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Auto Trends for 2021

For years now, we’ve been hearing about trends and technologies that will transform driving as we know it. Now, we’re starting to see some of the advances make their way onto the road. Expect 2021 to be something of a tipping point for automotive technology: the year when the idea of cars as high-tech instruments rather than high-octane machines really takes hold. But don’t think this means the end of automotive performance. On the contrary, cars are getting faster, stronger, and more fun than ever before. Without a doubt, this is a great time to be a driver no matter how you like to drive. Here are several automotive industry trends you can expect to emerge, accelerate, or mature in 2021:

Self-Driving Cars

Cars have steadily gained the ability to drive themselves. Many drivers already have cars that will steer themselves back into the proper lane, park themselves in a tight spot, or automatically speed up and slow down based on the surrounding traffic. Some high-end cars have sophisticated self-driving systems that let the driver take their hands off the wheel for extended stretches of time. Driver-less cars remain controversial, so it will still be a long time before we see a complete conversion. In 2021, we will start to see a lot of new models that can handle most if not all of the driving on their own.

Internet-Connected Autos

The internet plays a part in every aspect of daily life, including driving. Most new cars now come with internet connectivity, which they use for everything from accessing endless listening options to getting traffic updates. Internet connectivity also makes many of the other entries on this list possible: self-driving, AI etc. How cars utilize this connection will continue to advance in 2021 and beyond as they increasingly become computers on wheels. This will also lead to new risks, though: internet connectivity means that cars can be “hacked” or lose access to key features if the connection goes down.

Electrified Vehicles

Electric vehicles have been around for decades but only started to gain popularity in the last few years auto market trends show. Adoption has been growing strongly, along with the number of electric charging stations installed across America and the number of different makes and models on the market. President Joe Biden is making electric vehicles a high priority. He wants to install 500,000 electric power stations on our major highways. We are rooting for the president. The market for electrified vehicles will only continue to expand in coming years, and many more will appear on the roads in 2021. Electric power offers the benefit of being relatively clean, low cost, and well suited for automotive power. It’s still not certain that electric vehicles are the future of driving – hydrogen fuel cells are still a possibility too – but they are becoming a much bigger part of the way people drive.

Shared Mobility Models

Increasingly, people don’t own a vehicle, they access one as they need it – a trend known as the shared mobility model. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are the most well-known offerings, but other applications of the shared mobility model make it easy to rent or to otherwise get access to a vehicle for a short amount of time instead of owning it permanently. As far as car trends go, some people will see this as an appealing alternative to buying or leasing a vehicle. Others will see it as a supplement – they own a car but take advantage of shared mobility options if or when necessary. Of course, there are also lots of people who only feel comfortable driving a vehicle of their own because they love what they drive, have a specialized automobile, or don’t like the cost of shared mobility – in which case Direct Express Auto Transport is here to get your car from anywhere in the lower 48 states to anywhere you want it to be.

Artificial Intelligence

Pop culture is full of cars smart enough to talk to their drivers. Don’t expect your car to have a personality anytime soon, but expect to see an increasing number of features, under the hood and inside the cabin, take advantage of AI. Self-driving technology depends on artificial intelligence to analyze conditions of the roads and adjust the car accordingly. From a safety perspective, AI can monitor for signs of driver fatigue and warn drivers when they might want to stretch their limbs or grab a cup of coffee. More and more, smart features will make the driving experience more comfortable, efficient, safe, convenient, and coordinated. several cars in autonomous self-driving mode on metro city road iot concept

Human-Machine Interfaces

How drivers interact with the various high-tech features in today’s car is one of the most important questions auto designers are asking. After all, what’s the use of filling the models with high-tech features if they’re confusing or distracting to use? Human-machine interfaces need to be intuitive, accommodating, and (most important of all), possible to use without drawing attention away from the road. Recent advances in interfaces include “heads-up” displays that show important information like speed and driving directions right on the windshield. Voice controls are another example found in many new cars. In 2021 and every year after, prepare to interact with your car in whole new ways and to gain more customization over the driving experience in the process.

3D Printing

One auto trend drivers might not notice in 2021 but that mechanics can’t miss is the move to use 3D printed parts in cars. They aren’t being used for key mechanical components…yet. But it seems all but likely that in coming years more parts on more cars will come from the 3D printing process, including critical engine components. Parts produced in 3D printers as opposed to traditional manufacturing methods have, in some applications, better performance properties, lower costs, and more design potential. As 3D printing technologies improve, the number of automotive applications only expands. You probably won’t be able to tell 3D printed parts from any other, but you will notice cars doing things they couldn’t do before thanks to the introduction of these parts.


The price of cars has been creeping upward at a faster pace in recent years, especially as more drivers seek out crossovers rather than sedans. In order to reach more customers, especially first-time car buyers, look for automakers to put more emphasis on budget-friendly models as the decade continues. Affordable cars have never gone away, but they have often sacrificed appeal for affordability. Thanks to many of the technologies and trends on this list, it’s now possible to make cars that deliver a compelling driving experience, offer high-tech features, and incorporate quality materials without ballooning the sticker price. If you’re looking to get more for less, tomorrow’s auto market will have much to offer, the auto market trends suggest.

Direct Express Auto Transport – For Auto Shipping in 2021

One final car trend worth mentioning is the growth in auto shipping. Once, it was limited to car collectors and automotive insiders. Now, it’s easy and accessible for anyone, and it’s growing fast in popularity as a result. People all across the country will choose to ship rather than drive their car, truck, van, SUV, or exotic auto in 2021 – and they will be glad they did.

Use the car shipping quote calculator from Direct Express Auto Transport to quickly connect with multiple vehicle haulers who are traveling through your area and able to take your shipment. Check out our blog to get tons of great information about auto shipping, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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