According to the research firm MarketsandMarkets, important technological advancements post 2016 have caused the automotive industry to drastically evolve.

“The old-fashioned four-wheeled cars, which were earlier equipped with basic features, have transformed into connected cars with advanced features such as cloud computing, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others,” it said.

In an article posted on its Web site, MarketsandMarkets identified key technology-driven trends that, it thinks, “may surprise you,” as the title of the said article reads.

On top of the list is usage-based insurance vehicles. The firm said IoT, which is a network of physical devices that connect with one another and share data, has led to a wave of connectivity that has influenced almost every industry, even the insurance industry.

“The IoT platform helps to connect the insurers of various sectors such as motor, property, and individual policyholder blockchain. Insurance companies are increasingly using IoT data to improve their precision in assessing risk, pricing policies, and estimating necessary reserve. The introduction of IoT has created significant opportunities in the automotive insurance sector such as usage based insurance,” the firm said.

Another important trend in the automotive industry is driven by technologies like the V2X (vehicle to everything) and V2G (vehicle to grid) technologies.

“The telematics application of automotive vehicle-to-everything technology offers intelligent traffic systems, collision avoidance, parking management systems, emergency vehicle notifications, and remote monitoring and diagnostics, among other sub-applications. It provides the vehicle with the ability to receive warnings regarding real-time traffic and alerts related to accidents or other hurdles,” MarketsandMarkets said.

It defined V2X as a wireless technology involving the exchange of information between a vehicle and all other entities — from other vehicles to infrastructure to the cloud — it comes into contact with. V2X tech enables the optimization of traffic flow, increased traffic safety and reduced emissions, among other things.

V2G technologies, MarketsandMarkets noted, employs peak load management as distributed storage devices that enable the usage of electric vehicles.

The third trend the firm listed has to do with connected vehicles and the concept of vehicle as a hub. Over the next decade, the firm noted that artificial intelligence-based systems in automotive applications, which nowadays are rare, would become an essential component in new premium vehicles.

“Human-machine interface, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and autonomous vehicles are the various applications that will drive the vehicle as a hub concept,” MarketsandMarkets said, adding that a strong IoT backup is needed to connect vehicles and devices.

Mild hybrid is the fourth trend. “The concept of high voltage electrical systems was discussed and developed 15 years back regarding [42-volt] systems,” the firm said. But 42-volt system did not take off because of the costly components and the lack of a real driving for development.

“However, today, the recurrence of high voltage 48V is driven by fuel economy and emission regulations. In today’s market, components are much cheaper, technology has improved considerably, and the need to reduce CO2 emissions is a substantial driver for the concept,” MarketsandMarkets said. A shift toward 48V architecture — or, at least, using that in combination with existing platforms — might help automakers meet fuel economy and emission regulations.

Technologies related to car health monitoring are another important trend in the automotive industry. MarketsandMarkets said that although at present automotive biometric identification systems are still in an initial phase of development, these are projected to grow by the end of 2022, and gain significant market share three years after, in 2025.

Other related technologies that MarketsandMarkets said would find market acceptance are iris and facial recognition technologies. “Manufacturers are trying to overcome the in-vehicle health state of drivers, for which the drivers’ fatigue, heart rate monitoring, and sleep deprivation [are] detected and notified with warning systems. The health monitoring is done with the help of sensors equipped [in] steering and seat belts. Thus, with the integration of semiconductors, the in-vehicle health monitoring would emerge as the new trend post 2020,” the firm said.

Finally, there’s the truck platooning. In truck platooning, the firm explained, “two or more trucks drive very close behind the platoon leader at high velocity, with the next truck automatically following the leader through vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication.” This represents an “incremental step” toward fully autonomous freight transport on public roads, MarketsandMarkets said, adding that large fleet transport companies will buy platoon-enabled vehicles from 2019 to 2020.

In closing, the firm said that with technological advancements and upcoming automotive trends, the automotive industry is moving toward platform-based services, enhanced products for electrification and increased level of automation.

“These innovations will help OEMs to enhance the user experience. In addition, they will help the Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to increase their business revenue by offering systems as well as hardware components,” MarketsandMarkets said.