Another year is almost over. While that may make you want to look in the mirror a little bit less every day, it also means more progress. Especially in the increasingly high-tech automotive world, drivers are continuing to get more and more toys to play with. And that is something we all can celebrate.
The big evolution for most vehicles in recent years have come from technological advances. While we will see more of the same in 2020, those aren’t the only changes on the horizon. Consumers are also being affected by economic, mindset, and environmental factors and these motivations are only going to accelerate in the year ahead.
With all this in mind, we present four of the hottest auto trends that you will see in 2020.
1. Automation Features
We haven’t quite reached the age of actual self-driving vehicles — at least not yet. But many of the top carmakers are working hard on the problem, and they have already started to roll out driver assist features that put more and more control into the hands of robots and automated systems. From self-parking and lane changing to “adaptive” cruise control and roadway danger alerts, this movement has already come a long way. And you should only expect more smart features in the year to come.
2. Connectivity and Devices
Twenty years ago, the only question most drivers had was “what’s under you hood?” That is still important for spec lovers and bragging rights, but consumers are increasingly starting to ask “what gadgets do you got?” Connectivity and the Internet of Things will continue to bring high-tech to the driver’s seat in 2020. As new models are introduced, we will keep seeing better personal assistants, entertainment features, navigation options, and other devices.
3. Buying for Value
After all the economic uncertainty of recent years, people are now coming around to the fact that newer isn’t always better. When deciding where to spend their hard-earned money, they now realize that the premium for a current-year model often amounts to throwing a way a lot of money. This doesn’t mean buying old junk, but there are so many great options out there from recent years. This is motivating consumers to first look for a lightly used luxury car to reap savings while still enjoying the finer things in life. Then they simply add a car service contract warranty option — with features like roadside assistance, repair discounts, and rental car reimbursement — to add a little bit of peace of mind.
4. Going Electric
While Tesla continues to face delays, pricing changes, and other difficulties in bringing its vision to market, there remains strong momentum for electric and hybrid vehicles. This is being driven as much by environmental concerns across the globe as the convenience of never having to fill up and spend money on gas. And as charging stations only become more widespread, expect to keep seeing more people riding electric.
Gearing Up for 2020 — and Beyond
People love their cars, trucks, and vehicles. This is so ingrained in our mentality that it is almost a core part of the American psyche. That will probably never change — next year or 50 years down the line.
But lots of other trends will continue to impact how drivers choose their automobiles in 2020 and the years to come. Over the next 12 months, expect to see greater development and deployment of automated features, a larger priority placed on in-vehicle devices and connectivity, more consumers opting for value over that new car smell, and the ongoing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) both in the United States and throughout the world.
When you’re cruising down the road in a car you love, it just feels different. That feeling isn’t going anywhere. It will be as true as ever even as all these new trends come and go.