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As we enter the initial weeks of 2022, just as we hope that society returns to some level of normal, there is optimism that the coming months will also signal a positive change for the auto sector. The following are some of the trends we expect to continue or emerge.

More electric vehicles on the road
In spite of ongoing the semiconductor shortage and supply chain disruptions, clean energy vehicles remain a hot commodity and there is no doubt the trend will continue – especially when so many new models are being developed across the full spectrum of automotive brands.

Hydrogen fuel cell technology breakthrough
2022 is the year when many analysts believe fuel cell electric vehicles may emerge in a mass-produced car. Vehicles like the Toyota Mirai are expected to pave the way for this clean technology.

Self-driving technology
This technology is taking on increasing significance in the auto industry as a growing number of manufacturers, mobility start-ups and tech companies are developing self-driving technology. We’re not there yet, but the time is coming.

Improved safety features
As time goes on, new vehicles are being outfitted with more advanced safety features to protect drivers and passengers. A few of the current safety features include adaptive cruise control, emergency braking systems, lane departure warning, electronic stability control, blind spot detection and more.

Vehicle to vehicle communications
The one aspect of driving that remains out of our control is what other drivers may do. V2V means that your vehicle will be able to react without you having to provide input, by deploying safety messages about location, speed and direction that another vehicle may be travelling.

Feature packed vehicles
Modern cars come with a wide array of features and technologies, whether they be for safety, convenience or personal entertainment. The range of features continues to expand such as in-car infotainment system, air purification, WIFI access which may become standard.

Vegan-friendly cars
In an age when consumers are increasing looking for green or ethically produced options, there are more options for vegan-friendly cars than before. Characteristics include seats that are made from recycled materials, instead of the traditional leather interiors.

Through periods of uncertainty, the auto sector has always maintained a commitment to excellence, innovation and to consumers. These commitments have never been truer than today as we forge a path that takes us beyond the pandemic, and continue to address and spark new industry trends, the automotive retail sector will emerge stronger than ever.

Blair Qualey is President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at bqualey@newcardealers.ca