Five Big Auto Trends for 2014

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Urban driving will decline.

Cities (starting with Europe, but it’s spreading) are getting really aggressive to reduce congestion and improve air quality, and that means a bunch of things—bike sharing, cargo bikes (even for moving!), new public transit options, no-go zones for cars, buildings without garages. Some cities, including Beijing, are even limiting new car registrations. Zero-emission EVs get a free pass, however—in London, they avoid the downtown congestion charge, in California they travel solo in HOV lanes, and in Oslo they can park free. They’ll take over from some gas guzzlers on city streets.

Urban driving will decline.

Cities (starting with Europe, but it’s spreading) are getting really aggressive to reduce congestion and improve air quality, and that means a bunch of things—bike sharing, cargo bikes (even for moving!), new public transit options, no-go zones for cars, buildings without garages. Some cities, including Beijing, are even limiting new car registrations. Zero-emission EVs get a free pass, however—in London, they avoid the downtown congestion charge, in California they travel solo in HOV lanes, and in Oslo they can park free. They’ll take over from some gas guzzlers on city streets.

Urban driving will decline. 

Cities (starting with Europe, but it’s spreading) are getting really aggressive to reduce congestion and improve air quality, and that means a bunch of things—bike sharing, cargo bikes (even for moving!), new public transit options, no-go zones for cars, buildings without garages. Some cities, including Beijing, are even limiting new car registrations. Zero-emission EVs get a free pass, however—in London, they avoid the downtown congestion charge, in California they travel solo in HOV lanes, and in Oslo they can park free. They’ll take over from some gas guzzlers on city streets.

Self-driving cars are works in progress. 

No, we won’t see them in 2014, but we’ll see pieces of them—increasingly sophisticated systems that will intervene to keep us in our lanes, avoid collisions, apply the brakes, and even take over in traffic jams. By 2020, some cars will have limited autonomy, maybe even do some freeway driving, but by 2025 we may be finally sitting in the back seat playing with our smart phones—or whatever they call those things by then. Google, Volvo, Audi, GM, they’re all really into this. And it fits right into trends of young people losing interest in driving.

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Fuel cells are coming. 

By the end of the year, we will start to see the first commercial hydrogen-powered cars on the market. At the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Toyota will display the FCV Concept, a sedan that spokeswoman Jana Hartline describes as “very close” to the production vehicle that will hit the market around 2015. Hartline says it has a range of over 300 miles on a fill. She describes $50,000 as “a reasonable target price.” Infrastructure remains the “elephant in the room,” and in the U.S. only California is likely to have it by 2015 (with perhaps 25 refueling stations). Andstationary fuel cells have big applications, too.

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We are already in the second quarter of 2014 and the automotive industry is truly taking technology to new heights.

By the end of the year, expectations are high for Auto Manufacturers… We will keep you posted as we go.

Cheers

– ICC Collision Centers

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