Navigating Automotive Industry Transformation
The global automotive industry has undergone a sea of change driven by technologies such as autonomous, electrification and connected vehicles as they converge to accelerate this change. Today’s industry is driven by faster innovation cycles, disruptive technologies with changes in consumer preferences such as mobility-on-demand and public transportation. Fundamental enablers for these changes may be traced to significantly higher computing capability, vastly improved network speeds and hyperbolic advances in software engineering. Besides, there is a new trend in manufacturing and new mobility devices such as EV skateboard platforms, PMDs and smart robotic vehicles. Though the awareness about these changes is widely accepted in the industry, many organizations still struggle to navigate in this maze. While it is obvious that infusion of technical skills and capability is at the core of such transformation, it is simply not enough. It calls for a strategy that involves identifying the right differentiating technology elements under autonomous, electrification and connected space and aligning them with relevant business models. Autobotik’s 3-step transformation model is designed to assist organizations to structure this strategy and execute with higher probability of success.
Major shifts in the industry
Transformation in the automotive industry is enabled by a few major shifts. We classify these shifts under the category of business, technology and culture.
Traditional automotive industry ecosystem, which has been hierarchical and top-driven, is morphing into a more collaborative model with customers at the epicenter . The diagram illustrates this point of view more lucidly.
Re-orientation to this ecosystem requires organizations to turn their focus in 3 major areas, each of which have some level of overlap with each other. These three areas are technology, business processes and organization culture.
While organizations focus on strategy for the future, choosing the right technology that aligns with the business goal is critical. The future of the automotive industry, as is well known, hinges on Autonomous, Electrification and Connected technologies all of which can deliver higher value in a convergence model. Every organization follows a different path based on internal strategy, but the aspiring leaders will need to focus on the following key technological differentiators to be successful in this transformation
Making Digital Pervasive
Advances in the internet of things and cloud computing is transforming the way products are developed and launched. Besides, use of organizational data and deeper analytics can enhance not only internal productivity but also provide pathways for new products and services. In fact, digital transformation across the entire organization will no longer remain an option for organizations in the next decade
Software as a Primer Mover
According to popular market reports, software will become the primary driver for growth for automakers in the next decade. Modern cars are turning into giant mobile smartphones driven by a software-defined architecture. In such a scenario, a razor-sharp focus on growing software engineering as a core differentiator is very critical. Today’s software is mostly machine learning based and relies heavily on strong fundamentals in data and statistics.
Systems Knowledge is the Core
A large number of products and services today require vertical and horizontal integration across disciplines such as hardware, software, communication and user experience. Systems engineering thus becomes a key differentiator to create/launch robust products into the market. A majority of flawed launches and product issues are typically traced back to system integration and missed requirements or use cases. These issues can be minimized with a proper systems engineering approach. Well known automotive processes such as ASPICE and ISO 26262 need to be structurally integrated into the process.
Cyber-Physical Seamless Integration
The systems of tomorrow live in both physical and cyber-worlds. A connected car for example needs to integrate into cloud infrastructure and be able to interact with the driver just as seamlessly. The key differentiator in the user interface would be how physical and digital worlds are integrated with each other to provide the end-user a smooth experience. Given below is an example of Urban Driving integration including Smart City integration
Computing Infrastructure for Transformation
Lastly, all these technologies are driven with a reliable computing infrastructure which includes a futuristic architecture and a balance between edge and cloud computing. Demand on resources for agile development coupled with open source innovation will challenge IT groups to provide differentiating infrastructure within the organization while balancing development costs
Intense focus on technology and business transformation that we seek may only be successfully used with a transformative work culture which is ready to embrace the transformation. Such a culture involves empowerment at the grassroots level, a passion for continuous and effective learning and a culture that tolerates risk and rewards bold lateral thinking skills.