Today's drivers have access to cars that previous generations of motorists could have only dreamed of. Advanced technology has allowed manufacturers to design vehicles that are safer, contain more useful features, and are ultimately more enjoyable to drive.
And there is no indication that manufacturers plan to slow down their advances, either. Already, vehicles are entering the market equipped with automatic braking systems and other features that assist us while navigating the road. The race is on for the first company to perfect a road-worthy autonomous vehicle that requires no human input whatsoever.
However, all of these advanced features come at a cost. It's not just higher sticker prices — although those certainly exist. Consumers who have owned new vehicles for a few years are starting to learn that advanced systems can be quite costly to repair, forcing them to reconsider their car's value.
A "Ticking Timebomb" of High-Tech Repairs
In a recent article, The Telegraph described the problem of high-tech feature repairs in cars as a "ticking timebomb."
"Advanced systems can be quite costly to repair."
Initially, most of the electronic features built into cars are covered under the manufacturer's warranty. Once that passes, the responsibility falls to the owner.
This can be frustrating when a digital dashboard display stops working. Dashboards are becoming increasingly complex, and are no longer simply responsible for optional entertainment systems. They also control navigation systems, which are becoming more vital, especially as cars learn to communicate with each other, as well as follow directions.
Even worse, it's an actual threat to safety when a car's assisted braking systems starts malfunctioning. This will only become more of a problem as manufacturers assign more driving functions to the onboard computer.
What does all this mean for auto sales? In the short term, probably not much. The market could start to face problems, though, once people realize that the new car they bought could prove to be more expensive over time than they predicted.
"These are bills nobody wants to have to deal with but, crucially, it means motorists who buy used to take advantage of the big drop in a car's value that occurs in the first few years may not end up with the bargain they imagined," the article read.
This will be particularly true for budget-conscious consumers who deliberately choose to buy smaller cars for the savings. While the latest auto technology has thus far be relegated to high-end models, it will eventually find itself in the mainstream. This will mean greater expenses for everyone — especially those who opt to buy used vehicles.
New auto technology has the potential to make driving safer and more enjoyable for millions of people. But it will require the highest level of test services to ensure that it is reliable.