When major tech companies in Silicon Valley penetrated automotive markets, they introduced a pioneering new concept: the software-driven E/E (electric & electronic) vehicle architecture, thus shifting societal expectations and developing new business models that made mobility more efficient, more sustainable, and ultimately, more convenient. The breakthrough affected the strategic agenda of conventional OEMs and increasingly more industry leaders switched to paying more attention to innovations driven by software alone.
The merger between software-tech and startup-tech offers tremendous opportunities for acquiring top talent and adding new players to the business. OEMs, in particular, are looking at buying technological capabilities rather than developing them in-house. The pandemic has strengthened the importance of digitizing core processes, and since e-commerce has become the main way to sell both services and products, it will continue to dominate the mobility scenario in the post-COVID-19 future.
Shifting paradigms: new platform strategies, new architecture
Automakers today deal with critical challenges in technological advancements. Data flow capacity and on-board processing capacity must increase, especially when it comes to data processing from IVI (in-vehicle infotainment), ADAS systems, battery management, and additional information systems. However, as autonomous driving functionalities advance, the workload will most likely increase in demand.
Post-Covid-19, when safety will remain a top priority, future mobility scenarios involve vehicles to be more efficient at communicating with each other. Fast cloud services, a streamlined infrastructure, and cybersecurity in vehicles pave the way to creating a new form of electric-based mobility architecture from function-specific ECUs and domain-specific DCUs all the way to cloud connectivity and vehicle computers that are domain-independent.
OEM demands shifting gears toward value-chain dynamics
Setting up standardized platforms may result in significant mobility changes following the pandemic, including having to replace classic components with embedded, function-specific, and monolithic software. In return, new platforms with easy integration via separated software and hardware modes might rise to the surface. For new players on the market, it might be an opportunity to consider platform concepts for tapping in new new markets and benefiting from added business opportunities.
Technology-based mobility innovators on the rise
It’s no secret that public goods are fueled by the private sector. Mobility businesses, particularly those that are technology-based, have the capacity to step in where services provided by governments can’t keep up. Their leverage is that they offer seamless transportation, and as mobility technology advances amid the pandemic, stakeholders will become more open to sharing information.
When it comes to services provisioning, the private sector has managed to come up with strategies that fill the void of the public sector. From collaborating with governments all the way to partnering with local businesses to get services and goods moving again, on-demand mobility that is privately owned – micro-transit, micro-mobility, ride-hail – will most likely gain a competitive advantage over public transportation.
To survive in a post-pandemic world, mobility companies will be compelled to close public-private partnerships, as well as adopt innovative solutions and implement “smart” goals to stay afloat. The astounding success of data-driven monitoring companies increases people’s willingness to share their information, fueling innovations around sectors such as automotive, planning, mobility-as-a-service, and travel routing.
In conclusion, the future of mobility depends on technology adoption. Some automakers have started delivering cars to customers’ doors. However, they don’t have the capabilities to become standalone data-driven tech companies. The secret to success will be all about partnering with software companies to enable efficient integration in the post-pandemic era. The mobility ecosystem is changing and increasingly more leaders in the space are speeding up processes and becoming more open to the new agile ways of delivering results – a universal benefit for all stakeholders involved that will persist after the COVID-19 crisis ends.
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