By CRM staff

Toronto, Ontario – April 24, 2019 – Electric vehicles, self-driving cars, ride-sharing and even flying cars have been some of the trends predicted to take over our roads some day. The questions still remains -- when will this day actually come? When will the way we drive, operate and repair vehicles be totally different from what it is now?

OEMs are the ones who will change the future for everyone, and the fact is they are not just thinking about safety, but they are also thinking about sustainability. Electric vehicles are starting to grow in production and popularity. General Motors plans on producing at least 20 new electric vehicles by 2023. Ford just announced a $500 million investment in electric vehicle start-up, Rivian.

A report released a few weeks ago stated that Canada’s climate was warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world and that to prevent environmental catastrophe, human behaviour must change. It seems like Canada is slowly putting steps in place to move towards an electric vehicle future.

For instance, British Columbia introduced legislation to eliminate gas emissions within the next 21 years, meaning the sale of all new light-duty cars and trucks have to be zero-emission vehicles by the year 2040.

Ontario has put in a carbon tax, increasing the price to get gas at the pump, which could further drive people to purchase electric vehicles.

Even though there are signs that electric vehicles could consume our roads, Collision Repair found that most of the repair community believes zero-emission vehicles are still very far away from doing so. Sixty-five percent of the respondents said, “not in my lifetime” while 17 percent said, “within the next five years.”

“I’m 59 and I can’t see it happening in the next 25 years,” said an anonymous respondent.

While some respondents believe B.C.’s target year of 2040 will be more likely.

“To be completely emissions-free won’t be for at least another 20 years.”

In April the CEO of Ford, Jim Hackett openly stated that the industry had "overestimated the arrival of autonomous vehicles." While still stating that the first self-driving Ford car will be arriving in 2021, "its applications will be narrow, what we call geo-fenced because the problem is so complex."

But Ford isn't the only OEM making these promises. Tesla promises to deliver fully autonomous vehicles by next year. BMW announced it would have Level 3 autonomous vehicles out by 2021. Hyundai said it plans to have fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2030.

As for fully autonomous vehicles, Collision Repair found that 34 percent believe they will be seeing them on North American roads by 2040, but still 46 percent said it won’t be happening in their lifetime. When it comes to driving in the sky, 25 percent of the respondents say it will happen within the next 30 years, but 42 percent said they don’t see it happening in their grandchildren’s lifetime.

Ride-sharing is another trend that is slowly moving its way in. One prediction is that ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft will be taking over, and privately-owned vehicles will be a rare occurrence. More than half of the respondents said that they think we will start to see ride-sharing happen more in the next decade. But there’s still a fairly large number of shop owners that think it won’t happen in their lifetime or at all, and that people will almost always own their own vehicle.


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