The public vehicles we take and the cars we drive reflect our personalities and the times we live in. With that in mind, here are five of the most interesting auto trends today.
Customized, Detailed Services
If there is something wrong with your car, there are two options you can choose from. First, you can take it to any local shop and hope for the best. The second is to put it in the hands of an expert who not only knows your vehicle head to toe but is also backed by a team of trained professionals willing to assist him. Even if you had to spend a bit more money, wouldn’t you rather go for the latter?
Today, car owners have access to more and better options than ever before. Whether you need a Nissan or Subaru head gasket change, a new timing belt kit, maintenance on your breaks, or specific repairs, chances are you will find a specialist who can give you the best, fastest, most effective, and most reliable service at a price that won’t put a permanent dent on your finances.
Not a Need
For many car lovers out there, nothing is more important than their vehicles. This is especially true for guys who swear they have an intimate relationship with the machines they drive and cannot imagine life without them. Yet, no matter how in love you are with the inanimate object you have in your garage, a lot of men and women are starting to recognize that sometimes not having a car is the better choice to make, both for themselves and the environment. Although slow to develop, this trend has been gaining widespread popularity in developed cities over the past few years.
Of course, everything depends on the availability and efficiency of public transportation systems and providing alternatives to commuters. Luckily, more and more metropolises are fast improving their transport and building bicycle roads for citizens living close to their places of work.
Fast but not Furious
When the first installment of the Fast and the Furious movie franchise came out 20 years ago, and viewers worldwide saw Hollywood action star Vin Diesel drive a 1970’s Dodge Charger R/T, many of them fell right back in love with the concept of American muscle. For those unfamiliar with the term, it signifies a high-powered, gas-guzzling engine that roars louder with each passing mile and can definitely not be ignored.
Still, as the great Bob Dylan once said, “the times, they are a-changing.” No matter what city you visit, the probability of finding an eco-friendly Japanese or German car will far exceed your chances of running into a Chevy Corvette, a 1969 Plymouth Barracuda, or a Dodge Charger Daytona. And even if you do, you might find a natural gas extension under the hood or a fuel-efficient battery behind it.
AI, Driverless Vehicles, and Automation
Engineers, mechanics, and information technology specialists have been mulling about driverless vehicles for years. Yet, it is not until very recently that their ideas have transformed into reality, and we are beginning to see just how much artificial intelligence has developed and how far it can go. As fate would have it, it is not car companies themselves but rather computer enterprises like Google and Microsoft taking the first steps into a future once only possible in sci-fi movies, Isaac Asimov books, and eighties cartoons like the widely-popular The Jetsons.
Even though full automation is still not possible, in cities like Phoenix, Waymo, the autonomous driving technology development firm serving under the same parent company as Google, already has a self-driving taxi that requires no human assistance whatsoever.
Faster than a Speeding Bullet
One of the many things the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games will be remembered for is the Tokaido Shinkansen, the first official entry by any nation into the realm of “bullet train” technology. At the time, a conventional train took around six hours and 40 minutes from Tokyo to Osaka, while the Shinkansen shortened this to a little over three hours, making the trip much more comfortable and appealing.
More than 50 years have passed, and not only Japan but also other developed nations like Germany, France, and Italy are still looking to build trains that can match the cruising speed of commercial airliners. And while this isn’t the case yet, it is fast approaching. Also Japanese, the SC Maglev can reach a maximum speed of 602 kilometers per hour while the TGV in France isn’t far behind with a top velocity of 575 kilometers per every 60 minutes.
As we have seen, there are five key trends in the automotive and transportation industry. As technology develops, they will continue to define the transportation choices we make for the years to come.