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Opinion - What to Expect From the Automotive Industry in 2018?

From safer cars to fuel efficiency and full autonomy, here’s what all to expect from the Indian and Global auto industry in 2018!

Arjit Garg | News18.comArjit_Garg

Updated:January 30, 2018, 1:12 PM IST
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Opinion - What to Expect From the Automotive Industry in 2018?
Driverless cars need new regulations for the safety of the passengers. (Image: Volvo)
As we set our foot in 2018, a new technologically advanced world awaits us! With every passing year, technology is getting more and more advanced, which means, everything that is technology driven is getting smarter and advanced. Automotive is one such industry which is heavily technology driven and there’s a lot of expectations from the Automotive industry in 2018. To put things in perspective, 10 years ago iPod integration and Bluetooth were cutting-edge in-car innovations. Now-a-days, autonomous technology and electrification are the talk of the town. From safer cars to fuel efficiency and full autonomy, here’s what all to expect from the Indian and Global auto industry in 2018!

For now, autonomous shuttles and taxis testing the technology on the public roads must have an operator who can immediately take control of the vehicle. (Image: AFP Relaxnews) For now, autonomous shuttles and taxis testing the technology on the public roads must have an operator who can immediately take control of the vehicle. (Image: AFP Relaxnews)

Automotive Industry in India

India is fast becoming the global hub of automotive and a lot of manufacturers are looking to grab a piece of pie in this ever evolving market. However, it has its own share of problems, right from cost and mileage conscious audience to safety hazards. Here’s what 2018 could bring to India-

Rise of AMT

While the auto industry across the globe has fast embraced the automatic gearbox, India is yet to fall in the line. Being a cost conscience nation, manuals have always ruled the industry here. However, with the arrival of the AMT technology (automated manual transmission), OEMs are adding the two-pedal technology to budget cars, which is the largest segment in India. This trend will continue in 2018 too, with equal force, if not more.

Nissan Terrano AMT. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com) Nissan Terrano AMT. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)

Standard Safety Equipment

Safety is one such area where India needs to work hard and as quickly as possible. Until now, safety features like ABS, airbags were optional in most of the budget cars. However, with the government cracking whip and setting a deadline, OEMs are now making basic safety tech standard across the variants. This has also given a push to the much advanced safety technology in cars.

Connected Infotainment System

Again a usual in the west, the connected car technology is something which India is yet to master. While luxury cars have already reached there, budget cars are yet to include this technology. Connected car technology includes an infotainment system with apps like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, which helps a driver connect to the vehicle, and use the functionalities like navigation, hands free calling and more.

Alpine's iLX-107 receiver makes wireless Apple CarPlay available to any driver. (Image: AFP Relaxnews) Alpine's iLX-107 receiver makes wireless Apple CarPlay available to any driver. (Image: AFP Relaxnews)

Conversion to BS VI Norm

Like safety, pollution is also something which India is struggling to regulate. Four-wheelers are a major source of air pollution and India is on a receiving end of this environmental menace. To tackle this problem, the government has changed the previous set date of 2020 to 2018 and manufacturers have already started to rollout cars with BS VI norms.

Automotive Industry Worldwide

The global auto industry is fast moving towards electrification and autonomous driving. OEMs are spending most of their R&D budget in mastering these two areas that will give them a huge advantage in the coming years. Tesla is one OEM who has mastered both these technologies. Here are the expectations from the global auto industry in 2018-

Full Autonomy Gets Closer to Reality

While the global auto industry is already running Level 1 autonomous driving in many cars, some manufacturers have reached Level 3 of autonomous driving. In 2018 though, the industry is aiming to reach Level 5, and make it more feasible. As for what is Level 1-5, we will explain it in a separate detailed article. Manufacturers like GM have plans to launch fleets of self-driving robo-taxis in 2019. Tesla cars are also running on Level 2 of automation. Technology companies like Bosch and Delphi are making automation more accessible to OEMs.

Hyundai Ioniq Autonomous Concept. (Image: AFP Relaxnews) Hyundai Ioniq Autonomous Concept. (Image: AFP Relaxnews)

Electric Vehicles or EVs as we fondly call them, are the talk of the town these days. Almost every major automaker wants to try their luck on getting an EV rolled-out and many have successfully done so. However, consumers are still skeptical towards the whole EV call. OEMs like Tesla, Nissan, and GM are already enjoying a lot of success with their respective Electric cars. 2018 can be fruitful for other entrants who took their time to master this genre. From Mercedes to Volkswagen, almost all the mass manufacturers have revealed their ambitious plans for electrification in the coming years and 2018 will act as a stepping stone in the way forward.

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| Edited by: Arjit Garg
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