Millennials and Generation Z drivers who care about tech and the environment appear to be top-of-mind as car manufacturers unveil their 2020 models at this year’s New York International Auto Show, which is taking place April 19-28.
ValuePenguin got a sneak peek at what visitors to the industry showcase can expect. Here are some of the highlights:
- The march toward all things digital. Millennials and Gen Zers tend to be more comfortable adapting to the latest tech advancements than many older drivers, and car manufacturers seem to be aiming some of their offerings directly at this younger, tech-savvy set. For example, Hyundai’s 2020 Sonata will offer Digital Keys, which let you use a specialized app to lock and unlock your car or even turn it on. You can also "share" your keys with others who have the app, if you lend your car to another driver.
- A step forward for self-driving vehicles. Once the stuff of science fiction, driverless cars are slowly making their way into the mainstream. Find yourself trying to fit your car in a tight parking spot where you’ll be unable to open the door fully to get out? The 2020 Sonata offers an autonomous driving feature that lets you get out of the car and back it in—without any human actually driving.
- Cars suited to city dwellers. Millennials tend to prefer cities, at least one recent study suggests. Lucky for them, automakers are taking notice: During Hyundai’s launch of the Venue (see the image above), a small SUV designed for the entry-level SUV shopper, the manufacturer highlighted how the vehicle’s size makes it ideal for urban residents’ needs.
- A push for electric. The trend away from internal combustion continues, with this year’s show featuring more than 30 electric cars, from the newest version of the Nissan Leaf—the world’s best-selling electric car—to Rivian’s electric pick-up designed to handle the great outdoors. States and municipalities are also part of the move to electric—for example, Smart Charge New York, a new initiative involving utility provider Con Edison, allows electric-car drivers to earn up to $500 per year in rewards for charging their vehicles at off-peak times.
A car is a major purchase and one that ideally will meet a driver’s needs for many years. For those who love technology and city living, or who are concerned about the environment, there appear to be plenty of options coming around the corner.