By Angela Schuller.
A quarter billion connected cars will be on the road globally by 2020. With new in-vehicle and automated driving capabilities taking shape every day, opportunities for automotive companies to innovate abound.
Twenty-six experts from the automotive industry who attended the SAP sponsored Best Practices for Automotive conference shared the connected vehicle and autonomous driving trends they are seeing in the industry. Here are eight of the hottest topics they discussed in interviews recorded live for The Future of Cars with Game Changers Radio.
- A good, digital infrastructure goes a long way. Technology can help companies find efficiencies in areas they never thought possible, like inside business operations or on the floors of their manufacturing plants. Companies don’t necessarily always need more people; rather, they need tools to help their employees work smarter and more efficiently.
- Predictive analytics can dramatically improve the bottom line. Predictive goes beyond helping companies get ahead of scheduled factory maintenance downtime to avoid delivery delays. It can drive efficiencies in areas ranging from fleet management, to a better managed supply chain, to new vehicle design.
- Keeping drivers safe won’t just be about the car. With increased connectivity and automated driving coming soon, automotive companies will be compelled to implement ways to protect drivers’ personal data and to ensure the vehicle, infrastructure and route they (and their driver-less vehicles) take cannot be hacked or compromised.
- Waiting for a part to come in won’t keep drivers off the road too long. With 3D printing available soon at gas stations and repair shops, a replacement part may be just a point, click, print and install, with virtually no down-time for the driver.
- Customers will become more involved in vehicle design. Design will go beyond selecting options from a catalog of preferences. Car companies will design for a lot size of 1, bringing automotive into the “make for me” economy.
- Speaking of what customers want, connected cars might have to sync up to drivers’ refrigerators. Consumers are already able to monitor their homes on their mobile devices. They’ll demand the same abilities when it comes to their cars.
- Increased connectivity may change some societal trends of workers around the world.Because autonomous and connected cars will give drivers more free time to connect with family or to do work, longer commutes could be acceptable. In fact, there could be a shift where workers living in cities might choose to move further out from urban areas.
- It might be difficult to fuel up a classic car in the not-too-distant future. With cars getting smarter and going electric, gasoline consumption will surely decrease. Going to the traditional gas station to fill up the tank up could become a thing of the past if the gas-engine vehicle becomes obsolete.
Connectivity, analytics and customer-centricity are sharing the driver’s seat when it comes to business decisions automotive companies are making to get ahead of the competition. And while no one has a crystal ball to see into the future of cars, you can check out the full interviews here, and learn more about what these experts predict on what’s coming down the pike in the next decade.