Tech That’s Driving the Future of the Automotive Industry

Innovation and technology are essential in the automotive industry—it’s why automakers spend billions on research and development to create new technologies for their vehicles. Below, we’ll discuss some of the tech that will drive the future of the automotive industry, from self-driving cars to 3D printers and more.

Self-Driving Cars

One of the biggest stories in the automotive industry is the technological race to see who can produce the first fully-automated, self-driving passenger vehicle. Many automakers have been developing driver-assist technologies that provide radar sensors and machine learning systems.

It’s a foregone conclusion for many that these driver-assist advancements will eventually lead to self-driving cars. While there’s been a lot of buzz and billions invested in research and development, the driverless car remains elusive, but many believe it’s only a matter of time before our streets are filled with self-driving vehicles. 

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes computer-generated images (CGI) onto a person’s point-of-view—like virtual reality without the headset goggles—mixing the real world with CGI. AR technology is becoming more accessible and affordable, and many automakers are eager to incorporate it into their cars. 

The future of AR in the automotive industry is practical—AR superimposes vital information into the driver’s field of vision on the windshield. AR can offer practical information directly to the driver, like GPS directions and detailed terrain mapping, or even quickly point out hazards on the road to avoid. Industry experts predict AR will be much more common in vehicles by the decade’s end. 

3D Printing

While 3D printers may not be a technology that many would associate with cars, they expect the tech to affect the industry’s future profoundly. The automotive industry currently uses 3D printing to create fast 3D models and some custom parts, but many believe the industry is just scratching the surface of 3D printing’s usefulness. 

As 3D printing technology develops, it could be possible for 3D printers to create replacement parts for vehicles on demand instead of waiting for orders to come from the manufacturers. Who knows, someday, 3D printers could manufacture entire cars!

Regenerative Braking 

Another tech product that many believe will drive the future of the automotive industry is regenerative braking. Regenerative braking technology captures the kinetic energy generated during braking and deceleration and stores it in the battery as electric power. 

Many electric vehicles (EVs) already use the technology, and even some hybrid racing cars of the Formula 1 racing series have adopted it. Since the automotive industry’s future is electric, regenerative braking technology will be crucial to creating more efficient and powerful EVs.