Big changes are happening in the automotive industry caused by innovation in technology, ubiquitous connectivity, growing global population, environmental concerns and the influence of millennials. These trends are impacting how cities manage transportation networks, how parking is evolving and what consumers expect in terms of mobility.
For instance, millennials have a fundamentally different attitude towards driving and owning a car than previous generations. They are more likely to live in cities where owning a car can be more of an annoyance than a convenience and they are interested in new forms of transportation like on-demand and shared vehicles.
Connected vehicles have become the norm and are enabling other trends. At INRIX, we call these major trends The ACES – Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared.
Connected vehicle technologies allow vehicles to talk to each other and the broader world. Navigation systems have evolved into full-fledged infotainment systems and personal assistants that proactively help drivers reach their destination, entertain them and assist them with accomplishing tasks along the way.
Autonomous vehicles are gaining traction and, while they are not expected to be deployed en masse for years, they are an increasing priority for automakers seeking to stay relevant in the future and public agencies striving to improve safety and efficiency of transportation.
Electric vehicles have been driving on our roads for much longer than both connected and autonomous vehicles and have experienced surges in popularity given changing gas prices and environmental concerns. Today, global warming is a growing concern and electric vehicles are viewed as essential for increasing transportation efficiency and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, range anxiety (fear that a vehicle won’t have enough store power to reach a destination) has greatly decreased given the quality of in-vehicle meter readers, driver alerts and availability of charging stations.
Lastly, on-demand and shared vehicles are increasing in popularity not only for the convenience they offer, but because they are significantly reducing the cost of mobility.
INRIX is playing a leading role in each of these key trends. We actually launched the first connected services platform in vehicles for drivers, working with Ford to develop Ford Sync and, with INRIX OpenCar, we are transforming how content should be delivered to vehicles so that it is optimized for driving. We are working with both the private and public sectors to ensure that autonomous vehicles perform safely and efficiently on public roads. And we provide a number of solutions for electric vehicles such as alerting consumers of the need to recharge their vehicle and then directing them to where they can do so.