Five technology trends driving the automotive industry into the future

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As cars become increasingly smarter and automated, a lot of innovative technology will be needed to make them even smarter and more useful to drivers. Manufacturing cars of the future – be they autonomous, connected, electric, or a mix of all three – will be fueled by cutting-edge technology. Companies that can deploy this technology successfully will emerge as the winners in an exceedingly competitive industry.

Success in automotive manufacturing will require modernizing business processes, adopting new business models as well as the ability to gather, manage, analyze and make use of the large amounts of data being generated by drivers and the cars themselves. Underlying these success factors are five key technologies that are driving the automotive industry into the future:

1. Internet of Things (IoT)

There is a tremendous amount of data that can now be captured, digested, analyzed and acted upon. Using IoT and sensor technology, data can be gathered on things like steering, braking and how effectively a car navigates the road then inserted into the testing cycle to continuously improve autonomous driving capabilities. Beyond autonomous driving development, IoT data is providing fuel for many other business opportunities such as predictive maintenance, connected car functionality, and data monetization

2. Cloud/hybrid computing models

With the increased demand for computing and data in the auto industry, there is a tremendous amount of collaborative innovation going on in terms of computing capacity, data ingestion, data pipelines, and AI and analytics-based algorithms. Auto companies have new computing needs that only cloud and hybrid computing models can address by providing access to increased capacity on demand when companies have compute-intensive, storage-intensive workloads, or both. Cloud providers are investing significant R&D resources in these areas and car companies are collaborating with these providers to leverage innovation to accelerate their path to the right outcomes.

3. In-car apps

The latest car models are brimming with software – some having more lines of code than a modern-day jet fighter. Data gathered through IoT and other means can be leveraged to provide drivers with value-added services via in-car apps. For example, real-time driving data can be used to provide information for navigation apps that alert drivers to road conditions, traffic hazards and items of interest nearby. Automakers need to manage in-car software assets in a coherent manner, which includes testing, deploying the software in the right way, and tracking it so there’s a record of what’s deployed if something breaks.

4. AI and analytics

A recurring theme in the future of automotive manufacturing is harnessing the huge amount of data being generated. Companies will need to deploy the right industry-based analytics and AI platforms to put all that data to good use. For cars to become fully automated there is a strong need to employ AI, analytics, data management and digital workflows to speed up testing and simulation, and the product development life cycle. Analytics can be applied in many ways, from assessing production efficiency for reducing waste and costs to analyzing customer sentiment to predict failures and anticipate recalls.

5. Digital factory

A digital factory can be integral for producing cars in a fast, standardized and error-free manner across multiple locations throughout the globe. It uses technologies such as modeling, automation and digitization to provide the foundation for flexible and stable manufacturing processes. In addition to standardizing the use of automation and robotics in manufacturing, the use of a digital factory can produce business benefits in areas such as supply chain logistics, quality control and maintenance.

 

This just scrapes the surface of the many innovative technologies that will be used to produce autonomous vehicles, connected cars and smart factories. Automotive manufacturing has become so dependent on advanced technology, that only those companies that can successfully integrate and apply emerging technologies in a quick and efficient manner will find success. Success will be dependent upon focusing on the right platforms, managing data, industrializing AI, as well as meeting the need for standardization and agility.


Ashim Bose headshotAshim Bose is Global Leader of Analytics Product Management and Engineering, DXC Analytics. He is focused on helping clients achieve business outcomes from their data by leveraging DXC Analytics offerings. He has over 20 years of industry experience in automotive, industrial, airlines, telecom and space exploration. Ashim holds a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

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