The Digital Transformation innovates  the automotive sector

The Digital Transformation innovates the automotive sector

Businesses digital transformation is not something abstract: it will affect your daily life, both from the business point of view and the customers’. The coin is the same: the digitalization; we are the two sides of the coin which, from time to time, will be  playing a different role.

According to the survey entitled “Predicts 2019: Digital Drives a Paradigm Shift in Application Services”, published by Gartner, by 2021, that is to say less than two years from now, 15% of all interactions of the customer service will be handled exclusively by AI. We are talking about a 400% increase against 2017. Moreover, a research by Accenture has revealed that 76% of companies is currently investing in technology, and more specifically, the type of technology which is expected to deeply innovate their organization.  

The Digital Transformation is a process affecting all market sectors. And the drive to innovation doesn’t always come from the top; on the contrary innovation is often triggered by final users asking for a change. More technology means more connectivity, thus more services. And companies must adapt if they don’t want to be thrown out of the global market by competitors who have listened to the call for innovation and have promptly reacted to it.  

Let’s take the automotive sector as an example. Nowadays, drivers ask for more connectivity and more innovative and customized driving experiences. Therefore, AI and IoT have been introduced to radically transform the automotive industry. If I can access several services through my smartphone, then I want to do the same through my car and be able to use social media,  music and apps while driving. If in the past having a “fully connected, smart car” was a complete novelty, in 2019 this has become a widespread requirement among drivers. And the automotive industry has adapted accordingly by deeply modifying its production system, digitalizing factories, and hiring new professionals.  For instance: every single smart car requires over 100 million strings of code (Digital Transformation Trends in The Automotive Industry For 2019).

The  automotive industry digital transformation in 4 points

A premise is needed now: the automotive industry digital transformation is a work in progress. What is valuable today, in 2019, may be obsolete in 2020-2021. At present we can identify four points which have, so far, been key to it. As previously explained, the first and most obvious is connectivity which has translated in wi-fi equipped cars.

The second factor is predictive maintenance. Smart cars have to be safe.  That is why the IoT is needed for the collection of performance related data. Such data are then analyzed to look for possible faults and, in case the system finds some, the driver is immediately notified to prevent accidents. Traditional mechanics are then helped by software technicians which shall check/update the car software. The saying goes “better safe than sorry” and, indeed, preventing problems before they arise is crucial. When it comes to trucks, predictive maintenance has already led to the ability to predict faults 30 days before they may occur and to the consequent improvement by 30% of trucking uptime (Trucking along to a streaming future).

This has led to the need to act behind the scenes: the whole production chain has undergone a major reorganization : the industry 4.0 was born.  The IoT has been introduced for intra-company communication, which allows for real time feedback, AI operated production planning and the presence of robots along production lines, among humans, used to increase productivity and reduce defects. Last but not least, production decentralization has led  to a significant cost reduction and an optimization of delivery time.

Finally, we have data security. Smart  cars collect thousands of data which reveal a lot about us. Consequently, such data have to be protected to protect drivers, as well. The automotive sector is then trying to produce safer and less “hackable” software. Since smart cars are appealing to most of us but not if they risk to spy on us.

What are the services offered by smart cars you like the most? Tweet @agostinellialdo.

To find out more about the digital world, you may read my latest book entitled: “People Are Media” 

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