Reports of Detroit’s death may have been greatly exaggerated.
Indeed, the automotive industry has been witnessing something of a boom – at least in a certain segments and niches. 2012 promises to be a very exciting year for new automotive technology. This blog post will review some of the counterintuitive and delightful innovations that will create buzz in 2012:
1. Better tech/more tech/cheaper tech.
Rear-view cameras, hybrid systems, more fuel efficient engines, and more sophisticated and intuitively usable navigation systems already do exist – and they did exist in 2011. However, 2012 will see these technologies migrate into cheaper automobiles. These technologies will become more user friendly. They will become more ubiquitous. For instance, the 2012 Scion iQ sports rear-view cameras. The 2012 Honda Civic boasts a more fuel efficient engine – approximately 10% more efficient than the 2011 model. The 2012 Hyundai Veloster coupe will have streaming radio (via Pandora), built in video game consoles, GraceNote music management tech, and more.
2. Battle tested safety innovations.
2012 may be all about airbags, airbags, airbags. For instance, the 2012 Scion iQ comes with 10 airbags standard. Perhaps more excitingly, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat will have special anti- intrusion steel beams in the side doors. These beams will provide an extra layer of protection against “T-Bone” style side impact crashes. Very exciting news for safety conscious city drivers.
3. More plentiful, diverse, and richer conversations between owners, manufacturers, and engineers.
As automotive consumers become more savvy – and as tech giants tune into the latent market potential online — expect more flourishing conversations to take place between automotive technology engineers, builders and users. The most surprising innovations of 2012 may emerge from these consilient online conversations.
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