The car of the future is connected, autonomous, shared, and electric

The automotive industry is undergoing massive digital transformation. By 2030, cars will be more connected, autonomous, shared, and electric.

Are we entering a driverless car winter?

What will the car and the mobility experience in the next 10 years? Mobility systems have been integrated for the past decade and continue to shape the user experiences in cars. Experiences Per Mile (EPM) is a movement centered on addressing the mobility industry's transformation to an experience-driven vision, which puts the consumer first. 

The Experiences Per Mile Advisory Council was formed to encourage collaboration among an exclusive group of automotive executives, analysts, and industry insiders regarding the changing value chains in automotive being driven by the connected movement. The purpose of the Advisory Council is to uncover best practices and foster cross-industry innovation to define and improve the in-vehicle experience for consumers. I am a member of the EPM advisory council. 

Automotive and non-automotive companies have an urgent need to offer the optimum connected vehicle experiences to their ever-changing base of customers. Consumers are demanding personalized experiences and the industry must meet those needs. The most forward-thinking industry members must get involved now to make significant changes. The EPM Council published the efforts of their collaboration to produce the Experiences Per Mile 2030 report

Here are the key takeaways of the EPM 2030 report: 

The CASE for better experiences 

After more than a century of business as usual, in which internal combustion cars were sold to private consumers through wholesale channels worldwide, the industry has aggressively shifted gears and has set forward on an ambitious new course: "CASE" -- the push for more Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric vehicles, and mobility solutions.

  • By 2030, 96% of new vehicles shipped globally with built-in connectivity (2X increase since 2020)
  • By 2030, 79% of new vehicles shipped globally with Level-2 autonomy or higher (vs 45% in 2020)
  • By 2030, 26% of mobility profits derived from new sources - e.g. on-demand mobility (vs 1% in 2020)
  • By 2030, 24% of new cars sold that are electric vehicles EVs (vs 3% in 2020)
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Change Personified in Four Letters: C-A-S-E

Nick Parrotta is chief digital and information officer at Harman, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and member of EPM Council: 

"The EPM Council's findings play a catalyst role in the mobility industry's transformation and help progress a shared industry vision for the full potential of the connected car. The Experiences Per Mile (EPM) movement welcomes partnerships that embrace collaboration, reduce barriers of entry for emerging solutions, and focus on beneficial outcomes for the consumer and the industry as a whole.

With access to the latest cutting-edge technologies that enhance in-car experiences and meet consumer needs, the automobile has become the most powerful platform to integrate a professional and personal connected lifestyle. The EPM pillars of Accomplishment, Well-Being, and Social Connections are at the core of this integrated experience.

 One exciting example of the Accomplishment Pillar has been our "Workforce on Wheels" initiative that seeks to bring work to life in a simpler, smarter, and secure way. Whether it's easy one-touch conference calls without background noise, smart customer briefings on the way to a sales call, or using in car commerce to order and pick up lunch - the Workforce on Wheels is poised to reveal the next phase of smart mobility and put the consumer experience in the driver's seat," said Nick Parrotta.

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Nick Parrotta is Chief Digital and Information Officer at HARMAN

Who is transforming and why 

Developing a dynamic mobility experience cannot be achieved without the CASE building blocks, however, this simple acronym too often minimizes the complex and evolving eco-system that hides behind it. The stakeholders driving transformation in the auto industry is automakers, vehicle dealerships, mobility providers and tier-one suppliers and system integrators, tech and IT giants, local and national governments, and broader ecosystem of key players. Salesforce is an example of a technology company that partnered with Harman to demonstrate the first-ever CRM platform integration in Harman's smart cockpit at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2020 in January 2020. 

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  Who's Transforming and Why?

Data becoming the industry's new fuel

 All this transformation is being fueled by the growing quantity and availability of vehicle and mobility data to each of these stakeholders. Based on estimates, all the vehicles on the road today generate in excess 30,000 Petabytes per day (to put that in context, the entire written works of mankind, from the beginning of recorded history, account for 50 Petabytes). Only a fraction of this data ever makes it out of the car, but when it does, it can act as a powerful enabler of innovative new solutions and experiences. Below are a few ways that data is helping to drive mobility forward: The report identifies key data usage categories including protecting, map, mitigate, facilitate, and personalize offerings. 

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  Data Becoming the Industry's New Fuel

Charity Rumery, head of Automotive and Industrial Sales for the Americas Region for HERE Technologies and member of the EPM Council:

"As mobility advances, we will see the car once again become a favored place with the center of the focus on the consumer experience. The fact that vehicles are becoming connected and communicating sensor information lays the foundation for the transformation of that experience. As the report points out, data will become the industry's new fuel. I see this fuel as the ultimate enabler of a new virtuous cycle of safety and autonomy. 

By capturing sensor data insights to enable consumer experiences, the concepts of protection and mapping as outlined in the report, become the basis of this virtuous cycle, with one set of features and capabilities enabling the other. 

With any level of ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems)-enabled or autonomous driving, safety is paramount. At the most basic level, with regards to protection, the sensors provide additional driving insights, giving automakers the ability to improve safety and not just for autonomous vehicles, but for all vehicles along the spectrum of ADAS to autonomy. Examples include your car alerting you of dangerous driving conditions ahead or knowing the traffic ahead and suggesting a different route, avoiding the increased instance of rear-end collisions in a traffic back-up. 

The virtuous cycle kicks in when that same data from vehicle sensors also becomes the building blocks for the creation and maintenance of the digital maps that enable the capabilities of ADAS to autonomy. While at the same time, the map itself provides a safety cross-check against the sensor and vehicle data. For example, location and speed data can be used to help fine-tune maps and additionally provide a critical safety validation against these elements to ensure advanced protection and safety mechanisms while driving. 

As time progresses, we will see advancements in this cycle as well, allowing data from cameras, radar and Lidar to enable much higher-definition maps to emerge, further fueling the virtuous cycle for higher level protection and safety mechanisms," said Charity Rumery. 

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Charity Rumery, Head of Automotive and Industrial Sales, HERE Technologies

Consumers are feeling the pain

In normal times, consumers are spending more time than ever on the move, as commuting grinds to a halt during the week and people travel in search of experiences during their time off.  Based on recent data published by the US Census Bureau, annually American workers over 16 years old invested 225 hours -- more than nine days -- getting from where they live to where they work and back.

As cars become more connected, autonomous, shared, and electric, the user experience will shift from purely operator to traveler, explorer, shopper, and business operator in a mobile office. The car of the future will drive e-commerce adoption, business virtual assistant powered by machine learning, voice enable technologies powered by natural language processing, augmented reality and heads-up display, multi-screen environments powered by sensor-rich environment using 5G and edge computing - and the combination of these technologies will allow car manufacturers and their ecosystem of partners to invent new business models and co-create value at the speed of need.

Voice of the mobility customer 

Cars rank lower-than-average when it comes to usability when compared with other digital devices. Staying connected and productive in the car seems to be a particular challenge across all three regions surveyed, with many respondents struggling to read SMS messages, keep up with news, or check their calendars.

Digital Experiences are climbing up the importance ladder

Traditionally, car buying was heavily influenced by a vehicle's physical factors such as aesthetics and performance. Our survey shows that many of these traditional factors are being overtaken by new considerations, such as how well the vehicle integrates with a person's digital lifestyle. The red (digital) and blue (physical/digital) elements of the bar graphs below represent a rising priority of digital and connected experiences. 

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  Digital Experiences Are Climbing up the Importance Ladder

Root cause of lagging innovation

According to the report, there are five complex and underlying factors why automakers and mobility participants too often get this wrong:

  1. Cultural: Hardware-driven (vs. consumer) culture. Today, automakers who are transforming into mobility providers tend to be too far removed and separated from the end-users of their products and/or rely completely on dealers for day-to-day interaction with consumers and their needs. 
  2. Technical: Rigid platforms. It can still take four to five years for an entirely new car or mobility platform to be designed and launched and it is rarely easy or flexible enough to integrate consumer's technologies, home networks, and the rest of a consumer's daily life that they would like to take with them on their journey. 
  3. Organizational: Silos everywhere. Consumers increasingly rely on multiple forms of transportation to get from A to B and multiple devices and apps to manage their lives, so it can be difficult for any single company to see the "big picture" from a consumer's perspective. 
  4. Communication: Industry jargon, not consumer-centric language. There is quite a bit of misaligned language, which doesn't resonate with owners and users of mobility. 
  5. Commercial: Antiquated partnership/business models. All these are exacerbated by legacy business models, slow to evolve and keep pace, and have not been a traditional focus area for automakers or mobility providers. 

Collaborative innovation for real change

No single company can possibly deliver on each experience pillar above. Instead, the broader mobility ecosystem will need to change the way it innovates and collaborates to succeed. There are 8 examples of how collaboration can lead to real transformation to improve the mobility experience.

  1.   Consumers First! Take a 360-degree Customer View
  2.   Seamless Integration Across Multiple Mobility Components
  3.   Open Innovation Sandboxes
  4.   Strength in Numbers Via Thoughtful Partnerships
  5.   Embrace the Challenges of Autonomy
  6.   Business Model Disruption
  7.   Shift from IQ to EQ Leadership
  8.   Embrace Transparent and Quantifiable Metrics

The report notes that all of these changes can occur in parallel to technological advancements the industry will experience in the next decade. As customer experience expectations begin to steadily rise over time the mobility ecosystem will need to accommodate this change by putting these best practices into action.

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Collaborative innovation for real change

Eloy Avila, chief technology officer, Americas, Darktrace, and Member of the EPM Council. 

"The reality is that as cars become more connected, they become a new attack surface that can be targeted by cyber-criminals. We've seen time and time again that attackers are creative and opportunistic. If there is a vulnerability to be exploited or weakness to be found in connected mobility platforms, they will target it -- especially if there is any profit to be gained. Connected vehicles will constantly be receiving and sending data, and while it might be difficult for us to imagine how this data could be used, adversaries have proven they can monetize and leverage data in a variety of ways. 

The four key changes outlined in the report -- connected, autonomous, shared, and electrification -- intersect in unique ways. More connectivity, and the vulnerabilities that this connectivity could create, when paired with the major strides in autonomous technology, add up to a major security risk. Considering the ways that innovation intersects is necessary to enable a full picture of potential security challenges and address them before damage has been done.

A concerning security trend we've seen with some devices within the IoT space is that security is a consideration after the fact, when vulnerabilities begin to be exposed or a manufacturer comes to realize that consumers aren't taking the necessary precautions. These discussions need to be happening preemptively -- not just in the automotive space, but across all IoT industries. 

Collaboration is necessary -- between sectors, between private industry and government, between security professionals and consumer experts. The industry has a unique opportunity to ensure embedded devices and systems avoid past pitfalls and embrace new paradigms in delivering a secure and consumer-centric experience. The Experiences Per Mile Advisory Council is an example of the type of cross-industry partnership that will be key to building resilient, consumer-friendly, secure systems and technology, " said Eloy Avila. 

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Eloy Avila, Chief Technology Officer, Americas, Darktrace

A roadmap for the next decade of mobility success 

The 10-year innovation and transformation roadmap starts today with experimentation and learning. The experience economy will strongly influence buyers and stakeholders from 2024-2027 and as we near the end of the decade we enter the mashed ecosystem of mobility and living.  The report notes: "the "vehicle" is the doer. It brings "destinations" to you, rather than taking you from point A to point B. In this era, the home is as much a part of the mobility experience as the car. This is a time when you can delegate to the "vehicle," where it can pay, transact, and complete tasks for you." 

Harman and Salesforce demonstrated how the "vehicle" is the doer at CES 2020. The video below shows how a sales professional was able to manage their accounts, safely connect with a customer, conduct e-commerce using voice-only commands, and to ultimately improve both quality of work and life, using AI-powered businesses applications via CRM in the car. 

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  A Clear Roadmap for the Next Decade of Mobility Success