A few end-of-the-year thoughts from experts at Bayer MaterialScience on major trends in automotive design for 2014:
- Touchscreens will become more prevalent in instrument panels. One sign of things to come is the 17-inch screen in the Tesla Model S.
- Trends toward energy-efficiency and heightened styling point to greater use of LED lighting for headlamps. Use of LEDs is nothing new for high-end cars, but now entry-level cars such as the 2013 Kia Rio 5 feature stylish LED headlamps. Use of LEDs in high/low beams is already in production.
- Increased use of lightweight materials will keep OEMs on track to meet stringent mile-per-gallon federal guidelines that start in 2017. Powertrain improvements will also keep automakers on the road to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.