Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members


Constant innovation and subsequent development are the most crucial players in the process of evolution. Industries are evolving at a rapid pace and the automotive sector is racing ahead with numerous futuristic technologies making waves in the last decade. In this dramatically changing landscape, especially in developing countries with emerging markets, the rate of development has been accelerated even more. The advent of new technologies and policies has completely transformed the structure and workings of the automotive industry. Digitization and the arrival of newer and more efficient technologies have been at the helm of this revolution. Going by the implementation of numerous processes, it is no secret that the industry now stands on the cusp of getting bigger, better, and a lot more systemic.

Innovation had led to the meteoric rise of four disruptive technology-driven trends in the automotive industry namely: autonomous mobility, connected technologies, sustainability, and the advancement of electric vehicles. Vehicles that were earlier just used as a medium of transportation are now used for much more than just that. Due to digitization and innovation, vehicles have now become a personal space for an individual which not only provides comfort, ease of access, and connectivity, but also safety. Loaded with intelligent features, today’s vehicles are transforming an individual’s driving experience into a more immersive one.

With fully autonomous driving being the ultimate development goal, autonomous mobility is heavily interdependent with connectivity. This necessitates the introduction of cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, into the automotive spectrum. On one hand, the increased use of sensors and actuators provides customers with comfort and additional functionality, while on the other hand, all the aspects, from basic interoperability to functional security of networked systems and interacting systems within vehicles must be anticipated and addressed during development. Many leading technologies for assisted and automated driving are enabled by radar, LiDAR, and Camera Systems. These systems not only help in obtaining an understanding of the scene but also help the vehicle in gaining an overview of the traffic situation which helps to accurately anticipate hazards. The future for automotive driving looks promising as it becomes suitable for increased production and widespread implementation.

Digital transformation in the industry is slated to advance both in-vehicle technologies and how the vehicle interacts with passengers, the environment, infrastructure, and other vehicles on the road. The transformation of cars into ‘Mobile Living Spaces’ has laid a larger emphasis on Connectivity and Smart Mobility. Technologies like navigation, GPS, and smart access have become standard features in modern automobiles. However, this is only the beginning of the transformation. Connectivity is important for cars to perform complex tasks and on-demand information that improves the overall experience of the drivers. Integration of smartphones has become one of the most demanding features for consumers today. An immaculate example of this feature is Continental’s CoSmA which uses a digital key (smartphone) to access the vehicle.

Talking about EVs, while it may take some time to transition to a zero-emission vehicle, EVs are looked upon as the more sustainable option with lower lifecycle emissions. Furthermore, the operating costs of EVs are significantly lower than those of conventional ICE engines. To accelerate the transition to EVs, India has launched programs such as FAME I, and FAME II, and offers various tax breaks to encourage the use of electric vehicles.

Consumers’ demands for a safe, efficient, convenient, and affordable driving experience are on the rise. As these trends are evolving, they will certainly find a home in India, one of the fastest-growing automotive hubs in the world.

Written by

Prashanth Doreswamy, President and CEO, Continental India

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members