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Summer is firing on all cylinders – a fact anyone who’s glanced at their dashboard thermometer lately can attest to. To commemorate the recent string of triple-digit days, our experts at Caliber have gathered up some of the hottest trends in the automotive industry. Even though air conditioning advancements didn’t make the cut this time around, you’re sure to find a few even cooler developments below.

Connections are Crucial
Our world is more connected than ever, and car companies are accommodating that by shifting their focus to built-in wireless integration systems. Wi-Fi, GPS, 5G and Bluetooth connectivity will play an integral role in the future of auto manufacturing, ultimately turning our vehicles into personal network hubs. Several companies such as BMW and Toyota have already included Apple’s CarPlay in their base models as a way to integrate phone functionality right into your dash, and internet access will soon be just as important as fuel economy to new buyers.

Driving Healthy
Smartphone integration might come as no surprise, but actual driver integration is sure to be a different story. Iris and facial recognition technologies are already gaining traction in the industry, and health monitoring will be here in no time. Through various sensors, cars would be able to monitor heart rates and even detect fatigue and sleep deprivation. With post-2020 release dates, these systems could revolutionize road safety, protecting people both inside and outside of the cabin.

Ridesharing Revs Up
With the emergence of Uber and Lyft, ridesharing is becoming a widely accepted alternative to travelers worldwide. Manufacturers are, in turn, developing their own approaches to the concept and are offering a variety of services for the future. For example, GM’s Maven program resembles Airbnb and allows drivers to rent out their own cars for hours or days at a time, and the automaker’s Cruise unit of self-driving robotaxis is set to launch next year. The shift to consumer choice and convenience signals a dynamic shift in the industry, and we’re excited to see where that journey leads.

Insurance Innovations
Automakers aren’t the only ones restructuring for the future. Insurance companies are also implementing drastic changes to traditional policies. The next game-changing trend involves new usage-based systems that would calculate premiums based on vehicle type, distance traveled and driver behavior. This pay-how-you-drive concept is already revolutionizing how insurance companies and consumers interact, and approximately 20% of all insurers will offer similar programs within the next five years.

The recent integration of Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology is paving the way to a fully autonomous future. V2X is more than an independent vehicle sensing and reacting to the environment, it allows information exchange between other vehicles, devices and cloud-based information systems. Cars could exchange driving information with other cars in high-traffic situations, react to traffic lights and other infrastructure, and create a more seamless taxi service in relation to a user’s personal smartphone. With millions of V2X devices set to release in 2018 alone, it’s safe to say fully autonomous driving is just around the bend.

The future of automotive design is growing more exciting by the year, and these trends are only a few of the incredible developments in the industry. As fast as technology is advancing, there’s one thing you can always count on – having a collision repair partner you can trust. From classics to concept cars, our experts have every tool it takes to restore the rhythm of your life. Until next time!