Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 7, Number 1, 2013

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Page 27 of 43

Smart Industry Automotive Automation T Shifts into High Gear he automobile as we know it ��� as well as the auto industry ��� is being dramatically transformed by technology. How dramatically? Enough that today���s vehicle could be reasonably described as a highly mobile computing platform. Cars are even starting to physically resemble some mobile devices. Take the award-winning Tesla Model S, an all-electric sports sedan. It���s been described as an ���iPad on steroids,��� and no wonder: The driver uses its 17-inch touch screen, located in the center of the dashboard, to control media, navigation, communications, the cabin and vehicle data. Tesla is far from alone. Automakers including BMW, Ford, GM, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen are advancing automotive IT, too, and far beyond the ���gee-whiz��� factor. Their IT-powered systems are improving many aspects of driving, including safety, maintenance, emergency response rates, navigation and convenience. These systems also provide access to a wide variety of useful information and entertainment. A further development, known as the connected car, uses machine-to-machine networking to link drivers with mobile data, contacts and applications. The most advanced of today���s connected cars add links to nearby pedestrians, roadblocks and stop signs, the car���s manufacturer and dealer, traffic conditions, weather information and even other vehicles on the road. These links make driving both safer and more convenient. By transforming the auto industry, these developments are also challenging automakers to integrate new forms of technology into the modern car, itself a kind of legacy system that is essentially unchanged since the days of Henry Ford. Just as enterprise IT has transformed itself beyond merely ���keeping the lights on,��� so too 28 has automotive technology now become a competitive differentiator. ���Consumers are evaluating vehicle technology as part of their purchase decision,��� says Gary Silberg, National Automotive Sector Leader at consultants KPMG. ���Younger drivers in particular expect to enjoy the same range of services in their vehicles as they can get at home, in the office or on their smartphones ��� as well as a navigation system that integrates with broader traffic control systems to make their journeys as efficient as possible.��� The impact of technology on auto design and functionality is only beginning. Soon, experts predict, the combination of onboard systems and connected services will help automakers create vehicles that are safer, more fuel-efficient and more reliable than ever before. Manufacturers and dealers alike will be empowered to provide a better owner experience. They���ll also benefit from mining the data that connected cars broadcast: traffic flow, their own vehicle health and service, and their owners��� preferences. Further in the future ��� though not by much ��� is the vision of IT���s Impact on the Auto Industry Auto executives believe: n The auto industry will converge with the telecom, IT, media and entertainment industries. n Future customers will demand a symbiotic relationship between car and IT solutions. n Modularization is the best response to varying technology lifecycles. Source: KPMG, Global Automotive Executive Survey, 2012

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