Automotive companies are adapting to digital transformations at a rapid pace. EVs and self-driving cars have been gaining a great deal of attention over the past few years – a real-life model of what we had once considered futurist vehicles.
In terms of the funding world, we have seen the government actively assist the automotive industry. In addition to the automotive grants currently available, the Federal Fall Economic Statement 2023 indicates that a significant portion of funding for 2024 will go towards electric vehicles and clean energy. Canada’s highly skilled auto workers are attractive to businesses, and the government has secured more than $34B in investments towards the batteries and automotive supply chain.
Top Trends in the Automotive Industry
We discuss some emerging developments in the automobile sector in this blog. It is critical for automakers to stay competitive in one of the largest and most significant markets. Through environmental and technical improvements, the market is undergoing a major transformation.
Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)
While the AV industry is still in its infancy, it is estimated that there will be nearly 33M autonomous vehicles on the road by 2040. Large companies such as Tesla, Ford, GM, Alphabet, and Volvo, have all broken into the AV space.
The integration of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced sensors empowers autonomous vehicles to interpret and react to natural surroundings. While this reduces the chances of human error on the road, there are still questions about the reliability of these autonomous cars. In 2024, we can expect to see greater investments and research within the AV space.
The OVIN Report: Growing Ontario’s Automotive Industry states certain initiatives already in place to strengthen the automotive industry in Ontario – from innovative AV research projects to workforce developments, we can see that provincial governments are increasingly invested in the automotive industry.
Electric Vehicles (EVs)
Electric vehicles (EVs) are the most significant shift in the autonomous industry. In 2023, global EV sales climbed up to nearly 14M units – a strong surge compared to the 3M units sold in 2020.
By the end of the decade, it is predicted that over 30% of the cars on the road will be EVs.
The EV demand is not only led by consumer demand, but also by governments aiming for a net-zero economy. Governments worldwide are taking measures to encourage the adoption of EVs to reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change. By making tax credits, rebates, and subsidies more accessible for manufacturers and consumers, the government in ensuring that people fall into this trend and take advantage of the lower costs.
This also suggests that cities must ensure that there are enough accessible EV charging stations to meet the growing adoption of EVs. The government has also played a proactive role in implementing EV charging stations across certain provinces.
The EV ChargeON program encourages the installation of public EV charging stations across Ontario communities with funding up to $1M.
Apps and services are expected to become far more significant in the automotive industry over the coming years. In our Top Tech Industry Trends to Look Out For in 2024 blog, we reported a growing trend to incorporate connectivity, or more precisely the Internet of Things (IoT), across our daily lives. From toasters to humidifiers, consumers now have the power to control and personalise all their devices.
Similarly, cars and the automotive industry is now a target for the tech world. For example, the 2024 Mercedes Benz E-Class already provides consumers to the ability to install standalone apps such as Zoom for easier access to video calling on the go.
It is predicted that by 2030, 95% of vehicles will be connected to entertainment apps such as those for gaming and video streaming. Over the next few years, we can expect to see a close collaboration between the tech industry and the automotive sphere.
Like the rest of the retail world shifting into their e-commerce era since the pandemic, the automotive industry has also moved into the virtual world. Over 90% of car purchasers perform online research before a transaction. Car dealerships are moving their stock online to quickly meet the consumer during their decision-making process. Fleet Management
As the automotive landscape undergoes rapid evolution, the dynamics of urban transportation are set to undergo a significant transformation. The management of vehicle fleets will become increasingly vital in overseeing the operation of new autonomous and interconnected vehicles navigating city streets, optimizing the movement of both goods and people.
Routing solutions will factor in weather, road conditions, and electric vehicle battery levels to identify the most efficient routes. This ensures that dispatched vehicles reach customers with optimal battery levels, minimizing delays. Furthermore, predictive maintenance, driven by sensor data processed through machine learning models, will empower automakers to foresee potential issues, ultimately extending the lifespan of vehicles.
Accessing Government Grants in the Automotive Sector
The Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP) provides up to $150K in grants to fund projects that support Ontario automotive industry manufacturers as they invest in new hardware/software technologies and lean methodology to improve their operational efficiency and competitiveness.
If you are not based in Ontario, you can still browse the top government funding programs currently available to Canadian auto companies by visiting our comprehensive Automotive Funding Programs Directory today.
Government funding provides significant opportunities for automotive manufacturers in Canada that learn how to effectively leverage grants, loans, tax credits, and more. Your business can learn how to start navigating the automotive industry government funding landscape by downloading a free copy of Electric and Autonomous Vehicle Trends.