The global automotive industry embarks on a journey that has nothing but uncertainty. For several decades, carmakers have successfully assessed the fundamental facts of American lifestyle that symbolized car as a necessary commodity to get around places. However, of late the scenarios have changed with the arrival of novel technologies such as ride-hailing services and advanced self-driving cars. These new alternative options of transportation in undertaking day-to-day tasks are changing the overall utility of cars.
There are also economic and demographic factors in play as well. Several young Americans no longer consider owning a car necessity or a goal. Hence, automakers are bracing themselves for a time when automobile have smaller roles in the daily routines of many individuals. The privately owned cars spend more time in the garage than on the road as people prefer other alternative option to commute. Being an expensive commodity and having to invest quite a lot on maintenance, individual look for more economical options.
One glaring sign of the changing trends is the increasing focus on design category referred as the “first mile/last mile” challenge by the automobile industry. The term simply defines the short distance destinations covered by people such as travel from home to work or to a local destination. In many ways, the industry’s attempts to resolve the last-mile challenge includes the advancement of self-driving vehicles, an initiative that entails collaboration between various automakers, and technology companies. For instance, General Motors and its partner, Lyft, are planning to test a range of self-driving vehicles, transporting passengers covering short distances within Detroit and few other cities in the US. Likewise, Uber has launched similar trials in Pittsburgh and has recently extended tests to San Francisco. Delphi Automotive in also anticipated to introduce self-driving cars offering rides to mass transit stations in parts on Singapore in the upcoming months.
Summary: The future of the automobile industry will be shaped by the novel technologies improving them according to the passenger needs