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For the past few years, trends such as autonomous vehicles, conference booking software, and digital currencies have been gaining momentum, but have yet to be fully immersed in our day-to-day lives. It will still be a few years before autonomous vehicles on our roads will become the norm, but such software and digital technologies mentioned are already making headway and showing leaps in innovation.

There are many trends that are vying for success in a competitive market, fueled by increasing research and development funds. Many of which are backed by large and powerful companies (and even countries), so we will look at three of the best to keep an eye on in 2019.

 

3D Printing Metal

We’ve seen plastic 3D printers and concrete 3D printers (which can even build houses), but oddly enough we haven’t heard much about metal printers. This is all about to change. Consider the labour used and waste accumulated during the production of metal parts for products such as cars and right up to airplanes: up to 90% of the material could be cut away for these parts. 3D printing metal would go a long way to drastically reducing this waste.

With the rising prices of metals and environmental damage caused by excessive mining, the potential for reducing costs and saving on shipping could see the demand for 3D printers–especially for metals–take a huge leap in 2019.

 

Blockchain 

Blockchain technology has been focused on cryptocurrency until now, but its uses stretch far beyond that. With never-ending cyber security threats, blockchain-based security is a new method of staying one step ahead of such threats.

The purpose of blockchain technology is to provide an easily identifiable but robust and encrypted method of record-keeping. Access to information is restricted which increases its safety, and you, the customer, are able to dictate who is able to view it.

Europe’s recent General Data Protection Regulation is a step towards strengthening the cause for using blockchain, as it is seen as giving power to the individual with regards to how their personal data is used.

 

Autonomous Driving

 This trend has not been much of a secret ever since Tesla rolled out their autopilot mode, allowing their cars to self-drive (albeit still with the aid of human action for the most part). 2019 is set to be a big year for autonomous vehicles with manufacturers such as Daimler, Volvo, and Tesla all working on autonomous trucks.

In parts of the US, there are already some self-driving trucks on the road, and due to the current deficit of truck drivers that is only set to increase, there is even more motivation and urgency to develop technology to ease the burden.