Digital transformation, connectivity create platform for sustainable mobility
The Covid-19 pandemic is causing tectonic plates to slide in the automotive industry, and in indeed in many others.
However, it’s not the only factor that is causing a shift. Consumer purchasing behavior, electric vehicle adoption is increasing, connect and autonomous vehicle technology is important, and there is a push to, as Markus Winkler is head of global automotive sector at Capgemini says: “Adopt sustainable operational practices, forcing the sector to not only assess its ecological balance sheet but its social and ethical responsibilities as well.”
Claes Herlitz, head of connected vehicles at Ericsson, says the megatrends of autonomous drive and electrification are fueled by connectivity. With electric vehicles being pushed by lobbyists as supposedly a more sustainable and greener option that gasoline and diesel powered vehicles, he believes that the trend towards electrification wouldn’t happen without connectivity. He explains: “We need to know where the vehicle is and to estimate the travel range. As late as five to six years ago OEMs said they will deal with autonomous drive. You can’t accelerate autonomous drive without the presence of connectivity and ongoing ICT development.”
A colleague of his at Ericsson adds, with reference to shared mobility: “You can rent a vehicle without the digital infrastructure/connectivity but shared mobility can never work without the digital community.” In essence it’s about electrification, autonomous and shared mobility. They are all driven by connectivity.
The other angle he reveals is about the software-defined vehicle, which he claims will create more sustainable vehicles. He adds: “We are looking at OEMs such as General Motor’s Triple-Zero Vision strategy, which aims to reduce CO2 emissions but they really can’t execute it without connectivity. It will drive it from an autonomous and energy consumption perspective.” His colleague adds: “This secures the connectivity transparency and cost control for the OEM, which is required to succeed with sustainable operation.”
Varun Krishna Murthy, senior research analyst ADAS and autonomous driving, at Frost and Sullivan, says a recent study by his company “indicates that by 2030 software content in vehicle is expected increase by two folds from 2020”. With in-vehicle requirements growing, he believes it is critical to “adopt a new digital platform that is scalable to adopt more lines of software codes until full autonomy is achieved”.
His colleague, Suhas Gurumurthy, industry analyst connected cars adds: “Sustainable mobility calls for organizations to turn cars into environmentally sustainable, economical and socially impactful modes of transport. Digital transformation is key not only for the in-vehicle aspects but also for the external vehicle infrastructure.”
Sustainable operational practices
Herlitz says is it vital for automakers to assess and adopt sustainable operational practices. In fact, he goes so far to say that for them it’s a matter of survival. Sustainability has to be a key driver, and to achieve it automakers need ICT investments and cloud connectivity.
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