From alternative fuel engines to self-driving vehicles, technology is transforming the automotive industry radically both in terms of design and performance. All the aspects of a car including exterior, the placement and use of key components, and the look and feel of the interiors are being experimented and optimized. The look and feel of the future cars is set to change radically in a couple of decades.

According to a recent report by Arizton Advisory & Intelligence, the global wheelchair lift market is going to witness a high growth, and changing shift in automotive designs is one of the latest trends that is likely to impact the market.

Some of the sweeping trends in the industry that are driving fundamental changes in automotive designs are as follows:

Evolution of Customer Expectations

Consumer preferences can be termed rather dynamic when it comes to automotive variants. To address and accommodate expectations of a wide range of users, there has been an expansion in base variants being offered for most of the automotive models. The same is not only to suit the price and performance expectations of a wide range of audience but also to enable to meet customization requirements of specific target users including disabled. For instance, Allied Mobility offers 2014 Peugeot Expert, which can accommodate five passengers and a wheelchair with customization, including manual rear ramp and lowered floor. Similarly, such customization is also witnessed in Ford Galaxy 2012. More than 600 automotive models have already been customized to make them wheelchair friendly.

Democratization of Design

The rapidly evolving mid-income segment in key emerging economies of Brazil, India, China is driving an interesting trend in automotive designs. Sleeker candid designs that once are only limited to luxury car models are increasingly being inspired upon by peers to incorporate the same in the entry-level economy model. Thus, automotive customization to accommodate mobility aids for the disabled, which was once an option in certain mid to high-end automotive models, is eventually expanding to many models with a growing design parity.

Increased Acceptance of Hybrid Cars and Electric Vehicles

Electric and hybrid cars, which once were termed as a fad, have evolved and have merged as a meaningful segment. While federal emissions and fuel efficiency targets, coupled with rising consumer awareness are pivotal in driving the preference for these cars, incentives and subsidies are decisive in making the purchases. The rise of electric vehicles demands a fundamental shift in vehicle design, especially in engine placements and battery storages. Several hybrid vehicles in the market are not yet to be pruned to accommodate enough customization, especially for disabled population. However, electric vehicles are expected to be a major subject for accommodating wheelchairs.

Growth and Standardization of Safety Mandates

Finally, standardization in safety regulations and increased fuel standards are challenging automakers to make cars safer and energy efficient through alterations in designs. The placement of wheelchairs and passengers, compact lift designs, and lifts that can accommodate a wide variety of mobility vehicles, automated ramps, and comfortable cushioning and impact insulation are some of the segments being improved upon by vendors.

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