The past year has seen some great strides in new car technology, safety features, and efficiency. As we look forward to what 2014 holds, it seems that many of these trends will be continued and taken to the next level. The following are five trends to watch for in the automotive world next year.
- In-Car Connectivity
Cars are becoming increasingly smarter and more responsive. Many new models for 2014 come with built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, and an array of electronic safety and navigation features. This includes fully integrated GPS systems as well as roadside assistance in case of an accident. When something goes amiss on the road, safety programs in the latest models from Volvo, BMW, and other automakers are able to call an emergency hotline automatically. Cars are not only becoming more automated, but connected to a wider network.
- Increase in Online Car Shopping
Consumers are already using social networking and online search tools to find offers or discounts before they buy a car. Next year, we can expect this practice to continue to grow, while many consumers buy cars entirely online. Dealers will have to step up to the plate with online discounts, flash sales or other incentives to entice buyers to come in. There are also more agencies that take care of the buying process for you, so that you can conduct all of your business online and even have the car delivered to your door.
- In-Car Health Apps
As greater connectivity is all over the latest Motoring car news, there is a smaller trend that is emerging out of this larger one. Auto manufacturers are working on developing built-in apps that can help monitor driver health. Ford is incorporating body temperature sensors into its cars that will help the car detect when a driver has fallen ill or asleep. This can be used to help steer the car to safety. It’s also testing car ambulances that will allow the car to measure heart rates while driving. An allergy alert app has also been developed, to improve quality of life on the road.
- Green Consumption
The recent trends of using lightweight materials in new cars will be continued into 2014, as consumer demand grows for more efficient, green-friendly cars. There will be a wider range of hybrid vehicles, fitting all budgets from the low end to luxury. Some of the top 2014 hybrids to watch for include a new Nissan Pathfinder, updated Chevrolet Volt, and ever-popular Cadillac ELR.
- Car Sharing Programs
Programs like Zipcar continue to grow in popularity, and will keep expanding in 2014. These car sharing programs allow users to access a car when they want without the full cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle. In 2014, you can expect to see these services expand from primarily urban areas out to more suburban and rural venues. Carpooling services like Lyft and Uber will also keep expanding.
These are just a few of the trends hitting the automotive world this upcoming year. Overall, expect to see a heavier reliance on electronics, an improved ride, and more efficient options than ever.