Motors.co.uk predictions for 2017

Autonomous technology set to star in 2017, predicts Motors.co.uk

•         Autonomous technology will influence car manufactures in 2017, predicts Motors.co.uk
•         View from sister company in the USA, Autotrader.com confirms which technology will resonate with consumers in the next 12 months

Phill Jones, Managing Director of Motors.co.uk

Technology is at the heart of automotive innovation, with new discoveries critical to the success of the products and services released each year to improve drivers’ experience on the road.

Words like ‘self-driving’ and ‘autonomous’, once a seemingly futuristic fantasy, are now part of the vernacular, becoming much closer to reality. There are several self-driving car features that already are available on new cars today, including things like adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic parking and more.

While fully self-driving cars are still a long way from mass adoption, there are a number of technological advancements that are increasingly making vehicles safer and easier to use. Below, Motors.co.uk has identified which technology is set to come to the fore in 2017, taking a steer from its Cox Automotive sister company Autotrader.com on the US market.

Phill Jones, Managing Director of Motors.co.uk, said: “The development of new technology is at the heart of automotive innovation and we have seen some incredible advancements over the last few years.

“Manufacturers are using the latest technology to not only make their cars more fun and easier to drive, they are also using new enhancements to ensure vehicles are safe for passengers. We are still some time away from self-driving cars being the norm on our roads, but brands are continuously pushing the boundaries to improve the driving experience.

“The automotive industry can only benefit from an investment in technology and at Motors.co.uk, we’re always excited to learn about upcoming innovations, along with how consumers and dealers respond to them.”

Technology predicted to influence the automotive industry in 2017 is:

Advanced self-driving capabilities
Manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Volvo are rolling out self-driving systems that can put many autonomous features together in one advanced package, appealing to even the most die-hard car enthusiasts especially when it comes to the more boring parts of driving like commuting or long motorway journeys. While Tesla's Autopilot may currently be among the most advanced (and better-known) of these systems, several other automakers offer an impressive look at the future, including Volvo's Pilot Assist system.

Adaptive suspension
Formerly only seen on ultra-high-end sports cars, adaptive suspension is now making its way into other models, allowing you to adjust your car's suspension based on the experience you want to have, with modes like ‘comfort’ and ‘sport’. For drivers who often find themselves critiquing a car's ride, or for those who spend a lot of time on rough roads or driving on twisty roads, the ability to change your driving experience with the push of a button can be well worth the cost.

Autonomous safety features
Many new vehicles now offer a suite of autonomous safety technology, including lane keep assist, automatic forward collision braking and adaptive cruise control - and the great news is that these systems are getting more affordable and no longer only reserved for expensive luxury cars.

Car care apps
Say goodbye to the little sticker on the corner of your windshield that reminds you of your service or MOT; now many cars deliver this information and more in a handy app, making it easier to keep track of everything. Some brands’ car care apps not only tell you when your vehicle needs its next service, but it can even schedule it for you.

Gesture control
Gesture control is the wave of the automotive future. It allows you to control various features of your vehicle using gestures instead of pressing a button, touching a screen or using voice commands. Currently, BMW is offering this feature, but expect it to reach more vehicles in the coming years.

Larger screens, more screens
Huge screens seem to be replacing many gauges and buttons at the front of new cars, operating similar to a smartphone with ultra-sensitive touch and the ability for details to be reconfigured. While some may worry about the future reliability of such screens in place of simple buttons, others praise the cleaner presentation and easier-to-use infotainment systems versus former complex controls or tiny buttons.

Electric drivetrain
Electric drivetrain technology is now becoming more widespread and delivers not only the obvious fuel-economy benefit, but also performance benefits. Modern exotic sports cars like the Acura NSX, BMW i8, Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari all feature electric drivetrains. For everyday drivers, features ranging from fully electric to plug-in petrol/electric hybrids mean several options for the driving masses.