put this kind of technology into cars, too. Kia Motors has developed an AI called R.E.A.D or Real-time Emotion Adapting Driving. R.E.A.D can analyse its passengers’ emotions via facial recognition and automatically adjust certain aspects of the cabin for them, such as music and temperature. Similarly, BMW has their own Intelligent Personal Assistant, which has the same benefits of R.E.A.D., with the difference that it’s voice-activated. All BMW models since March 2019 are equipped with it.

Technology is constantly changing the vehicles that we drive today, and it will continue to do so far into the future. With rapid advancements happening everyday, it’s exciting to see what the future could have in store for the automotive industry.

Written by: Ella Wood

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