German company BASF has published its latest car colour trend predictions and suggests the increasing intrusion of technology into our lives will influence the hues North Americans choose for their cars in the coming years.

As always, neutrals like black, white, silver, and grey are expected to remain popular because they tend to make a car easier to sell on the used market, and simply because many people like the look of these inoffensive shades.

But BASF also likes to get thinky about the topic of car colours and develop paint hues it says are inspired by issues affecting society in general. Unsurprisingly, technology and the control of the data used to power it is a common theme in this year’s colour palette.

According to BASF, “warm, beige-based colours deal with aspects of the skin, while dark and light blues express digitalization of the human body.”

The company’s press release goes on to suggest a variety of sparkle effects in this year’s colours reflect the “intricacy of our connection to objects, while pastel and chromatic colours represent the image of new technologies and emphasize the uniqueness of the digital age.”

In North America, BASF says we can expect to see a lot more blues on new cars in the coming years, represented by a particular shade called Undercurrent Blue, a hue that “exudes a sense of mystery and celebration of self.”

BASF also makes develops colours that speak to what’s happening in the Asia-Pacific and Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) regions.

For Asia, a white pearl colour speaks to an increase in self-confidence in Asian culture spurred by the increased value and significance of products from that part of the world, while a deep red with glass flakes reflects a culture emboldened by a worldwide appreciation of Asian culture.

In the EMEA region, BASF says an “unusual” colour like a yellowish-green with matte clearcoat represents the region’s “unseen possibilities” in a “fast-moving globalized, digital world.” Meanwhile, a whitish gold reflects the Middle East’s “luxury-oriented product language,” and a medium-light brick-like colour with red highlights speaks to the resurgence of physical, antique objects like vinyl record players.

On a more functional level, a new black hue incorporates heat management technology that reduces the paint’s surface temperature and that inside the vehicle by reflecting near-infrared light.