The combined impact of increasing energy needs and the rising prices of parts have forced automakers, suppliers and marketers to find new ways of using technology to come up with better vehicles. New business trends are behind the transformation of the automotive manufacturing industry. By adopting these trends, manufacturers can better respond to global challenges like market uncertainty.
Rising oil and gas prices, air pollution, traffic jams and extensive media coverage of the global warming debate have increased the awareness of automotive customers with regards to environmental issues..
Drastic emission regulation for vehicles will affect most markets in four years but automakers product portfolios are insufficient to meet the demand for engines with low CO2 emissions rates. Zero emission vehicles are ripe for volume markets but RD partnerships are vital to the successful development of power and fuel cell technologies.
A system already in production will enable a car to stay some distance away from another vehicle on the road. Short-range radar braking systems will hit the market soon. In the future, self-guided cars will allow drivers to sleep, read or do other tasks while traveling. Future systems will employ digital imaging, special roadways and sensors to create driving commands.
Experts predict that cars in 2025 will be made from advanced polymer composites. They will be lighter but more reliable, recyclable and spacious with electric propulsion powered by direct hydrogen fuel cells. This will result in zero emissions and 100 to 120 mpg-gas equivalence for large SUVs, or up to about 200 for four to five-seater family sedans.
Fuel costs will be offset by using the vehicles as power stations while parked. Cells from millions of parked cars would plug into homes or the city power grids. The 20 to 40 kilowatt engines will make clean power that may be sold to utility companies or used privately.