Auto is a prefix used in many words that describe cars or driving. While its meaning may be clear in certain contexts, its application to other words may cause confusion.
The automotive industry is seeing increasing investment for electric, connected, and autonomous vehicles that could fundamentally alter our economy. But how can we know whether these models will succeed or fail?
Automobile, commonly referred to as car, is a motor vehicle designed for passenger transport. Typically equipped with four wheels and powered by an internal combustion engine fueled with volatile fuel sources such as petrol or diesel, cars are one of the most widely-used and recognized modern technologies.
Few inventions have had such an enormous impact on humanity as the automobile. It ended rural isolation, provided urban amenities like schools and medical care to rural areas, altered city architecture and suburban planning practices, expanded leisure activities like vacation travel and dining out, as well as revolutionized manufacturing techniques used for making other goods.
Automobiles have become such an indispensable part of our daily lives that it’s easy to take them for granted, yet their existence wasn’t always taken for granted. At first, people had to walk miles or days for transportation before the invention of horseless carriages by such men as Joseph Cugnot, Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz became feasible.
The Auto Industry
The auto industry is an umbrella term encompassing car manufacturers and companies that produce parts for them as well as firms that sell or repair them; all considered part of a manufacturing sector by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The automotive industry is an incredible economic force and highly influential on global economy. Employing over 1.7 million Americans alone, its impact is immense and serves as a significant consumer of goods and services from other sectors while being an invaluable source of tax revenues in many nations.
The auto industry can be seen as a risky investment because its fortunes often track those of the overall economic cycle. Auto stocks tend to surge when economies expand and peak, before slowly declining when recession hits. Furthermore, government regulations and competitive pressures make this industry highly susceptible to scrutiny from operations management and supply chain management perspectives.
Automation refers to tools or systems which reduce human intervention in repetitive tasks, increasing production efficiency while freeing human workers to focus on more strategic activities. Automation plays an integral part of automobile production – Technavio predicts its global automotive automation market will expand by 3.89% during 2021-2026!
Automation in the automobile industry spans all stages of production from manufacturing and design of cars to proactive transformation of aftermarket services such as insurance-related aftermarket services. Engineers also utilize automation to virtually test various car designs and configurations before they build them physically.
Robots can help reduce labor costs in the auto industry by freeing humans up to perform ergonomically-beneficial tasks. Furthermore, they can increase speed and accuracy of production; unlike older robots that were kept separate from human workers in enclosed areas, modern automation technology enables machines to collaborate more seamlessly with human employees for increased work pace and reduced injuries among employees; additionally enabling longer lasting batteries with greater capacity to store energy for increased production rates.
While driverless cars can make us safer by eliminating human error, many questions still exist regarding these autonomous vehicles. One issue concerns whether their software can be breached posing serious cybersecurity threats; another concerns how fully autonomous vehicles might affect insurance, law enforcement and public transportation funding mechanisms.
Google and Tesla, along with universities and research centers, are working on autonomous cars. These cars use sensors to detect surrounding traffic, objects and their environments as well as GPS mapping technology for mapping purposes and computerized analysis to respond effectively to them.
At present, no self-driving cars are legal to operate legally; however, some partially automated vehicles are being tested. These include Level 2 cars equipped with features like lane assist and blind spot warnings as well as Level 4 cars which allow drivers to relax their grip or even sleep; fully autonomous cars would fall under Level 5, whereby drivers could remove their feet from both gas and brake pedals.