Disruptive Trends Transforming the Automotive Industry

In the automotive sector, innovations and business transformations are fast emerging. Access to more data and greater computing power in this age of cloud are allowing manufacturers to decrease their overheads, improve demand visibility, and find ways to create a more responsive framework (app based) for their customers.

A company with a plan to meet consumer’s expectations without going beyond budget is an ideal enterprise. The deeper question is how its immediate supply chain can coordinate to meet those expectations, and offer better products, faster and cheaper.

Where technology is headed

Technology is playing a key role to alleviate burdens (on the automotive industry) caused by rising commodity/fuel prices and government regulations. But the automotive ecosystem is full of complex workflows, and being ‘future ready’ means being able to manufacture the machines and UX features of tomorrow. Safety protocols in a new automotive ecosystem will cover not just supply chains, but the electric grid, a new generation of charging stations, highways with special features, automated parking lots, intelligent traffic signals and more.

Purpose-specific vehicles

Changing habits of consumers will probably lead to purpose-specific vehicles. Smart cars may rule the world, but as the transition will take time, there may be many mini trends emerging. One of them is likely to be affordable cars, which people will choose for economizing travel and the investment expenses. Vehicles for such purposes may cover shopping, vacationing, getting to work, etc.

Automobiles with high-tech control and intelligence features

Most industry players believe that the demand for more sophisticated safety sensors and alignment has already set the stage for sharper vehicle intelligence. Much like now, cars will drive on data; the only difference being there will be exponentially more of it. Given that such disruption is on the horizon, commercial applications will have to go beyond technology and engineering capabilities. It will require OEMs to forge new processes within the supply chain, new relationships with research bodies and new collaborations with government regulators.

The age of IoT will introduce cars that take on the responsibilities of the driver. Not only will cars treat all its occupants as passengers, but it will be able to create solutions for its mechanical problems and update OEMs on the services required from any location.

Fully autonomous vehicles are unlikely to be commercially available before 2020. Meanwhile, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) will play a crucial role in preparing regulators, consumers, and corporations for the medium-term reality of cars taking over control from drivers.A McKinsey report

Emission and clean energy

Fuel will be replaced by electricity as battery makes its way into the industry. Yes, it will require a revolution at the grid level, but companies are not treating concept cars as just another fancy. Unlike a few years back, the ideas promoted by companies like Tesla are becoming increasingly relevant and industry leaders are finding it hard to look away.

In 2030, the share of electrified vehicles could range from 10 percent to 50 percent of new-vehicle sales. Adoption rates will be highest in developed dense cities with strict emission regulations and consumer incentives (tax breaks, special parking and driving privileges, discounted electricity pricing, et cetera). Sales penetration will be slower in small towns and rural areas, with lower levels of charging infrastructure and higher dependency on driving range. – A McKinsey report

No matter how advanced cars get, their basic hardware need to be quality certified, especially because once they are integrated with software, their performance should not fail due to mechanical or chemical reasons. Robotics is relatively new in products, and addressing technical issues may require a new service mechanism. Contracts between automotive engineering services companies in India  and their parts manufacturers may need to be revised also, based on the looming situation.


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