In pre-pandemic times, we would have covered big events from auto shows in Europe and Los Angeles in fall, through the CES tech event in Las Vegas in early January. Things are obviously a bit different this year—new vehicles debuted on live streams instead of at auto shows, conferences happened remotely, and industry roundtables took place on Zoom. But thanks to those virtual press conferences and conversations with auto industry analysts, we at Consumer Reports have still learned plenty about the cars of the near future.
Although promises of robotaxis and flying cars might be dominating your social media news feed, we concentrated on learning more about the technology that we’re sure will make a difference in your life in the near future—maybe even on your next car.
From touch screens and safety tech to batteries and compact pickups, here are eight automotive trends to keep an eye out for in 2021.