You’d be forgiven for thinking absolutely everything is becoming automatic in the 21st century. Whether it’s the appliances in our homes, the phone in our pockets, or the car parked in our garage, our everyday lives are improving thanks to the improvements in technology.
With the machines we use becoming smarter by the day, the ways we live our day are becoming simplified and more efficient too. Automation technology is especially taking over in the automotive industry. Vehicles have for long featured automatic technology and software, but in recent years, tools and machinery are becoming significantly more advanced.
So what is the automation technology that’s truly changing the game? What are the latest, most exciting developments and trends in the automotive industry? And what does the future hold for vehicle automation?
Well, whether it’s state-of-the-art vehicle safety tech or the new, improved ways of manufacturing the vehicles themselves, there’s various different ways the automotive industry has been reshaped and renewed.
So, let’s look at the most recent cutting-edge developments that all car owners should know about.
1. IoT (Internet of Things)
Ridecell is at the forefront of automation technology in the auto industry. Their IoT (internet of things) software is a cloud-based platform that has completely transformed the lives of fleet managers, for the better! Using smart vehicle data and automated workflows, complex and hard-to-keep-track-of fleet operations can now be effortlessly streamlined.
So what does Ridecell’s fleet IoT software offer up to fleet managers? Well, it’s all about turning manual tasks into automated workflows. Their system will resolve issues for you, not just report them. You’ll benefit from fast and simple solutions to admin and managerial processes such as:
- Fuel monitoring
- Driver behavior monitoring
- Vehicle security and access
- Vehicle diagnostics
- Route planning
- And more!
2. Machine Vision
Machine Vision (MV) is a tech development that has changed the way automobile makers quality check their manufacturing process. In a nutshell, MV functions like the third eye on an assembly line. How? Well, the ongoing assembly procedure is checked by various different high-end technologies including X-Rays, 3D imaging, and infrared scanning. This means MV gives manufacturers a more effective quality control system, ultimately leading to higher consumer prices and a better edge over competitors.
Cobots (Collaborative Robots) are robotic machines that have the ability to work independently from humans. And instead of robots being the only way a car is built and put together, cobots can be paused, shut down, and moved out of the way if a human worker needs to take over. This means assembly lines become much faster and more productive, in turn making the entire manufacturing process more efficient.
4. AI in Driverless Cars
Driverless cars (also known as autonomous cars) are perhaps the most stereotypical idea of the future when people think of what vehicle technology could and should be like. However, driverless cars are now a real-world thing! In fact, some experts think we’ll all be driving (or not driving) autonomous cars on smart roads eventually.
This is thanks to the latest AI technology which works by creating and storing maps of the vehicle’s surroundings. It works like radar and laser technology. The vehicle analyzes its map information and makes decisions to steer, brake, and accelerate based on the best, most safe trajectory.
With this kind of technology, cars can navigate themselves around obstacles, safely avoid hazards, and fully follow the highway code rules just like us humans can.
5. Cognitive Computing
Using cognitive computing and AI technology, cars can now also become interconnected. This means they essentially communicate with one another. But why do cars need to communicate, we hear you ask?
Well, it’s all about minimizing the risk of collisions and keeping the car’s occupants safe. The AI technology works by integrating data into connected car apps in order to share relevant road information (weather, traffic conditions, road risks, etc). Think of it as like the car version of a Neighborhood Watch scheme that looks out for everyone and anyone around you.
6. Electric Vehicles
The electrification of vehicles has in recent years become even more important to global car ownership. What’s more, vehicle electrification is becoming more and more innovative, especially around the ways in which cars are charged. Automated wireless charging is the most likely future. That way we won’t have to deal with bulky cords when we pull up to recharge.
Some experts even think cars will become connected to the roads which charge the vehicle as you drive. Think of it as like a continuous kinetic charging system. Exciting, right?
7. 3D Printing
The use of 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) is rising rapidly amongst car manufacturers. This is thanks to the technology of 3D printing improving massively. 3D printing essentially builds an object by creating layers upon layers from the bottom up, and this lends itself rather nicely to the car manufacturing process.
Although you’ll probably never be able to build a car entirely from 3D printing, you can create components and spare parts with it. It’s a technique that even some of the biggest car manufacturing giants are adopting (including Audi). It won’t be long until others follow in their footsteps too, especially if 3D printing continues to become more readily available and cost-effective. In fact, cars currently make up over 16% of the 3D printing market, so expect big things!
So, what now?
AI lies at the center of automation technology in the automotive industry. The smarter we humans become in building technology and software, the smarter our vehicles and the road infrastructure we drive them become too. Most industry professionals agree that making vehicles safer to drive should always be the number one priority for automotive technology. Efficiency comes second.
So, what now for the automotive industry? Is the near future set to rely on these 7 automation technologies aforementioned? Most likely, yes. But with the automotive industry continually bettering itself with constant innovation, who knows what the next, most significant development will be. Nothing is ever certain.
Also read: The Ins and Outs of Vacuum Pump Technology in the Automotive Industry