The automobile industry has proven to be one of the top revenue-generating industries. Automobile companies are partnering with certain startups in order to lead a revolution that is forthcoming. General Motors invested $5O0m in ride-hailing startup Lyft and also acquired a self-driving car startup; Cruise. Let’s talk about some current and emerging trends then we can identify what they all have in common and what they are all missing out on.

The ride-hailing model has birthed unicorn startups like; Lyft, Uber and Didi Chuxing. These startups are among the most funded and the most valued startups presently. Uber is succeeding in penetrating the Middle East with a $3billion funding from Saudi Arabia. So will people stop buying cars and driving their own cars to adopt this model? Well Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in an interview with Tech Crunch’s Michael Arrington at Tech Crunch Disrupt, San Francisco event which happened in 2014 that he does own a car but as at that time has had not driven in 2years. Uber is yet to make a major acquisition and Mr. Kalanick stated that the public should not expect an IPO anytime soon. Apple seems to be a big believer in the future of ride-hailing through its $500M investment in Didi Chuxing whiles Toyota also made investment into Uber Technologies. Wal-Mart recently announced a partnership with Uber and Lyft for grocery delivery. The ride sharing model can reduce traffic congestion on roads and can actually save us car maintenance costs.

The emergence of driverless cars is a force to reckon with. Google is pioneering this revolution with its self-driving car concept. Billionaire, Elon Musk, predicts that someday you could be charged for driving your car. The autonomous vehicle concept is yet to be fully commercialized. Another company which seeks to be a leader in this revolution is Audi. Certain startups are also experimenting with self-driving vehicles. So you will not have to panic if you misplace your driving license because you wouldn’t even have to learn to drive. Well, if self-driving cars prevail, there will be no such thing as drunk driving or texting while driving.

Electric cars are also gaining grounds in the market. The 2016 Detroit Auto Show saw lots of electric cars unveiled to the public eye. From electric cars to electric skateboards and Gogoro’s electric scooters, electric vehicles have being approved by authorities and they are fully out on sale. Billionaire, Ron Baron, predicted that electric vehicle company Tesla will become a $700billion mega company. Tesla recently announced its plan to acquire solar panel company, Solar City but most shareholders of Tesla were not very happy with the decision describing it as a bailout for Solar City whose chairman is Elon Musk. ChargePoint, a startup that provides stations in vintage locations to charge electric vehicles, is also capitalizing on the growing market of electric vehicles. Electric vehicle startup, Faraday Future, has also revealed its concept to the general public and the secretive company may be ready to take on Tesla. Apple is also experimenting on electric cars through its car concept code-named “Project Titan”. Electric cars are very healthy alternatives of preventing hazards in the atmosphere.

For centuries, flying cars have only being a wish and a dream of almost everyone but, some innovators, engineers, researchers and futurists have not let go of that dream and some are committed to making flying cars a reality. Google co-founder, Larry Page discretely funded two flying car startups and Kitty Hawk. Elon Musk, who is outspoken about futuristic innovations, said that we are afraid that flying cars might just fall over our heads. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which can also carry humans are also underway. Some of us just want to get to our destinations earlier, that’s why we use cars and flying cars may be a good alternative, that is, if they are approved and penetrate the market.

The Hyperloop might just be the invention that gets trains out of the way. If Elon Musk is right with this vision, the Hyperloop may be one of the fastest modes of transport for everyday people. As complicated as the concept seems, Elon Musk says it is so easy that his space travel startup, Space X’s interns can easily build it.

Well, some futurists like me, are also dreaming of swimming cars, and they may just be the trend that takes over the market.

Published by Mawunyo Adjei