The last decade has seen big changes in automotive manufacturing. With higher demand for electric vehicles, safety features, and more, companies stepped up to provide options. Supply chain issues from the pandemic haven't been easy, but behind-the-scenes work went forward in a lot of ways even during the shutdowns. Altogether, it’s led to the following five amazing changes over the last decade.
1. Electric Vehicles are Here to Stay
Among the biggest changes for automotive manufacturers is the move toward electric vehicles (EVs).
Where Tesla and a couple of other companies were the only ones with EVs just a few years ago, now all the major automakers have them. There are also companies most people aren't familiar with that have appeared on the scene with their own EVs, adding to the selection buyers have and the features and styles they can choose from.
It's no secret that EVs are receiving high consumer demand right now. More people are choosing them, and companies are struggling to keep up with production. The automotive chip shortage of the last couple of years didn't help with that, but part of the problem is that there's just so much demand all at once. Many companies are increasing EV production, so they can work on catching up.
2. Recycled Materials Add to Sustainability
Plastics, especially, are popular for recycling and automotive use. They can be turned into insulation for the engine compartment and reused in other ways, as well. Recycled materials save money throughout the manufacturing process and also help to reduce the amount of plastic and other items headed to landfills.
Vehicle manufacturers that look for ways to increase sustainable practices get noticed, because they showcase how much they care about the environment.
3. Safety Features Have Made Big Strides
Safety has advanced over the last decade of automotive manufacturing. On many vehicles today, drivers will be alerted if they're drifting out of their lane, or closing in on the car in front of them too quickly. There are back-up cameras and warning beepers to help people navigate traffic and parking lots, and parking assist systems make parallel parking easier, safer, and far less stressful than it used to be.
Adhesives, films, and related items are also making it easier than ever to reduce road noise and hold a vehicle together properly during an accident. Vehicles are designed to crumple and come apart in certain areas, so that other areas can hold up and stay together to protect passengers. The right adhesive can make the difference.
4. Many Cars are Internet-Connected
Driving around with a hot-spot is much more common than it was just a few short years ago. Many vehicles are connected to the internet, and that makes navigation, finding a great place to eat, and running diagnostics on your vehicle easier than ever. Vehicles can now help you avoid traffic congestion by rerouting you, or even let you know that it's time for a software update.
5. Hands-Free and Self-Driving Options
Taking your hands off the wheel can create risks while driving, but there are more hands-free and self-driving options today. The surge of EVs offering hands-free driving has led to automotive manufacturing that's focused on these types of features, even in gas-powered cars.
Fully self-driving cars aren't quite there yet, but as quickly as technology is advancing, they're right on the horizon.
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