Technological Trends in 2021 Transform Automotive Manufacturing

The automotive industry has a great mix of tech and industrial sector disruptors to create innovative solutions. With the digitization buzz all over the world, the automotive industry is also preparing for a major shift in 2021, and over the last decade, the sector has experienced tremendous ups & downs. However, as more technology is adopted in various sectors, the auto industry is gradually progressing toward advancement, in which industrialists will make more revenue and end-users will discover more innovative driving techniques.

China, like other sectors, leads in the automobile sector, followed by the US and Japan. Nevertheless, the automotive sector is evolving because of changing times and scenarios such as demand for auto sector outputs and the nation’s average age. Since 2019, India has ranked fourth as the largest automobile market, surpassing Germany, and predictions indicate that it is on track to become the third-largest market, surpassing Japan. According to the sources, China will lead the auto sector by 2030, followed by the US and India.

As per IBEF data, the Indian automotive industry (including component manufacturing) is expected to reach INR16.16-18.18 lakh crore (US$ 251.4-282.8 billion) by 2026. Along with other sectors, the automotive industry experienced a slowdown during the pandemic due to decreased sales. Even so, the industry has begun to recover, providing everyone with a sense of hope. So, here are a few technological trends that will impact the automotive manufacturing industry in 2021.

Digitalization, the industry’s new face!

While digitalization is a new realm for the auto industry, large automobile institutions have already implemented it to cater to their customers and provide them with the best car buying and selling experience possible. But it also includes the usage of VR (Virtual Reality), IoT (Internet of Things), and AR (Augmented Reality) in the future, to implement the latest technologies including the use of multi-hybrid cloud network architectures and development & operations at a deeper level.

Artificial Intelligence-based autonomous vehicle

Autonomous vehicles powered by artificial intelligence (AI) are setting the pace in the automotive industry. These vehicles do not require drivers and rely solely on sensors & software for control and navigation. Autonomous vehicles are designed to reduce the need for human drivers, making day-to-day transportation easier. Big industry players like Uber, Tesla, and Google are strongly supporting efforts to improve the reliability of autonomous vehicles. With the current rate of development, it is expected that additional applications will be explored, and investments will pour in over the next few years.

Electrification, a critical need in the modern era

The automotive industry is banking on batteries to power its future. Government agencies, investors, and carmakers are pouring money into battery research as part of a global race to profit from emission-free electric vehicles. According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, EV sales in India, excluding E-rickshaws, increased by 20 percent to 1.56 lakh units in FY20, driven primarily by two-wheelers. The growing reliance on fossil fuels, as well as the environmental damage caused by their use, has altered the outlook for the automotive industry. Furthermore, it has prioritized electric vehicles (EVs). According to statistics, cars account for 15 percent of all carbon emissions, causing potentially irreversible environmental damage and depleting fossil fuel reserves. To address these issues, electric vehicles use higher levels of energy efficiency and lower fuel consumption. Although EVs have limitations, their acceptance and adoption in the sector remain debatable. Electric vehicle manufacturers should develop solutions for poor battery performance, high prices, insufficient charging infrastructure, renewable energy-based charging, and fleet electrification.

Blockchain, the most popular technology in the internet generation

Blockchain has made it more difficult to change, hack, or cheat the system’s information, transforming the processes of the organization. It allows the vehicle data to be shared over a secure network for connectivity and shared mobility solutions such as urban transportation, ride-hailing, and deliveries. It is also used in the verification process to increase efficiency in back-office operations and the supply chain. Blockchain disruption in the auto industry is expected to grow in the future.

3D printing, a new generation of manufacturing technology

With the increasing demand for new vehicles and spare parts in the auto industry, industrialists and end-users are always looking for newer, better-performing vehicles and need to optimize production as well as streamline supply chains and logistics. All these requirements and challenges are being met with the help of 3D technology, which has been explored in all areas of automotive production. Aside from rapid prototyping, it is also used to manufacture tooling and end parts.

Every year, the automotive industry sees a surge in demand for newer technologies. Industrialists and researchers are developing cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to meet these demands. Carmakers all over the world are implementing various techniques to provide end-users with the best and most innovative technology. The coming years will usher in a slew of technological innovations that will reshape the landscape of the automotive sector across the globe!

Authored by: Nitin Lall, General Manager, Industrial Technique, Atlas Copco

Image Source: Atlas Copco


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