Innovations in vehicle technology and gadgetry are making the automotive world a more exciting place for car fans and tech heads alike. According to a StartUS Insights report, the top three automotive industry trends and innovations in 2022 are autonomous vehicles, electrification, and connectivity. The innovations leading the way in 2022 and beyond are expected to improve safety and comfort, with some developments already making news headlines, even if they are still in the testing phase.

Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)

Also known as self-driving cars, autonomous vehicles (AVs) are that much closer to becoming a common sight on American roads. Equipped with advanced recognition technologies such as AI-enhanced computer vision, AV fleets are expected to make public transport safer, minimize downtime, and expand the scope of last-mile deliveries. Apart from recognition technologies able to identify obstacles along the route, AVs may also reduce accidents caused by driver negligence or fatigue.

According to the report, US-based startup Intvo offers a good example of how recognition technologies for AVs are being advanced. The startup’s tech goes beyond 2D and 3D object detection to check for eye contact as well as the head position and leg movements of pedestrians. Plus, it checks weather conditions. These factors enable the tech to assign a unique risk level.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) were something of a novelty in previous years, but 2022 is seeing a concerted effort on the part of more vehicle manufacturers to develop an electric offering. According to the report, this has not been without challenges such as poor battery life, a high cost, long lead times between ordering and receiving vehicles, powering renewable energy-based charging grids, and inadequate charging infrastructure.

Far from being limited to sedans, electric vehicles will be available in a variety of models. US-based startup Lordstown Motors Corps unveiled its Endurance all-electric pickup truck, which boasts 4 hub electric motors for a four-wheel drive. The truck can travel more than 250 miles on a single charge, and it has fewer moving parts than regular commercial vehicles to offer easier maintenance. Also, read about Local Digital Business.

Vehicle Connectivity

The tamper-proof digital identities unique to most new vehicles offers easy tracking of data for uses such as driver safety, fleet management, predictive maintenance, and insurance. This is set to go a few steps further with the development of other vehicle connectivity solutions that could see vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), electric vehicle grid (V2G), and public infrastructure (V2I) data exchanges. Such data may also be used in new and emerging ways (V2X).

Looking across the Atlantic to British startup V2X Network, there’s a vehicle-to-everything (V2X) platform that offers autonomous transactions that combine geo-networking and caching for low-latency communication in real time. The startup uses distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) to run the platform, which offers significant potential for scalability. Enterprise-grade encryption lets users enhance their privacy and security measures for greater control over their data.

Smart Stereo Systems And Interfaces

According to PC Mag, smart interfaces such as Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are among the best car gadgets of recent times. Given the number of people who are determined to use their smartphones in their cars, creating an option that lets them do so more safely and simply makes sense. The above-mentioned interfaces let people connect their phones to their in-car entertainment or infotainment systems for hands-free access to messages, calls, and apps such as music, podcasts, and GPS.

Vehicle Monitoring Systems

Vehicle monitoring systems are other innovative gadgets that are improving over time. According to the publication, the Vivint Car Guard plugs into vehicles’ OBD-II ports to offer a wealth of information. Drivers can track location, be alerted if the vehicle is moved or bumped, and receive alerts about harsh braking, speeding, and other elements of erratic driving.

The monitoring system can diagnose mechanical issues and it can trigger the manufacturer’s smart home devices, such as outdoor lighting, cameras, and alarms or sirens. Vehicle monitoring systems potentially make car health and maintenance more accessible to people who know the bare minimum about their cars. With these monitoring systems, it’s less of an issue if someone doesn’t know what the radiator or transmission in a car is. The radiator keeps the engine cool, and the transmission is the gearbox, and a simple warning that they need attention can reduce the likelihood of a breakdown or mechanical-related accident occurring.

Mobile 5G Hotspots

T-Mobile’s Inseego 5G MiFi M2000 is another car gadget that’s making waves. The mobile 5G hotspot offers full Wi-Fi on the move. The unit has full Wi-Fi 6 support for as many as 30 devices, while the controls are found on a 2.4-inch touch screen.

The unit costs $50 per month, which includes 100GB of traffic (4G or 5G) over the network. The provider’s plans for hotspot data over phones do not exceed 40GB per month, making the mobile 5G hotspot an attractive option for people who need to stay connected when on the go.

The above-mentioned innovations in car technology and gadgetry are only the tip of the iceberg. Among the other innovations described in the report include shared mobility, AI, big data and data analytics, human machine interface, blockchain, internet of things, and 3D printing. Exciting times are ahead for motoring enthusiasts, that’s for sure.