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Car makers in Japan sold more cars in the years 2015 than previous years, but this year; the market has been significantly affected by the fuel economy scandal that erupted earlier in April. This means that 2016, is a year that has not been easy so far, for all the automakers. However, to make the best out of their models, auto manufacturers have become very keen in identifying the current trends to ensure they remain competitive with the incoming car models from UK and US. As a buyer, here are ten new car trends in Japan that you need to be aware of this year:

1. Autonomous driving

The Toyota Motor, Nissan, Honda, and other auto electronics manufacturers recently joined hands when it comes to making autonomous driving the next big thing. Although they have been working separately on map technology, when it comes to usage methods and standard, they have been working together consistently. Some, like Nissan Leaf, Toyota Lexus, and the prototype Honda has been able to take their car’s control autonomously; however, the driver has to intervene whenever the system malfunctions or doesn’t perform as expected.

2. Self-parking

Major new cars can be able to park themselves’, even when the driver isn’t behind the wheel. Nissan recently announced that they would introduce the fully automated parking system across a wide range of vehicles. Tesla, one of the major American automotive company, has a parking system that is still in beta, but there’s hope the system will become mature enough to be used anytime soon.

3. Rise of Lounge seating

A recent release by Japan automobile manufacturer association indicated that many people are not ready to accept that cars can drive themselves. But once people begin to trust the system, there will be no need for the conventional layout rather the Lounge seating will be the trend many car makers will be implementing. The Lounge seating allows the passenger to sit and interact on a real living room sofa in the car. Models like Mercedes’s Vision and a Nissan’s cabin that can change between two configurations are the best examples.

4. Fuel –cell technology

JP Nippon, Toyota Motor, and several other automakers have recently joined a venture to establish a hydrogen filling station for their fuel-cell vehicles countrywide. Fuel-cell cars mix hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity or power the car. Currently, according to JAMA recently press release, there are over 500 fuel cell vehicles on the road. Marcedes and Lexus have shown the concept behind the technology, and Honda seems to be a step ahead.

5. Sports cars are more than sports car

For the last couple of months, many buyers have been asking for fuel efficient automobiles but is seems a majority of these customers still have that deep rooted desire for performance and majority of manufacturers has listened. Recently, for instance, Mazda revived the famous RX-7 badge to a better fuel economy performing car. Lexus has also rolled their cars across their board and so has Toyota.

6. The smart glass

This new car trend has been widely used on different car models mirror, to prevent glare from headlights, to reduce the amount of light and heat to the vehicle and to prevent individual passengers from seeing each other. This is a trend among the few that is expected to spread to many car models across the globe, and more improvements are also expected.

7. Ever improving safety

Active safety systems come in various subsystem like the auto lock braking, tire pressure monitoring system, electronic stability control and for a couple of years, all automotive manufacturers have steadily made an improvement on their car safety system, and each of them competing using different technology to improve their safety systems.

8. People are buying cheaper electric cars

Even though people are aware that the petrol and diesel-driven cars are going to improve their fuel efficiency, many are still buying the more affordable electric vehicles. These cars are not likely to replace gasoline in the near future, but as times goes it seems they will become more prevalent.

9. Vehicle-to-vehicle communications.

Several automotive manufacturers are using the V2V system allowing a car to car communication to reduce the flow of traffic within the city. Toyota has taken the technology mainstream, and so has Honda. Honda system, for instance, combines the vehicle’s position and the speed data within the formation on the traffic light and advise the driver on the correct speed and in which route to use without stopping.

10. Engine downsizing

This is not a new trend; has been ongoing since the seventies and it’s probably not going to stop anytime soon. However, unlike how manufacturer’s in the seventies used to downsize the engine power, today it’s the other way round. Two cylinders and three cylinders engines are now powering larger cars, and the small ones are becoming more powerful and efficient.

11. Reducing Vehicle Weights

A couple mentioned tricks we suggested including lowering vehicle weights as well as wheel weights, we tested a set of esr wheels as they were roughly 5 pounds lighter than the OEM wheel setup. Less weight means less power and or force required to obtain a set speed. Light wheels can make a massive difference in terms of acceleration speeds.