Technology to spur future automotive design innovation

How could current consumer demands affect future design trends? By Christopher Dyer

Automakers are responsible for designing practical solutions for vehicles that effectively respond to current environmental and economic limitations. Manufacturers can tackle this from numerous angles. Hyundai, for instance, is replacing microchips with software-based alternatives that are integrated into the vehicle’s software and user experience (UX) architecture. Design houses, however, also hold critical responsibility for designing attractive vehicles that can respond to future social and economic pressures without compromise. Recent consumer shifts towards sustainability and ethical material resourcing are providing manufacturers unique opportunities to explore alternative approaches to otherwise conventional areas of vehicle development.

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Karl Brauer, Executive Analyst at CarExpert.com and a highly experienced industry veteran, suggests that with technical innovation accelerating and manufacturers struggling to keep up with the change, more emphasis is now being placed on software and technical architecture advancement. “Technology already influences what cars look like and how they drive more than it did ten years ago,” he says. “When you look at the evolution of personal transportation, there’s no escaping technical integration and the expectation is that cars are going to continue to more deeply embed software as time goes on.”

Hyundai IONIQ5
Hyundai is replacing microchips with software-based alternatives that are integrated into the vehicle’s software and UX architecture

Paul Woods, Chief Executive of design house Edenspiekermann, says that the next short-term development in design will favour endless customisation, automation augmentation and software integration. Exploring how each factor contributes to current and future prospects of automotive design could help illuminate where long-term design trends are likely to take the automotive industry.

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