The automotive industry, like most sectors of the technology and telecommunications market, is undergoing a period of great transformation. Accordingly, Cojali wanted to offer an insight into certain trends that will be increasingly present in the commercial vehicle sector next year:
Totally autonomous driving is close to becoming a reality by 2030. Today, some vehicles allow driver-assistance driving (emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure detection, etc.). However, in this 2020 already automated functions that analyze the environment to be able to act and make decisions which, sometimes, the driver does not have time to make or does not develop them due to lapse of concentration, will appear. Even though on the road there are already many actions that passenger cars can perform by themselves, it is still necessary to strengthen driving in urban environments and prevent unforeseen events in commercial vehicles. However, once the legal and technological barriers have been overcome, we will be only a few months away from reaching level 3 of autonomous driving.
The use of new technologies is making communication between commercial vehicles a substantial change in the way we understand mobility. Intelligent traffic and connectivity between vehicles have led to the so-called Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, which help vehicles exchange and share data such as road condition, slow traffic or special weather conditions. Thanks to the development of this type of systems, on-road transport will be safer, more fluid, cleaner and more efficient.
The electric vehicle already exists on the market, proof of that are the passenger cars, in which it has been easier to implement because the batteries are more adapted. However, for commercial vehicles such as trucks, there still needs far-reaching changes, since the bodywork would have to be completely modified to accommodate a different engine from the conventional ones, changes that would also affect the cooling systems, braking systems and electronic components, which would also have to be adapted to less polluting, more durable batteries with lower production costs.
The implementation of commercial electric vehicles will make a significant contribution to reducing noise and CO2 emissions. Besides, more and more companies are opting for sustainable mobility, free of emissions. For that reason, there are already bus fleets that have decided to use natural gas as a solution to the present polluting fuels. While this is a significant step forward, the real change will come with the implementation of combustion alternatives that offer renewable gases such as biomethane or hydrogen in commercial vehicles. However, green hydrogen produced from renewable energies seems to have become the greenest option for the coming years, proving to be a 100% sustainable alternative, although currently, it is the least common on the market.
ADAS safety systems are advanced driver assistance systems, which are increasingly present in the automotive sector. From the end of 2015, these systems became mandatory on new commercial vehicle models, but it was not until mid-2017 when the seven main European brands launched new models equipped with these systems: radar (object detection, front collision warning, emergency braking and adaptive cruise control) and camera (lane departure detection). ADAS systems often have to be readjusted after accidents, windscreen modifications, changes in vehicle height or in the cabin. Therefore, one of the trends for this 2020 is that workshops are more and more equipped with ADAS calibration equipment for commercial vehicles, to ensure safe driving and prevent accidents.