Vice President - Sales, APAC & EU, AXISCADES
The Indian automotive industry over a long period of time has been focussed on driving fuel efficiency of cars and ensuring passenger safety. Ranging from R&D and manufacturing to marketing, efforts have undertaken towards pushing efficient cars. However, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have shifted the narration from efficiency to innovation, ushering in a transformational change in the automotive sector.
This shift particularly pertains to driving innovation in vehicle’s pre as well as post-manufacturing stage in the backdrop of growing demand for new-age vehicles. While the fundamental purpose of a vehicle remains constant, companies are introducing innovations to enhance manufacturing capacities and efficiencies apart from repositioning their focus from hardware to software capabilities. Let us look at the five technology trends that will transform the automotive industry in 2019.
EASE OF PROTOTYPING THROUGH 3D PRINTING & VR
Manufacturers spend a huge amount of time and resources in ideating and developing a vehicle’s prototype with high failure or rejection chances. With the 3D printing technology, businesses today are able to reduce cost, time and variability associated with prototyping. The onset of technologies like virtual reality and 3D printing has paved the way for more cost-effective methods of developing prototypes, thereby saving precious time and resources. Car manufacturers such as General Motors, Hyundai and Ford are deploying new-age technologies to increase the launch frequency of vehicles apart from improving its design and safety features.
AUTOMATION RULES OVER THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
Autonomous vehicles are no longer a figment of imagination rather a product speeding on the tarmac. The proliferation of self-driving cars is expected to completely transform the automotive industry with the rise of several new technologies and convergence of automotive and the technology industry. According to KMPG, companies including the dominant vehicle makers, technology giants and specialist start-ups have invested $ 50 bn globally over the last five years to develop autonomous technologies, with 70 % of the expenditure coming from outside the automotive sector. Fully-driverless cars are still at a nascent stage, but have been partially automated with major technology giants like Google and Apple developing their own hybrids apart from forging partnerships with automotive giants.
SHARED MOBILITY DISRUPTING CAR OWNERSHIP
India is expected to be a shared mobility leader by 2030, with the rise of autonomous and electric vehicles, according to Morgan Stanley. With the younger generation adopting global trends at a rapid clip, it is expected that potential car buyers will choose shared mobility options over car ownership. This will also create new business models for car manufacturers and will call for changes in their designs to suit commercial vehicle requirements and safety norms.
BLOCKCHAIN TO MAKE AUTOMOTIVE MORE TRUSTWORTHY
The rise of connected cars will produce immense data, which can be used to improve user experience. The use of blockchain provides an innovative approach to managing data with accuracy and improves on areas like car financing. According to Frost and Sullivan, 10-15 % of connected vehicle transactions are expected to be on blockchain by 2025. The technology ensures that every transaction related to digital assets can be verified, enabling new contract-based transactions. These automated transactions are regulated and initiated by smart contracts, which are basically computer programmes that provide complete verifications without an intermediary. With smart contracts, an autonomous car can buy data from weather stations, traffic channels and other vehicles that it needs to drive.
Thus, with the upcoming automotive trends and technological advancements, the automotive industry is diverting its focus towards smart manufacturing using digital twin, enhanced products for electrification, increased level of automation and platform-based services. Going forward, the automotive industry is likely to witness an incredible transformation, in terms of product design & verification, design support and product development, while also evolving as per advanced emission and safety norms that will make it a compatible and conducive field for foreign automakers.