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Top 5 Digital Trends for Automotive Industry 2021Technologies are changing every modern business sector and the automotiveindustry is not an exception. Everything — from the buying process to thedriving experience — is currently going through the digital transformation.And that’s means that not only car manufacturers have to keep up with thecurrent tech trends. Basically, any company that is related to the automobileindustry must invest in innovations to stay competitive and meet customerexpectations. 1. VR/AR showrooms 2. Connected vehicles 3. Advanced safety with AI 4. Personalized driving experience 5. 3D printed vehiclesTo give you some hard numbers, it is forecast that the global automotivesoftware market will hit 11 billion instead of 5-8 years as it is today.In this article, we will discuss the hottest digital automotive trends to showyou the big picture. We will also take a look at some case studies for you tounderstand what ideas are already implemented in practice.## VR/AR showroomsLet’s start from the very beginning and talk about the impact of new digitaltechnologies on the way we choose and buy cars. Both virtual reality andaugmented reality appeared on the horizon several decades ago. However, thisyear is expected to be an important milestone for their commercial usage.According to Statista, the global VR/AR market size is going to grow to 20.4billion U.S. dollars in 2021 which is almost twice as big as it was in 2018.What does this mean for the automotive businesses? Well, VR headsets arebecoming more and more affordable. For example, Oculus Rift S, a new VRheadset by Facebook Oculus, costs only $399. And applications with embedded ARare no longer the exclusive things of the gaming industry. Hence, when itcomes to purchasing a car, customers also expect to receive a technology-enhanced experience.It goes without saying that a good website is a must for any automotivebusiness — from manufacturers to dealers. But not only that. Nowadays, ashowroom doesn’t need to have all the vehicles on-site. To see and feel allthe models, customers just need to put on the VR headset.For example, Audi VR Experience lets potential car buyers digitally configurea future car. Reportedly, it allowed the company to increase the number of newcar sales by 60-70% in the pilot showroom. Dealerships that sell used carsalso use the virtual reality technology to showcase the assortment availablefor sale without bringing these items to customers.## Connected vehiclesThe Internet of Things is another hot technology trend that is transformingthe automotive sector. Nowadays, people are obsessed with connectivity becauseit makes our life easier. From such small devices as smart watches to the hugeinfrastructures like smart cities — we want the things around us to interactwith each other. The car manufacturers cannot ignore this global tendencyeither.Why is 2021 so special in terms of connectivity? It is expected that 5G willget global coverage by 2021. Among other things, this means that the Internetspeed will increase drastically. As a result, the in-vehicle connectivity willbecome a default demand of most modern car drivers. It is expected that thenumber of connected cars will hit 250 million in the next two years.Yet, connected cars not only mean that drivers and passengers will be able tosurf the Internet or use social media during the journey. Sophisticated IoT-based solutions will allow for the real-time car diagnostic which will helpcar owners detect potential malfunctions before they happen. In addition, IoT-powered cars will be able to digitally communicate with other vehicles andtransport infrastructure. This will lead to enhanced safety and improvedtraffic.## Advanced safety with AIIn the automotive industry, artificial intelligence is usually associated withself-driving cars. But, actually, this technology can be used in numerousother ways. In general, the size of the automotive AI market is expected togrow to 10 billion U.S. dollars in the next five years. And the major share ofthe investments in artificial intelligence will be related to safety issuessuch as blind spot alerts and driver monitoring.A great example of AI-powered safety solutions is Automotive AI platform byAffectiva. It was released nearly a year ago and its main task is to monitordriver’s behavior and emotions. For instance, a robot can detect when a driveris sleepy, closed his or her eyes or uses a mobile phone on the road. It willthen notify such a driver about distractions and this will mitigate the riskof a human-caused accident.It’s worth mentioning that lots of car manufacturer already follow this newtechnology trend. This means that it may become the industry standard muchsooner than many expect.## Personalized driving experienceModern people spend a lot of time in cars and it’s important to make their in-vehicle experience as pleasant as possible. For this reason, today’s carmanufacturers pay much attention to personalization and the level of comfortoffered by every model. Just like any other digital device, new cars areexpected to adapt to the needs of specific users. This applies to everythingfrom body shape to common routes and to air conditioning.Another benefit that goes hand in hand with personalization is the increasedcapability. Since cars will be able to perform many tasks without humanintervention, consumers will get the opportunity to spend their time on theroad more productively. We will see the full potential of this automotiveindustry trend when autonomous driving vehicles will become mass-produced.However, companies in the automobile industry should be ready to re-think thewhole concept of driving experience in the nearest future.## 3D printed vehiclesMany believe that 3D printing is not just a new tech trend but the future ofthe automotive industry. Some leading manufacturers already use thistechnology to produce separate parts for cars. But the vehicles of this kindhave been more just experiments rather than products for consumers. However,the situation is going to change in 2021.The first mass-produced 3D printed car was created by XEV, an Italian startup,in collaboration with Polymaker, a Chinese 3D printing company. Almost allparts of the vehicle are 3D printed, except for windows, tires, chassis, andseats. The car is called LSEV and it is planned to appear on European andAsian markets during this year.The release of LSEV is an important event for the whole business sector. Itsannounced price constitutes only $7.500 and all parts needed for one item canbe created in just 3 days. No doubt LSEV will win customers’ hearts. Hence, tostay competitive, other car manufacturers should also start thinking aboutlowering production costs and time.## ConclusionsIn this article, we outlined major IT trends in automotive that have allchances to become the industry standards in the nearest future. Of course, itdoesn’t mean that you need to start following all of them right now. Thedigital transformation process is the long journey and it may not be completedin a short span of time. As professional app developers, we recommend you tostart with the digital automotive trend that will be the most beneficialspecifically for your business. But don’t forget to always keep your finger onthe pulse not to miss anything important.Looking for a reliable developers team?We can help you shape your app idea and turn it into a real project.