If you have thought that Apple and Google are in the business of making smartphones and software, think again! The Silicon Valley giants are eyeing the automobile market very keenly and they are competing to create a niche segment of ‘driverless cars’. This may sound ambitious and revolutionary but they will enter the market in the not-too-distant future. Companies like Google and Waymo have developed working prototypes that have actually taken to the streets in the US on a trial basis!
The future of the automobile industry looks promising and exciting! The pursuit of driverless cars also means that the sector which has remained a brick-and-mortar industry largely will now have to contend with articial intelligence, automation and information technology. Tesla is one of the first manufacturers to pioneer the ‘autopilot’ patch that will aid drivers in cruise control and navigation with minimum intervention.
The car of the future will be described by the four following words primarily – autonomous, connected, electric and shared. Autonomous vehicles will rely on path-breaking technologies such as Articial Intelligence, smart navigation and Augmented Reality to ensure that little to no driver intervention is required. Once cars go driverless, they will need to communicate seamlessly and constantly through an elaborate common network. In line with the Internet of Things, cars will behave more and more like computers and phones that are connected to your WiFi.
The emphasis is now shifting from conventional Internal Combustion Engines and mechanical drivetrains to all-electric drivetrains. Electric drivetrains will rely on the latest advances in battery charging and storage technology meaning that you will be probably charging your cars overnight along with your smartphones at home! Ride sharing is already being implemented by cab aggregators like Uber, Ola and Lyft that allow you to share your cab with random strangers. Experts say that ride sharing will soon become the norm of travel.
With Mahindra launching their new electric car, Suzuki setting up a battery plant in Gujarat and commercial vehicle manufactures like Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors getting very close to productionizing electric buses, India seems to be taking its ambition to have 6 million electric vehicles on road by 2020 very seriously.
With total Electric Vehicles crossing 25000 units in sales in 2016-17 and sale of electric two-wheelers crossing the 55k mark in 2017-18, the market is definitely on the upswing. Companies like Tesla are also taking note and seem poised to enter the Indian market.
Smart and electric cars with no steering wheels are the future and the future is now!