Since its humble beginnings, automotive technology has seen a rapid progression. The automobile industry has always been one to push the envelope on technological innovation and mechanical car services.
The modern cars produced these days are far distant cousins to their counterparts from the early days.
A super-fast shift in innovation
Opportunities for innovation exist across all sectors of the automotive industry. From motive power systems and advanced safety features to autonomous technologies, vehicle sophistication and increased customer expectations are creating an ever-increasing need for innovative automobiles.
Continuing digital innovations will lead the charge in shaping the future of mobility.
As examined by the leading multibrand car and repair company in the Middle East, across the industry, four innovation opportunities are redefining the future of the automotive industry.
ACES: The future of mobility
Big changes are happening within the automotive market. These changes are caused by several trends, including:
- Growing global population and demographic influences
- Environmental concerns
- Innovation in technology
- Ubiquitous connectivity
These trends have transformed consumer expectations and demand in terms of mobility. One example is the shared economy. The influence of millennials and the evolution of cities has created a shift from private car ownership to on-demand and shared vehicles.
This has enabled new mobility paradigms. These paradigm shifts have introduced new digital companies, revenue models, and mobility services to the automotive market. Moreover, these new paradigms have introduced a new future in automotive transport: ACES.
ACES is the new acronym driving the future of the automotive industry.
Defined as autonomous, connected, electric, and shared, ACES technologies are reimagining transport. The potential impact of ACES technologies is vast. ACES technologies are playing a leading role in road networks, transport infrastructural needs, and the travel patterns of people.
Within the next decade, ACES technologies are expected to receive a huge amount of global attention. Leading vehicle manufacturers are already involved in investing in start-up companies that specialize in ACES technologies.
Toyota and Volkswagen are two examples of leading vehicle manufacturers that have made strategic investments in Uber and Gett, respectively. Other vehicle manufacturers like Ford and BMW are placing their investments in new mobility modes such as a crowd-sourced shuttle service (Chariot) and software design for fleet management.
With ACES technologies having enormous implications for the future of transport, the paper below examines these automotive technologies in greater depth.
Of the four abbreviations in ACES, autonomous vehicles are regarded as the most disruptive form of technology. The realization of fully autonomous vehicles will cause the greatest dramatic shift throughout the automotive industry.
By 2030, estimations expect the global autonomous driving market to grow up to $173.15 billion.
Not only will autonomous technology disrupt the automotive industry, but it will also cause a dramatic upheaval in the face of automotive employment. In the face of this technological disruption, numerous regulatory changes, as well as a shift in mobility services, are expected to occur.
These dramatic upheavals extend far beyond regulatory changes and a shift in automotive employment. Full driverless automation, considered to be mainstream by 2030 onwards, will significantly reduce traffic collisions.
Ubiquitous connectivity has already become the norm and now underpins many surrounding services and infrastructures. Today’s always-connected environment is driven by ever-increasing consumer demand. Vehicle technologies are no exception.
The “connected” part of ACES is, by and large, the more mature technological aspect. Bluetooth technology has enabled mobile phone services integration into automotive vehicles. Mobile apps already provide relevant information in real-time to the traveling public.
Despite its maturity, the automotive market has yet to fully realize connectivity technology’s full potential. Service providers and vehicle manufacturers are currently creating connected vehicle ecosystems that will enhance current information sharing services.
Near term connectivity services that will increase the range of automotive information sharing will include:
- Hazardous location notifications
- In-vehicle signage and speed limits
- Information on alternative fueling and charging stations
- On-street parking management and information
- Off-street parking information
- Park and ride information
- Infotainment applications
- Advanced driver assistance systems
- Traffic information and dynamic routing
These vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure services will provide greater potential for vehicle safety, journey management, and remote services that enhance vehicle efficiency, for example, predictive maintenance.
Environmental concerns have driven a greater demand for vehicles with alternative motive power systems. The introduction of the Toyota Prius, over 20 years ago, signified the start of the green automotive revolution.
The success of hybrid vehicles like the Prius presented greater opportunities for pure electric vehicles (EVs). Every year, more and more EVs are driven on global roads. Navigant Research estimates that by 2025, nearly 40 million plug-in electric vehicles will be in use.
Advancements in electric automotive technology further progress the impact of the green revolution. Since 2008, lithium-ion batteries have dropped significantly in price. This is crucial in increasing efficiency in electrical drive systems, resulting in greater adoption rates for EVs.
EVs not only represent significant value from an environmental perspective. A disparity in pricing between non-renewable fuel sources and electricity has financial implications for electric vehicles. From a cost perspective, EVs make greater economic sense for widespread deployment.
Shared automotive services are poised to increase in the coming years. The growing acceptance of shared mobility is driving new shared and on-demand mobility models. Consumer appetite for enhanced transportation-on-demand models suggests new opportunities for automakers and start-up mobility players.
The following innovation opportunities look to increase on-demand mobility models:
- Purpose-built vehicles
- Scaled shared-mobility platforms
- New subscription models
- Self-driving taxis and shuttles
- Autonomous vehicle fleets
As shared mobility increases its market share, global vehicle-sales growth is expected to dampen. But, the automotive industry must effectively address existing customer pain points to further drive growth in shared mobility. These pain points include uncomfortable dynamics among passengers and expensive barrier to entry for daily use.
What happens next?
Technology continues to change the world in which we live. Undeniably, ACES vehicles will become more mainstream and define the future health of the automotive industry. The ability to drive new mobility solutions will depend heavily on how the automotive industry addresses existing challenges and introduces new opportunities.