Today’s vehicles look and perform very differently from their predecessors. From Karl Benz to Henry Ford to Elon Musk, automobile creators have transformed the way we get around. The automotive industry is undergoing another transformation in the 21st century, and this time it’s all about technology. In this post, we’ll cover five of the biggest advancements in automotive technology you need to be aware of in 2019.



Self-Driving Technology Comes Online



Let’s get this one out of the way first. While truly self-driving cars may be a long way off from being mainstream, their precursors are already on the streets all around you. Some cars alert the driver when they’re drifting out of their lane, some have cameras and sensors that monitor blind spots, and others will park themselves under the right circumstances. As the years pass, cars will require less and less driver input to do their jobs. It’s critical that the automotive aftermarket become comfortable with and skilled at maintaining autonomous vehicles, because this is one kind of automotive technology that’s not going away.



Carsharing Goes Driverless



Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have dramatically changed the way people get around, particularly in urban environments. The next frontier is carsharing, or the concept of cars-as-a-service (CaaS). Don’t have a car and need one to run a quick errand? There’s an app for that. Soon, you’ll be able to hail a driverless car using your smartphone and use it to get where you need to go – or even to deliver something without you! How does this affect the automotive aftermarket? Simple – since these cars will be mostly autonomous, you’ll need to get good at servicing them (sensing a theme?).



Fuel Efficiency Takes Center Stage



As automakers and drivers alike become more energy conscious, vehicles are sipping fuel in smaller quantities than ever before. Expect this trend to continue, especially as automotive technology continues to advance. Tesla is leading the way with its fleet of electric and hybrid models, but other companies such as General Motors and Volkswagen are getting in on the action as well. Make sure your techs are up to date on servicing hybrid and electric vehicles to stay ahead of the curve.



Cars Become Computers on Wheels



If you’ve peeked inside some of the latest and greatest vehicles on displays at auto shows worldwide, you’ve likely seen some automobiles that resemble spaceships more than cars – at least when it comes to the dashboard. The Internet of Things (IoT) has arrived in the automotive industry. This type of automotive technology uses predictive tech to set up vehicles exactly to customer specifications with the touch of a button (or with the use of an app). No more sitting in the driveway for an hour with your new car trying to get all the settings where you want them. Soon it will all happen seamlessly. However, as anyone who has ever owned a computer knows, they’re not perfect. The automotive aftermarket needs to be standing by to service these features when they malfunction.



Shop Management Software Gets an Upgrade



For all of the exciting things happening under the hood and inside the dashboard of modern vehicles, the most exciting advancements in automotive technology are happening inside your shop. Your shop management software connects you with your customers and their cars like never before. Digital vehicle inspection (DVI) tools allow you to provide photographic explanations of needed work. And our Text to Pay feature allows shops to get paid faster and eliminate long pickup lines at the end of the day. If you’re interested in taking your shop management software to the next level with integrated payments and Text to Pay, give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to help.



PS – Want to understand your customers better? Check out this guide.



PPS – Crush it at your next trade show with these tips.