COVESA Roundtable: How will the automotive industry evolve based on the coming mobility revolution?

We asked some of our members to provide their perspectives on how the automotive industry will evolve based on the coming mobility revolution and this is what they shared:

Christoph Ludewig, Vice President OEM Europe, Geotab

Maarten Koning, Wind River Fellow

Steve Crumb, Executive Director, COVESA

OEMs are undisputed in providing the hardware to physically transport people and goods. Eventually, technology will evolve into autonomous driving. At the same time, new companies are emerging. Mobility providers offering "transportation as a service" will step between the OEMs and the customers and play a major role in determining the customer experience. OEMs run the risk of being relegated to being a hardware supplier for mobility service providers and may struggle to become fully-fledged mobility providers. Thus, strong partnerships with mobility providers yield a big potential for OEMs - and since everything will be based on data and connectivity, interoperability and standardization are crucial for the success of all parties.

The automotive industry is evolving faster than ever due to modern software-defined system architecture. Vehicles are now intelligent cloud-connected edge devices, and the cloud plays an important role in vehicle capability operationally and for the user’s experience. Automation and analytics enable core to edge management of these software applications – beyond OTA and fleet management to now adding AI/ML, digital feedback loops and system orchestration to manage this massive new software defined world. As vehicles are increasingly software-defined, it is important that automotive companies acquire expertise around IT, OT, cloud and intelligent systems. The companies that do will dominate in this new automotive intelligent systems machine economy. 

For the automotive industry to experience the promise of equitable and safe movement of people and goods, it must stop thinking of itself as an insulated industry and remove barriers to collaboration with adjacent industries and initiatives such as smart cities, smart infrastructure and even home automation. Vehicles are no longer "automotive" or "commercial", they are participating entities in a growing number of related contexts in which they will live, move and connect. "Automotive thinking" has to be replaced with "connected thinking" and cross-industry dialogues must increase to develop common approaches leading to the safety and equity desired. Until a delivery model with sufficient business value is discussed and implemented, the "mobility revolution" promising equity and safety will struggle to come to fruition.

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