Importance of car industry innovation What will the future be like? Will our vehicles mutate to intra-connected smart phones on four wheels or mobile network servers with virtual cockpits? One thing is already certain: car innovations are strongly influenced by IT.
For more than 100 years, the auto industry has been driven by the ongoing progress of engineering knowledge. Whether it is the invention and optimization of the combustion engine or the latest developments in high-performance electric motors – the best engineers and developers have set the tone for the car industry.
Obviously, design and engineering will in the future still have an important impact on the automotive business, but more and more Big Data is taking over the role as innovation driver in the automotive industry. In coming years, it appears that data will be the oil that drives the industry. Real differentiation is increasingly emerging through interpretation and usage of huge amounts of data – measured in terabytes. This supports optimization of production and logistics processes, validation of user behavior, an early identification of trends using social media monitoring , provides more exact sales forecasts, enables a quantum leap in after-sales by proactive maintenance as well as increase of autonomous driving capabilities. .
The current trend in the auto industry is viewed as the greatest upheaval since the transition from the horse-drawn carriage to the motorized vehicle. The research budgets of manufacturers and suppliers are continually rising. The focus is on:
- Connectivity as link between an individual car, a smart phone, other vehicles’ sensors or road infrastructure
- Alternative engines, especially to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the by 2020/2021 requested 95 CO2 grams Industry 4.0 or so called “internet of things” including the interconnection of devices, machines and systems that is changing production flows and supply chains
- Solutions for changing customer behavior and demand, especially regarding car ownership and mobility: this implies mobility services like car sharing integrated with other mobility forms as well as linking digital world aspects with the traditional sales processes at the dealership.
In these challenges, IT has a key role and for manufacturers more and more, two topics are standing out: provision of standardized services as efficiently as possible, allowing significant savings in IT budgets and secondly, the investment in usage future-oriented solutions, such as connectivity and sales digitization. The cross-industry cooperation between car and high-tech industry is the most pronounced in innovation-related area. New technologies and significantly faster innovation cycles are leading to new collaboration models and opportunities for new players in the automotive market. This is most apparent in the current success of Tesla electric vehicles as well as the strain of mobility data by Apple and Google.
From expert’s point of view, revenues in the context of connected cars will rise to over 100 billion euros until 2020. High-tech industry leaders’ aspirations and market relevance show, that future development and innovation of auto industry will be fueled by data.
Connectivity and Big Data leads to a high priority issue of data protection and data security. Manufacturers need to inform their customers about storage, usage and analysis purposes of gathered customer and vehicle data
is also supported by the high involvement of non-auto-industry players, such as google. New mobility concepts, autonomous driving, connectivity and internet of things are only examples of current innovations.
There has rarely been a more exciting time to actively shape the automotive industry future. In the process, a prominent role has fallen to IT and the parties managing it.
The article by Dr. Rainer Mehl is part of a collection book with the top interviews of leading managers in German automotive industry. It is the sixth edition of this publication. NTT DATA has contributed every year with an editorial. This year, the lead article is about “smarter decisions by Big Data – Business Intelligence 2.0” (Author: Uwe Höhne).
Printed copies can be requested via the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org An electronic version as pdf can be downloaded through following link: Automotive IT – Interviews book 2014
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