Times have never been more uncertain for the automotive industry. As the global pandemic continues to change the shape or our society and economy, it will be the innovative companies that survive and thrive. This will be the case in the automotive industry as much as anywhere else. Automobile engineers have long been in an innovation race with each other regardless but the current times only increase the trend. In this article, we break down the most innovative automobile companies leading the future in 2020.
Kia took luxury to a whole other level in 2020 with the Telluride. Much of what makes the Telluride a luxury car is the sleek yet still rugged exterior. Inside the vehicle is where the innovations really begin, however. The 10.25” touchscreen display and USB chargers available to all passengers shows Kia sees the future of automobiles will be driven by connectivity and digital advancements.
In 2004, Ford released the first hybrid SUV, seemingly going after the market of consumers looking for a green solution to their sports-utility needs. Ford has continued to nail-down this market with the 2020 Escape. Once again, Ford put out a product unlike any other on the market. The 2020 Escape carries with it the option of a hybrid or a Plug-in hybrid model. This allows the vehicle to be sold in areas where Plug-in options are more prevalent and where they are not equally. The 2020 Escape can travel up to 30KM on electricity alone making it even more fuel-efficient than previous models.
The Mercedes-Benz GLS introduced a function titled “Carwash Mode.” The aptly named addition to the series provides checks to the vehicle’s exterior to ensure it is in a proper state to be washed. It closes all windows, pauses the rain-sensing wipers so they aren’t activated during the wash and raises the air suspension so the undercarriage of the car can be washed as well. It was an innovation that consumers may not have been asking for in droves but appreciated once it arrived. It’s that kind of outside-the-box thinking that will drive future innovations from the company.
General Motors is creating innovation by way of increasing the use of cameras to help drivers maneuver their vehicle. The GMC Sierra HD is equipped with 8 cameras that are able to show 15 different angles. These angles include the transparent trailer view allowing drivers to see what’s behind them as they back up. The camera views can be shown on the 8” inch screen and allow for increased safety but also reduced strain on the driver. As 2020 continues, GM is a company to look to for innovations in safety and driver convenience.
While purchasing stock in Tesla might only be an exercise for those with a love of uncertainty, even Elon Musk’s biggest detractors can’t argue the innovation of his company. The only worry sometimes with Musk and his company is that what Tesla’s eccentric leader believes to be innovative might not always line-up with what the market does. For instance, you worry the company might spend a large percentage of its time developing DeLorean like wing-doors or a function of a touchscreen that allows vehicle occupants to check in on the latest SpaceX rocket launch. Still, if we are looking at automobile innovation, look no further than Tesla.