Three main predictions for the next decade of vehicle manufacturing – and an array of new (ish) concepts. These could expand into further predictions, some of them unexpected, as time goes by. Passenger economy enters, with a full set of consequences.
Between manufacturing and usage, the auto vehicle and automotive industry is set to need increasingly more software solutions, the more versatile, the better.
Estimated production-related shifts
The experts estimate that two main types of automobiles are the future. First, there are the minimalist, simplistic vehicles. Tey will be mass produced, on demand, to satisfy the customer need of getting from point A to point B. Secondly, we’ll have highly customized vehicles that answer the need for expensive, (almost) one of a kind products. Both variants involve autonomy.
Also, for both types production would involve a high level of automation. This would “require a total re-imagination of every process involved”.
Automakers expect major changes, implying a 50 percent cut in the industry workforce, as well as a process of re-skilling the employees that remain.
With this in mind, the vehicle production industry braces up for:
- Different workflows, processes, and operations (e.g. reduced time between R&D and production)
- Reducing the shop-floor logistics roles by around 60 percent
- Emerging new roles (and the demand for new talent: “the number of software engineers needed will rise by as much as 90 percent”)
The passenger economy moves the focus towards autonomous vehicles and in-car infotainment
Taking for granted the time spent by passengers inside their vehicles, the industry develops new ways of keeping them entertained. With the new world of autonomous vehicles at the horizon, drivers become potential viewers or members of the audience. Once their attention free from the road ahead, they will also be available for screens, an audience open to video and audio entertainment once captive inside the cars of the future.
We stumbled upon an article that reviews a few of the approaches towards autonomous driving, as showcased this year at CES.
Hitachi presented driving assist technology, as well as preventive maintenance concepts and remote car-summoning solutions.
Panasonic is all about IoT and the concept of connected mobility. In their take, autonomous cars are an “immersive version of your smartphone”. Entities such as “advertisers, entertainment equipment providers, social media companies, data and analytics companies” are all welcome to fight for the passengers’ attention, in their view.
BMV is set to conceal all the technology underneath a minimalist interior, looking almost like a living room, and establishing continuity between the residence and transportation environments. In their version, the driver can “make video calls, manage their to-do list, read a book, and even watch TV from the comfort of their car”.
A future of easier transportation, depending upon the automotive software solutions
Once vehicle autonomy perfected, it’s all about the experience. How does one use the time spent inside a vehicle of the (not so far away) future?
Hopefully, not dealing with software errors, buffering screens and frustrations. Depending on the quality, seamless integration and versatility of the software solutions making a smooth experience possible, the vehicles of the future should be relaxing, as well as useful in the way smartphones are nowadays.
As always, the details will make or break the entire concept. Thus, the passenger economy needs great software solutions. It needs dedicated coding, patience, attention and agility.
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