By John Waraniak
SEMA 2025 and Beyond:
How Advanced Vehicle Technologies Are Transforming the Performance Industry
The ’17 Chevrolet Bolt EV is a battery electric vehicle with a range of more than 200 miles and advanced connectivity technologies.
SEMA’s Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak teamed up with Brett Smith, assistant director of manufacturing, engineering and technology at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), along with his colleagues in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to share their frontline insights and perspectives with SEMA News on advanced vehicle technologies. They reviewed what SEMA members need to know about how those technologies are impacting the continued growth and future of the automotive performance and specialty-equipment industry.
Change within the auto industry is happening at an unprecedented rate, and the technological transformation of vehicles is speeding up. We will see more change in the next five to 10 years than we have seen in the last 50. SEMA members need look no further than the recent North American International Automobile Show (NAIAS) in Detroit for proof of how cars and trucks are becoming the new frontier of technology.
NAIAS is to the new-car industry and consumers what the SEMA Show is to the performance aftermarket and enthusiasts. The news surrounding NAIAS included new-vehicle introductions, but the major news was that the industry is experiencing a fundamental shift, driven by advanced vehicle technologies and new mobility services. The technology and automotive worlds are mashing together to make new cars faster, smarter and cooler than ever.
Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motor Company, and Bill Ford, the company’s executive chairman, outlined their plans at NAIAS for the company’s biggest transformation in history. Their vision is to transform Ford from a company that makes and sells cars to a company that touches all aspects of new mobility, vehicle experiences, ride sharing, bike sharing, connected vehicles and smart cities.
The University of Michigan’s Mcity is the world’s first controlled environment specifically designed to test connected and automated vehicle technologies.
Ford, General Motors and other major automakers have made and continue to make big investments in safety performance, connected and autonomous technology, electric and hybrid powertrains and transportation services to move their companies into this new era of automobility. The automobile is no longer just a standalone mechanical means of personal transportation. Cars and digital technology are now inextricably linked with millions of lines of software code and are rapidly becoming an electronic, digitally driven, connected part in the internet of things and emerging mobility lifestyles.
The top four vehicle technologies leading automotive’s transformation are advanced driver-assistance systems; connected-vehicle technologies; vehicle electrification and alternative powertrains; and automated and autonomous driving technologies. Each of these technologies is moving forward at a different pace, but there is a degree of overlap as well as convergence between them.
These technologies are enabling new mobility solutions, companies, businesses, revenue and collaborations that will alter the way consumers interact with private and shared vehicles. They will also change the way aftermarket products, accessories and modifications are integrated with new vehicles as well as analysis and testing methods to ensure vehicle compliance. Such a shift has significant implications for SEMA-member companies—particularly the 44% of members that are performance-parts manufacturers.
As the industry transformation accelerates, there will continue to be demand for traditional SEMA-member products. In addition, there will likely be a legacy fleet of older vehicles for decades in the United States and other countries. Companies that make specialty parts will have opportunities to grow in the coming years, but the electrified, digital and connected vehicle of the near future will create significant challenges over time for some SEMA members while creating entirely new product categories for others.
Nearly 80% of automotive CEOs believe that advanced vehicle technology will transform their businesses over the next five years, and that number is most likely equally high for SEMA company owners and CEOs.
“This is the most transformative technology since the car came off the moving assembly line,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), who is also a major supporter of the auto industry, SEMA and the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act.
Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems
Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are active safety technologies developed to automate vehicle systems for safer driving. Electronic stability control (ESC) was one of the first ADAS technologies deployed and regulated. ADAS features serve to alert drivers to potential problems with warnings or enhance vehicle control to prevent collisions before they happen.
ADAS technologies and applications are one of the fastest-growing segments in automotive electronics.
There are several ADAS technologies already available on many of the most popular vehicles being modified by SEMA members—most notably, ESC (which, due to regulation, is already standard equipment). New technologies—including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, forward collision warning and blind-spot detection—are also quickly becoming standard equipment on many new vehicles.
The race to equip vehicles with ADAS is driven by the challenge and opportunities to eliminate vehicle fatalities. In 2015, 35,092 people died in U.S. motor-vehicle crashes. That’s the equivalent of two Boeing 777s falling out of the sky every week. Research shows that 94% of auto crashes are tied to a human choice or error.
The market for ADAS technologies is increasing dramatically and is projected by Juniper research to reach $35 billion by 2020 and a staggering $144 billion in revenue by 2025. ADAS investment growth year over year outpaces any field of automotive development other than vehicle electrification technology. This growth is spurred by safety agencies incorporating ADAS systems into their increasingly comprehensive regulatory strategy, interest by governments in the life-saving nature of ADAS, and huge reductions in the cost of ADAS vehicle technologies.
As ADAS technologies further saturate the market, SEMA companies seeking to leverage and capitalize on the latest ones need to pay particular attention to the evolving regulatory and legal landscape to ensure that a vehicle’s systems are operating as intended after vehicle modification and customization.
Regulation of ADAS Technology
John Waraniak (left) and U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) at the NAIAS Charity Preview. Senator Peters is a major supporter of the auto industry, SEMA and the RPM Act.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is planning to include ADAS in its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) Star Rating process in the coming years. As ADAS technologies are incorporated into NCAP safety ratings, a strong incentive will be created for automakers to increase the use of ADAS and will rapidly speed adoption. The European NCAP has already included ADAS into its safety ratings for several years now, and the rapid adoption by European automakers is evidence of this incentive. ESC technology has already been federally mandated, and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 126 requires that model-year ’09 and newer passenger cars and trucks must be equipped with electronic stability control.
Aftermarket parts manufacturers must demonstrate that their parts and modifications do not affect the performance of active safety systems and may not take the vehicle out of compliance of regulations. For SEMA members, it is important to know that it is illegal to sell or install a product that takes a vehicle out of compliance with an FMVSS. The manufacturer or installer must have a reasonable basis for making a determination that the vehicle remains in compliance. The FMVSS 126 vehicle dynamics test program that SEMA has developed helps manufacturers form that reasonable basis for ESC performance of aftermarket-modified vehicles.
Challenges of ADAS Technologies
ADAS-equipped vehicles pose significant challenges for aftermarket companies seeking to modify them. ADAS sensors, cameras, radar and computer processors are often integrated into the parts and systems that SEMA companies are providing modifications for or, in many cases, replacing. Most ADAS technologies are not yet regulated and can be addressed today with functional compliance testing, system evaluation and full-vehicle scanning and software tools.
Automakers have guidelines and best practices available to dealers and collision repair shops to help ensure that ADAS technologies are recalibrated and function as intended after a vehicle has been repaired. If SEMA members are not using these tools and checking the OEM information database, they may be missing an important step in the customization and modification process of late-model vehicles.
Imagine that a front grille is being replaced with an aftermarket grille. The grille sits in front of two radar sensors and a camera that feeds the adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking systems. The new grille may block the sensors or obscure the camera’s view and compromise the performance of these ADAS technologies. When the vehicle’s adaptive cruise control mode is engaged on the highway, it may not “see” a vehicle in front of it. The approaching vehicle will not adjust its speed when the vehicle in front slows and will not activate emergency automatic braking, possibly resulting in a crash if the driver does not intervene.
Even when aftermarket companies are aware of ADAS systems and know how they operate, it is difficult for them to verify or diagnose system functionality. Most vehicles have 10 to 12 malfunction indicator lights available on the instrument panel or display to alert the vehicle owner or customizer to any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). However, vehicles today can generate more than 500 to 1,500 DTCs, and many could remain undetected due to a new product installation or a vehicle modification performed by a SEMA member. SEMA’s Vehicle Electronics Program and task force are currently working with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists to develop a set of reference guidelines for customization and collision repair to address ADAS compliance and recalibration challenges.
Connected Vehicles: V2V, V2I and V2X
Connected-vehicle technologies integrate automotive and consumer electronics through systems of sensors, hardware and software. The market for these technologies is growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 45%, which exceeds the overall car market by 10 times. The number of connected cars will rise 30% a year, and one in every five cars on the road will be connected to the internet by 2020.
Connected vehicles exchange data with other vehicles through vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications and with the roadside through vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications. Information and data, including location, speed and direction, are communicated through devices connected to a secure dedicated short-range communication network. Connected vehicles will also communicate with pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, homes and other devices through vehicle-to-everything (V2X) applications.
In mid-December, NHTSA issued its long-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on V2V communications technology. The proposed rule would require installation of V2V messaging equipment on all new light vehicles over a four-year phase-in period once the rule is finalized. V2V devices would connect through standardized messaging.
Aftermarket systems will play a large role in the success of V2V because its value depends on the percentage of surrounding vehicles that are similarly equipped. Standardized messaging will allow aftermarket companies to develop and market products to retrofit and upgrade older vehicles with connected-car features and tap into the 260 million vehicles already on U.S. roads.
Smart, connected cars will also enable greater personalization and software-based customization through designs that will support technology and product upgrades. Ford will offer an aftermarket OBD II SmartLink plug-in device to add Wi-Fi and connected-vehicle technology to ’10–’16 model-year Ford vehicles this summer.
Toyota is also a founding member of the SmartDeviceLink consortium. SmartDeviceLink is an open-source platform designed to help increase consumer choice and the ability to connect and control smartphones and mobile apps on the road. Connected-vehicle software will eventually be as updateable as your smartphone, and it’s estimated that 203 million cars will be able to receive over-the-air updates by 2022.
Every element of Toyota’s Concept-i vehicle is designed to strengthen the user experience and show how connected, intelligent technologies are radically reshaping the way we interact with our cars.
Toyota is aggressively pursuing the development and demonstration of ADAS as well as connected- and automated-vehicle technologies with concept vehicles such as the Concept-i because the company believes that these technologies will define our society in ways that go well beyond the auto industry. Every element of the vehicle is designed to strengthen the user experience and show how connected, intelligent technologies are radically reshaping the way we interact with our cars. Toyota’s new Entune 3.0 connectivity platform includes dynamic navigation with turn-by-turn directions and a data communications module that updates in real time to help ensure that maps and navigation information is never out of date.
Connected-vehicle technologies will soon become standard on all new cars. That represents an enormous opportunity for SEMA companies that are creating connectivity products and applications. Connected cars will generate a lot of data, and every aspect of the car’s performance will be able to be monitored through an array of connected sensors facilitating diagnostics, tuning and maintenance. Connected-vehicle performance diagnostics are like a Fitbit for cars. However, connectivity will not come without risks. Cybersecurity will be an ongoing challenge for both OEMs and aftermarket companies.
Vehicle Electrification and Alternative Powertrains
The impact of vehicle electrification technologies on vehicle design and the aftermarket is huge. Trends in electrification, connectivity and specific market drivers and cost considerations are behind the technology choices and roadmaps that the industry is adopting. Vehicle powertrain, system and component electrification has been ongoing for more than two decades. Vehicle powertrain electrification (48-volt hybrids; hybrid electric vehicles; plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; battery electric vehicles; and fuel-cell electric vehicles) have seen limited acceptance in the U.S. market. In 2016, internal-combustion gas engines accounted for 94% of sales, diesel engines 2%, and electrified vehicles 3% of all vehicles sold in the United States. However, vehicle emissions regulations in virtually every major global market will likely require substantially increased electrification in the coming years.
Electrification is also playing a major role in helping OEMs achieve a corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) of more than 35 mpg for the ’17 models that are already being rolled out. CAFE requirements gradually rise to 41 mpg by 2021 and 54.5 mpg by 2025. While consumer acceptance will be challenging—in part due to the relatively cheap price of gas—the technology shift appears to be happening.
The ’17 Chevrolet Bolt EV is a battery-electric vehicle with more than 200 miles of range on a full charge while also featuring advanced connectivity technologies. There may be more electrified vehicles 15 years from now than there are internal-combustion engines. New 48-volt vehicle systems will provide power for advanced safety technologies as well as new performance products such as electric superchargers.
As part of a recent project, CAR researchers received powertrain cost data and strategy plans from nine global automakers. The message was clear: Although several important hurdles remain for mass-market acceptance of electrified vehicles, electrification is anticipated to become an integral part of all major manufacturers’ product plans in the coming decade. Critical to that expectation is the rapidly declining cost of advanced batteries.
Cost data from the manufacturers indicate that battery cost reductions are trending in line with federal targets. While electrified powertrains will continue to be more expensive than internal combustion, the improvements in battery cost experienced to date (and those expected) are an important development for SEMA manufacturers to have included in their technology roadmaps and business plans.
Powerful and efficient gasoline engines and the latest electric drivetrains dominated this year’s competition for WardsAuto’s list of the world’s 10 best engines. For the first time ever, no V8 engine made the list. Diesels lost ground because of hybrids’ increasing strength. Turbocharged engines with small displacements and big horsepower—along hybrids and plug-in hybrids—ruled the list for 2017. Vehicle powertrain, system and component electrification serves another important function beyond meeting emissions and CAFE regulations. Vehicle electrification is an important precursor for ADAS and connected and automated vehicles as well as drive-by-wire and brake-by-wire systems.
As new technologies, such as Brembo’s electromechanical parking brakes, brake-by-wire and interactive disc concepts are replacing traditional mechanical control systems with electronic control systems, the electrical power required to operate those technologies rapidly increases. Today’s traditional 12-volt system may be adequate to power early applications of ADAS and connectivity, but the power needed for a complete suite of connected and automated technologies will likely require at least a 48-volt system.
Vehicle electrification is also a foundation technology enabling new mobility services and solutions. In the coming decades, individuals will increasingly look to new mobility services instead of and in combination with public transit and private vehicles. Driven in large part by onboard power requirements, cars powering new mobility services are expected to be battery electric vehicles and include self-driving technologies. Some SEMA members are already adapting their strategies and creating new products for electrified vehicles. However, as the vehicle’s role in mobility changes, members must look beyond their current product portfolios to consider what will drive next-generation performance enthusiast demand in the coming decades.
Automotive innovation comes in many forms, but vehicle electronics, safety and green performance technologies are the most important to consumers today. As more digital features are added, the complexity of vehicle control systems and electrical architectures increases substantially. SEMA manufacturers and suppliers must examine their roles as vehicle electronic content increases. Of the 13 electrified vehicles Ford plans to bring to market in the next five years, the Mustang Hybrid may be the toughest sell, but it may also represent a big opportunity for SEMA manufacturers to provide next-generation performance parts and connect with next-generation enthusiasts. Porsche’s Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid demonstrated to the world that hybrids and performance are not mutually exclusive.
Automated Vehicles—Driver Required
Automated vehicles require a driver and allow certain driving functions such as acceleration, braking and steering to be machine activated by software and hardware technology built into the vehicle. Automated-vehicle systems vary in the number of functions that are automated and the range of driving environments. Automation and advanced driver-assistance systems require a variety of sensors, microcontrollers, computers, connections and maps to create situational awareness as well as robotic functionality to complement the role of the human driver. Automated-vehicle technologies are like a guardian-angel system for your car: The driver does most of the driving, but the car would take over automatically when it senses that a collision is imminent. Autonomous-vehicle technologies do not require a driver and are more of a chauffeur system in which the car drives itself.
Last September NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation released their “Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles” outlining best practices for design, development and testing of automated vehicles. These safety performance guidelines establish a framework for product and system deployment of automated-vehicle technology for OEMs, suppliers, software developers and aftermarket manufacturers. The guidelines are flexible and are designed to evolve with new vehicle technology advances. Further information on these guidelines can be found at www.transportation.gov/av.
Autonomous Vehicles—No Driver Required
Autonomous vehicles do not require a driver and have all the necessary sensors, decision-making software, hardware and control features to see, sense and respond to the environment and actually drive themselves without input from a driver. Autonomous and self-driving vehicles respond to what they sense around them, just as human drivers do. Autonomous vehicles are connected to other technologies such as updating of maps and GPS systems.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) applies braking to individual wheels during sudden turns so that the driver will not lose control of the vehicle. ESC ensures that the vehicle travels in the direction intended by the driver.
Lane-Departure Warning (LDW) monitors lane markings and alerts the driver if a vehicle appears to be inadvertently drifting into an adjoining lane.
Forward Collision Warning (FCW) recognizes when a vehicle gets too close to another vehicle and signals the driver to apply the brakes to avoid a collision. Vehicles equipped with FCW technologies must meet certain performance requirements in order for that technology to be promoted by NHTSA.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses radar and camera systems to track vehicles ahead and adjust speed accordingly. While regular cruise control holds the car at a steady speed until the driver intervenes, ACC will speed or slow the vehicle based on the position of the cars ahead of it. ACC combined with LDW is today’s most common form of automated driving on highways.
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) is a sensor-based technology that detects a forward crash with another vehicle or pedestrian before it occurs and alerts the driver to take corrective action or automatically applies the brakes.
NHTSA has adopted SAE’s new standard J3016, which defines six levels of vehicle automation from Level 0, no automation, to Level 5, full automation. Each succeeding level of automation builds increasing functionality of vehicle connectivity and autonomy. Many new vehicles and aftermarket systems are already at Level 2 and are approaching Level 3 with today’s and near-term advanced driver-assistance systems. New resources and test facilities such as the University of Michigan’s Mcity and the American Center for Mobility (which is under development) are extremely valuable to SEMA members developing ADAS as well as connected- and autonomous-vehicle products and software.
Mcity is the world’s first controlled environment specifically designed to test connected- and automated-vehicle technologies. The American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Michigan, has one of the first national automated-vehicle proving grounds. Autonomous-vehicle technologies also have a dark side, and some startups are sure to end up in the junkyard. Innovation rarely occurs without risk, so SEMA manufacturers will need to pay close attention to the hype versus the facts of automated- and autonomous-vehicle progress as well as new business opportunities.
By 2030, 15% of new cars will be automated, and shared vehicles could account for about half of passenger miles travelled, according to a recent study by McKinsey. There will be nearly 21 million autonomous vehicles sold globally by 2035, according to IHS Automotive.
Consumer acceptance of self-driving cars is improving rapidly. Millennials are the most willing to use fully automated vehicles and accounted for nearly 30% of all new auto sales last year. This 18-to-34 age group wants seamless technology and advanced safety performance in its vehicles and spends an average of $2,220 to individualize vehicles, according to Foresight Research’s “Accessories Immersion Report.”
Several automakers already have autonomous-vehicle pilot programs operating on public roads in several states, including California, Michigan and Nevada. Ford has plans to launch self-driving autonomous cars for ride sharing by 2021. Audi and Nvidia have also joined forces to start self-driving mobility and said that they would have a Level 4 autonomous car by 2020. Audi will deliver the car (including safety technology and electrification architecture), and Nvidia will provide the self-driving muscle and horsepower (the vehicle’s computer, sensors and camera vision as well as the graphics processing chips).
|Levels of Automation|
No Automation (Level 0): The driver is in sole control of the vehicle for braking, steering and power at all times. Requires full-time performance by the human driver of all aspects of driving, even when enhanced by warning or intervention systems.
Driver Assistance (Level 1): Automation at this level involves one or more specific control functions. Examples include electronic stability control or precharged brakes, where the vehicle automatically assists with braking to enable the driver to retain control of the vehicle or stop faster than possible if acting alone.
Partial Automation (Level 2): This level involves automation of at least two primary control functions designed to work in unison to support the driver with control of those functions. An example of combined functions enabling a Level 2 system is adaptive cruise control in combination with lane centering.
Conditional Automation (Level 3): Vehicles at this level of automation enable the driver to cede full control of all safety-critical functions under certain traffic or environmental conditions and to rely on the vehicle to monitor changes in those conditions requiring transition back to driver control. The driver is expected to be available for occasional control but with sufficient transition time and the expectation that the human driver will respond appropriately to a request to intervene.
High Automation (Level 4): The vehicle performs all safety-critical driving functions and monitors roadway conditions. The driver provides destination or navigation input but is not expected to be available for control at any time. This includes both occupied and unoccupied vehicles. The automated driving system performs of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene.
Full Automation (Level 5): Full-time performance by an automated driving system of all aspects of the dynamic driving task under all roadway and environmental conditions that can be managed by a human driver.
Nvidia’s Xavier system-on-a-chip is an artificial intelligence supercomputer for cars that manages 20 trillion operations per second. Audi also announced that its motorsports vehicles and racing efforts are becoming increasingly electric along with its production cars. Audi said that it will contest the race for the future of electric-powered vehicles by focusing on Formula E.
Racing and high-performance cars are critical to vehicle electrification and the autonomous future. They are centered on the ability to solve problems and the demonstration of technical capability from the track to the street, whether it’s Daytona, Le Mans or the new American Center for Mobility.
It’s important for SEMA members to understand why automakers are investing billions in ADAS, vehicle electrification, connected, automated and autonomous driving technologies and are hiring software and robotics engineers. They’ve seen the devastation generated in the media, computer and retailing industries when companies failed to anticipate early enough and respond fast enough to disruptive change. Disruptive technologies don’t totally eliminate existing technologies, but they do eliminate companies that are unprepared or unwilling to change.
New Mobility Services
Advanced vehicle technologies are not only changing vehicle design and content but also how vehicles are operated, owned and shared as well as the role automobiles will play in new mobility services. New mobility services are changing the way people value and relate to personal vehicles. These services will contribute to a change in preferences away from vehicle ownership and toward vehicle usership. In 2030, one in 10 cars sold will be shared.
New mobility solutions represent a catalyst for innovation in the auto industry in terms of business models and revenue sources. Auto companies are already integrating mobility services and vehicle automation. Automakers are launching their own mobility brands and announcing that their first automated vehicles will be available through on-demand mobility services. For the performance aftermarket, a decrease in vehicle ownership represents both a challenge and an opportunity to create business models and products oriented toward fleet managers eager to offer their users personalized and customized vehicle experiences.
The rise of today’s and near-term new mobility services is part of a mobility evolution and a longer-term gradual shift in transportation preferences toward on-demand shared mobility and a multimodal system that is less car-ownership centric. More and more users will choose to use new mobility services instead of and in combination with public transit and private vehicles. Although new mobility options may not represent a substantial share of transportation in the near to mid term, they will have a profound long-term impact on the way society and individuals think about transportation and how mobility is paid for and organized.
Transformative technologies are changing how cars are designed, developed, customized, sold, serviced, shared and owned. We are witnessing one of the most fundamental shifts in the history of the automotive industry. New vehicle technologies—from ADAS to autonomy—are driving this shift, and demographic, regulatory, social and environmental pressures are shaping it. People will continue to love cars and the individual freedom and mobility they provide; however, the car and the world around it will look a lot different by 2025.
|Center for Automotive Research (CAR)|
The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) is an independent, nonprofit research organization with a multi-disciplinary approach. CAR engages with leaders in the global automotive industry to support technology advancements and improve the competitiveness of the U.S. automotive industry.
CAR succeeds through close collaboration and strong relationships with automakers, suppliers, industry associations, government, non-profits, labor organizations, and educational institutions. CAR has a nearly decade-long relationship with SEMA, including conducting landmark vehicle technology and powertrain guidepost studies (2009), a strategic analysis of the SEMA Show (2015) and numerous briefings and presentations at the SEMA Show.
Vehicles will grow smarter and cooler with connected electronics systems, high-efficiency engines, increased safety performance and autonomous driving systems. Drivers will look at cars differently, sharing cars and using them as a space to consume media, make calls and stay connected. The industry will evolve with new competition, new players and startups from accelerators and incubators such as Techstars Mobility in Detroit, where next-gen automotive entrepreneurs and SEMA members are challenging and partnering with long-established OEMs and aftermarket suppliers to capitalize on new growth opportunities being created by advanced vehicle technologies. Automation, electrification, connectivity and a host of new mobility services will create opportunities as well as challenges while giving people more transportation options, flexibility and freedom.
Americans have a 100-year-old love affair with the freedom of total mobility. The automotive industry is going to change dramatically in the next couple of years and decades. But a steering wheel and accelerator are going to remain standard equipment, not optional, in private vehicles for a long time to come.
SEMA-member companies can expect continued growth opportunities. Their products and services are an essential part of the current automotive experience and personalization lifestyle. However, SEMA manufacturers will face increasingly significant challenges in the coming years as vehicles become more complex due to advanced vehicle technologies along with demographic, regulatory, social and environmental pressures.
The year 2025 and beyond will mark a pivotal era for the automotive and specialty-equipment industries, with new vehicle experiences and changing automotive lifestyles. SEMA companies are part of a high-tech industry, and our industry is experiencing rapid change. Still, we have been here before and have prospered from our ability to react, adapt and innovate. Although most businesses tend to overestimate the changes that will occur in the next few years and underestimate those that will occur in the next 10, the future of the specialty-equipment market is bright for those who continue to embrace change through their entrepreneurial spirit and drive.