Are you Prepared for the Future of the Automotive Industry?

Are you Prepared for the Future of the Automotive Industry?

  The horizon is pulled closer every day, technology seems to be speeding up and the products we purchase continue to be updated to meet our collective, ever-increasing needs. Here we explore the chaotic automotive landscape to unearth what manufacturers and their suppliers are doing to respond to the customer-driven future of the industry. First and foremost – what do customers want? Consumers want less product standardization, and more customization. Meaning that they’d like a product (in this case, their future car) to meet their needs while keeping components and costs down. Manufacturers need to be prepared for this customer-driven future and understand the risk and opportunity that this environment presents. While new product development is crucial to a manufacturer’s survival, it’s especially true for discrete manufacturers, as almost half of their revenue comes from new products (44% of total revenue, as identified in a recent Aberdeen Group study).   Most automotive manufacturers have set their sights on improving the configuration management (CM) process as a way to deal with this need for customization. CM acts as the blueprint – a clear, current, and accurate product definition – to ensuring that products meet quality, time to market, and cost targets that ultimately lead to profitability. Global competition, regulations, and customer preferences have driven innovation within the automotive industry. Not surprisingly, the amount of embedded code in new cars has risen by 25% over the past two years, and this will continue to go up over time. In addition, the inclusion of software brings with it unfamiliar concerns for automotive companies — namely, the risk of security breaches. Modern automobiles...
Future Cars Will Keep an Eye on You and the Road

Future Cars Will Keep an Eye on You and the Road

At the recent Ford Trends conference in Dearborn, MI, one of the sessions described a fascinating effort between Ford and Intel called Mobile Interior Imaging, or Project Mobii. As you might know, cars are coming with more cameras to keep track of their movements. There have been rear-facing cameras for years that can help to back into parking spaces or see heretofore hidden obstacles. There are also cameras on the sides of vehicles, which are used for things like Ford’s parallel parking assist technology. I have been in several cars that seemingly know exactly when and where to turn: all you have to do is shift from forward to reverse when the car tells you. And Ford has put a camera on the front of its pickup trucks, complete with a small washing device to keep the lens clean, to track tailgating and lane changes. Guest article by David Strom But the Mobii project is all about cameras inside the vehicle. The idea is to recognize particular drivers and passengers and make the driving experience more personal, including automated seat adjustment, as well as personal contacts and music preferences displayed on the entertainment system. And if an unrecognized driver sits behind the wheel, you will receive a photo of who is driving your car and could have the option to potentially disable the ignition system. Or perhaps a parent could prevent their car from being driven late at night or faster than a certain speed. The mind boggles at the potential uses. To track and monitor these capabilities, Intel and Ford have developed Mobii-enabled apps for smartphones. Here is...