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30 Things That Will Disappear From The Auto Industry By 2030

Cameron EittreimAugust 18, 2021

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26: Car Batteries

The car battery as we know it is going to disappear in the not-so-distant future. The car battery used to be responsible for giving your engine the juice to turn over. Now with electric cars having an entire battery system, there will no longer be a need for that “extra” bit of juice. Car batteries are an expensive thing to replace, so it will be nice to have a dedicated system instead.

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It’s already common knowledge on brand-new vehicles that jumping another car will blow the fuses. So automakers are going to be reducing the usage of the old-fashioned car battery little by little over the next decade. There just won’t be a need for something like that in cars of the future.

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25: Spoilers

It used to be that a spoiler was a unique and special option drivers could get from the dealership. But as automotive design has become more inclusive, the need for a spoiler just won’t be there in the future. The body shape of futuristic cars will be smooth and aerodynamic without a lot of extra stuff attached to it.

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The market for aftermarket spoilers has gone up in recent years with the popularity of the ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise. But as the current generation of sports cars continues to age, the next generation of buyers might not be looking for accessories like previous generations were.

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24: Custom Exhaust Tips

You had to of known this one was coming. The end is near for custom exhaust tips. With the gasoline-powered engine on the way out in coming decades, there’s not going to be a need for these. Diehard enthusiasts love custom exhaust tips but they just will disappear for the most part by 2030. Custom exhaust has always been a staple of high-performance cars but that isn’t so anymore.

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Most electric cars are scary fast, and that doesn’t even factor in actual performance models. The rise of cars like the Fisker Karma and the next-generation Tesla Roadster will kill off the custom exhaust market for sure. On the plus side of things, speed demons need to rejoice as future cars will be faster than ever.

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23: Superchargers

Getting the most performance that you can out of a V8 engine used to be a big goal in the auto industry. But with the design of electric cars, that won’t be as prominent for very much longer. Instead, an electric engine uses a number of other things to squeeze insane performance numbers out of it. Superchargers will still be around on classic cars, but it will be much less than before.

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The next generation of car shoppers will most likely have moved on from gas engines. You can surely assume that superchargers will be a very limited part of the market. Even in the aftermarket sector, superchargers will not be the commonplace performance modification that we have today.

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22: Diesel Smoke Chips

Rolling coal, as it’s called in the diesel community, is a popular modification that is done to lifted diesel trucks. But as the pickup truck market switches to electric power, these custom chips are going to disappear. The drivers of the future are probably not going to be interested in squeezing the most out of their diesel-powered trucks.

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Smoke chips are a very popular modification these days, but a lot of states have already outlawed the practice. So if you’re a diesel aficionado, you can pretty much guarantee rolling coal is going to be a thing of the past.

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21: Traditional Keys

This is already happening as most automakers have already switched to using a keyless fob. The traditional automotive key as we know it is going away as cars are becoming more advanced. You can now start most new cars using your smartphone, so the need for a key is almost nonexistent.

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There will still be keys for certain aspects of the vehicle such as a lockbox but that’s it. Drivers won’t be spending hours cranking over a vehicle anymore. The push-button starter has eliminated that and the electric car will get rid of it altogether.

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20: Side-View Mirrors

Side-view mirrors were always an instrumental part of automotive design. In the 1970s and ’80s, passenger mirrors were considered an option, and by the 1990s two mirrors were the norm. But with new cars, there’s an abundance of cameras built into the vehicle. Blind-spot monitoring is quickly becoming standard equipment and the need for a mirror is minimal.

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At best future cars might have a singular mirror with a screen incorporated into it. The need for a side-view mirror isn’t going to be there anymore. The mirrors are some vehicles are an iconic part of the design, like the original Mustang. New cars of the future just won’t need to have this expense anymore.

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19: Front Grills

The grill on the front of your car does more than just give the car a stylish look, it’s also used for cooling the engine. But with the rise of electric-powered cars, there will no longer be a need to cool a gas-powered engine. You’ll notice that most modern electric cars forego a grill and there is a good reason for that.

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While you might miss the custom chrome grills on a pickup truck, the reality is that this aspect of vehicle design won’t be needed. There is going to be a certain part of the automotive industry that is going to miss the classic looks of a grill.

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18: Audible Turn Signals

That infamous turn signal lever on the side of your steering wheel is going to be a thing of the past. Most modern cars used blind-spot monitoring and will activate the turn signal for the driver ahead of time. This means that there will no longer be a need to click the turn signal on by yourself.

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Sure it was a part of driving that drivers often forget, but they would often get a ticket for not doing it as well. Automakers are just trying to automate as much of the vehicle as possible, which is why turn signals will be computerized in the foreseeable future.

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17: AM/FM Radios

Remember the olden days of switching through the channels until you found the hot songs you wanted to listen to? Well, that is still the case with streaming apps, but the classic AM/FM radio is on the way out. Terrestrial radio as we know it is trying to adapt to the changes that are coming.

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The future will mostly be streaming and satellite radio and the need for the old-fashioned radio stations just won’t be there. Consumers want to have their music on demand and on the go, something that the old style of radio just doesn’t do.

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16: Headlight Switches

Another part of vehicles that are going away is audible headlight switches. GM brought the world the Daytime Running Lights in the 1990s and after that, the headlights were automated. Almost every car has some sort of detection system so it can tell daylight from dusk.

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With these kinds of advances, drivers aren’t going to need an old-fashioned headlight switch anymore. The few cars that are left that incorporate this kind of switch are vastly outdated, like the Chevy Express for instance. This means that the next generation of cars is going to do away with these headlight switches altogether.

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15: Adjustment Knobs

Remember when the dashboard was covered with various knobs that would do many things? Well, those are a thing of the past as digital dashes are becoming the norm. Take one look at the inside of a new Dodge Ram or a Tesla and you will see what we are talking about. The inclusion of knobs inside of a vehicle is all but extinct in the car world.

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By 2030 touching an adjustment knob will be a thing of the past, as most vehicles will be smartphone-based. Sure, adjusting the knobs was a distinct aspect of owning a car but it’s a part of the automotive world that is slowly leaving and is surely going to be missed.

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14: Cigarette Lighters

The cigarette lighter used to be one of the most common aspects of a new car, but now smoking is extremely out of favor. Not only is a new generation of buyers much healthier than before, but vaping is also a common practice. This means that the need for a traditional cigarette lighter in a vehicle just isn’t there anymore.

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You’ll find a “cigar” lighter on some of the most expensive luxury vehicles, but that’s it. Most automakers have done away with the cigarette ashtrays as well. Smoking in your car just isn’t the classy thing for people to do that it once was.

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13: 12V Accessory Port

The port where the cigarette lighter used to be located is still there in most new cars, it’s just been relabeled. But the 12V port that we use to charge phones and such is going to be extinct in the next 10 years. There just won’t be a need to charge phones or devices anymore because wireless charging is becoming the norm.

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Phone makers like Apple are trying to move toward a completely wireless experience, which means that you won’t need a charger. The 12V port isn’t used for all that much, so if you don’t need a phone charged, you really won’t miss it all that much.

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12: Fobs

As keys themselves are disappearing so are the fobs that went behind them. A number of automakers have already introduced smartphone apps as a way of unlocking and starting a car. Pretty soon you aren’t going to need any type of a key or a fob to get into your vehicle. This will enhance the security of vehicles as well and auto theft will be virtually nonexistent.

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There were some cool aspects of the key fobs that we have today such as the panic button. However, most of the buttons that you’ll find on a key fob can easily be shifted to a smartphone app where the driver can access it almost instantly.

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11: Halogen Headlights

After decades of use, light bulb technology has finally advanced away from the traditional technology that we know. LED headlights and bulbs are becoming the norm and the halogen is slowly being replaced. Not only is LED brighter, but the technology is more efficient and cheaper to produce. The only problem is that do-it-yourselfers are going to have a tough time replacing LED headlights.

The cars of the future are no doubt going to rely solely on LED lighting. Take the Tesla Cybertruck for instance, an entire LED lightbar dominates the front of the vehicle. LED lighting is the future of the industry and you will see it slowly start to dominate the car industry by 2030.

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10: Hydraulic Power Steering

Power steering was a massive advancement when it was released decades ago, but now the technology is outdated. Regular hydraulic steering decreases the fuel efficiency and relies on the engine to operate. Not to mention that when there is a leak, the entire power steering pump can cease operation and will cost a ton of money to replace.

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The hydraulic steering pumps that we have in our vehicles nowadays are a pain to deal with. You won’t have to worry about finding someone to repair the power steering in the future. Most automakers are switching to electric power steering, which is going to be easier to use and maintain.

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9: Rearview Mirror Dimming Switches

There was a time when automakers were experimenting with the idea of smart glass. Rearview mirrors can often blind you on a hot summer day, which is where the dimming switch came in. Most automakers have incorporated the technology to control if the mirrors are becoming foggy or clouded.

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The need for a dimming switch is minuscule at best, as most drivers never used this feature anyway. As safety technology progresses a lot of these limited-use items are going to be removed from the dashboard. Automakers want to make driving a car as seamless as possible to avoid distracted drivers.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

8: Manual Seat Adjustments

There was a time when the seat adjustment lever on the side of your car seat had to be adjusted by hand. Then by the time that luxury cars became the norm electronic seating adjustment was used more often. Nowadays memory adjustment and automatic seating adjustment are slowly taking over in the automotive industry.

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The rapid changes in the automotive industry have made the cheap entry-level car a thing of the past. Traditionally these were the cars that would get a manual seat lever but nowadays there is no such thing as a cheap-to-buy new car.

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7: Spare Tires

The “Donut,” as drivers like to call it, is perhaps the most dreaded part of car ownership. You don’t want to be the one who is stuck on the side of the highway changing a tire. Fortunately, automakers are working on a way to eliminate the spare tire altogether. The next generation of cars is going to incorporate run-flat tires.

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These advanced tires, while being more expensive, are a much more feasible option for drivers who go the distance. Traditional spare tires also take up additional room in the trunk space, which is now going to be filled by the massive battery. Spare tires will probably be the one thing in our vehicles that drivers don’t miss.

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6: Engine Bays

The one thing that separates an electric car from a gasoline-powered car is the engine bay. An electric car just doesn’t have one, and that’s because the electric engines are a lot differently designed. Take the new Ford F-150 Lightning for instance as the front “hood” area is another cargo area similar to the trunk on a sedan.

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The same can be said for the Tesla Roadster, which had more than ample storage space. Engine bays are going to be a thing of the past once electric cars take all the way over. GM has already committed to being fully electric in a decade so that time isn’t very far off into the future.

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5: Hubcaps

Hubcaps used to be a thing of style that you’d see on certain vehicle makes and models. Unfortunately, as automakers have moved toward alloy wheels and rims, the need for hubcaps just isn’t there anymore. Most vehicles that are coming out nowadays use a much larger wheel in general than the cars of yesteryear.

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While a base model car might incorporate a set of hubcaps in the past, nowadays that just isn’t the case. Hubcaps are going away and by 2030 most of us probably won’t even remember them. Cars will be stylized much differently in the future, so you can bet few drivers will miss the hubcap.

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4: Backup Cameras

While backup cameras are some of the hottest and newest technology in cars right now, by 2030 they’ll be gone. Automotive technology is coming along so far that cars will be able to park themselves. Thus, there won’t be a need for a backup camera anymore because the driver will be parking the car by themselves.

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Likewise the there will probably not be any other sort of backup devices on the car any longer either. As it stands backup cameras are still not the best quality visual and retrofitting an older car can be a pain. Most automakers have already done away with the side view camera, and the backup camera will only be next.

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3: Sunroofs

The sunroof used to be an option in the car that made the difference if you wanted an open-air feeling. But the new generation of cars is often incorporating a panoramic roof and thus the need for a moon-roof is all but gone. The sunroof would often leak and there were a lot of issues with the quality as cars got older.

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Instead of having to replace costly sunroof motors, it is much cheaper to have a panoramic roof. Oftentimes the viewing is much better on a panoramic roof and the open-air feeling is a lot nicer. So the sunroof will very soon fade off into the sunset, and it will be interesting to see how the cars adapt without it.

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2: Fog Lights

As automakers experiment with new exterior lighting solutions such as LED bulbs, the need for fog lights will get less and less. As it stands right now the fog lights don’t do all that much for the visuals on the road. Even a bright pair of fog lights don’t seem to increase the visibility by all that much in the long run.

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Aside from the boosted exterior looks that a pair of fog lights will provide, there aren’t any real benefits. The future of automotive exterior lighting is definitely going to be LED and the fog lights that we have become accustomed to will disappear and be a thing of the past.

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1: Headlight Wipers

Cars that have headlight wipers are usually high-level luxury vehicles, and you’ll often wonder what use these are. The original intended purpose was for driving through muddy conditions where the mud covers the headlights. For the average city dweller, these wipers are seldomly ever used, especially in dryer climates such as California.

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Future vehicles will likely move away from any type of rotary wipers that we are used to seeing. Headlight wipers are already almost obsolete and by 2030 these are going to be a thing of the past. Headlight wipers were always a way to differentiate a luxury-oriented vehicle but nowadays that isn’t needed.

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