Despite the fact that the augmented reality market is relatively small at the present time, there's reason to believe that growth will skyrocket in the years to come. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that augmented reality is becoming more common in a variety of industries, such as automotive and entertainment, as well as in the everyday workplace.

Just the same as virtual reality, augmented reality is trending upwards, with 2017 the year that growth really takes off. There is reason to believe that the augmented reality could reach $90 billion by 2020. This is a huge number, especially considering where things stand today.

The Automotive Industry

While many industries are beginning to embrace augmented reality, it's really starting to come into its own in the automotive space.

According to the International Trade Administration, the automotive industry accounts for roughly 3 to 3.5 percent of the United States gross domestic product.

So, when you consider how large the automotive industry is, it's easy to see that the use of augmented reality has plenty of room to make its presence felt.

We're just now beginning to see the use of augmented reality in the automotive industry. While most of what's going on is happening behind the scenes, it won't be long before consumers and drivers are able to take advantage.

For example, augmented reality is helping manufacturers with the overall design process. One way in which the technology is helpful is to assist designers in visualizing the body structure of a vehicle, as to improve efficiency, safety, and durability.

What Will the Future Bring for Drivers?

Most people don't care about how their vehicle is designed and manufactured. Instead, they make a purchase decision based on many factors, including the level of technology and available features.

At first, the use of augmented reality in new vehicles may appear trendy, but over time, as this becomes standard, consumers will begin to gravitate towards this technology.

One of the first things we are seeing is the display of information on windshields. This is beneficial to the driver for many reasons.

For instance, it allows the driver to process important data, all without having to take his or her eyes off the road. This can be considered a safety feature.

Adding to this, the use of augmented reality could be essential to the development of driverless vehicles, as information on the route and key performance metrics could be displayed on augmented reality screens.

How Do Automobile Manufacturers Feel?

If you thought consumers were excited about the use of augmented reality, you can only imagine how automotive equipment makers feel.

At CES 2017, for example, three automotive equipment makers shared augmented reality concepts with the world. Not only will these make driving more exciting, but it could also prove as a huge step up in regards to sharing safety and environmental data.

Harman is well ahead of the game, displaying its LIVS concept in a modified Chrysler Pacifica. With the help of simulated video, the technology is designed to share a variety of information with the driver, such as markers for other vehicles, street signs, and speed and braking data.

Right now, automotive equipment makers are still in the design phase. They're seeking ways to implement augmented reality into vehicles in a way that makes sense in regards to features, functionality, and price.

While the first instances of augmented reality technology may not be as advanced as expected, they'll quickly progress, much the same as navigation systems over the past 10 years.

The race to develop driver-less solutions is already heating up between Google, Amazon, Tesla, and Baidu. While the notion of a driver-less future is exciting, it's also frightening to consumers. Many believe that AR integration in automobiles will bridge the gap and gradually encourage consumers to trust in the new technology impacting their vehicles.

From navigation to an increased awareness of other drives, AR features naturally place more control on the automobile, itself. As consumers become more accustomed to trusting the AR systems in their automobiles, the companies developing driver-less solutions hope that this trust will naturally translate into acceptance of an autonomous future.

While it may be true that a large portion of people don't know much about augmented reality, the use of this technology in the automotive industry is sure to change this in the years to come. As people begin to use augmented reality in their vehicles, it's only natural for them to look for other ways to incorporate this in their life.

What are your feelings on augmented reality and its role in the automotive industry? Are you expecting this to become more common in the years to come? Are you hoping to experience something in particular? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.