Preparing Auto Manufacturing for the Mobility Age

Auto manufacturers are making a shift into the mobility age, meaning new technologies need to be adopted in order to be competitive. However, there is more to growth than just new technologies. These five key actions will help guide your organization into the mobility age.

Brian Irwin, Accenture
Brian Irwin, Accenture

Over the past decade, digital technologies have enabled auto manufacturers to greatly accelerate innovation and growth. Now, technologies like advanced analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are becoming widely available, impacting carmakers’ ability to competitively standout, just in time to help them succeed in the shift to mobility.

Carmakers have been transforming from vehicle manufacturers into technology companies to capitalize on the mobility movement and the uncertainties that will result in the industry. But more is needed. As the fast pace of technological change continues to accelerate, as customer demand becomes more unpredictable, and as competition becomes more intense, carmakers have been swept up into a frenetic race to succeed in the emerging world of autonomous, connected, and electric vehicles, as well as mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).

One option that will help organizations define, industrialize, and execute a viable mobility future will be the application of new technologies now emerging as key market differentiators. These include distributed ledger or broadchain technology, artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality, and quantum computing—or DARQ, as Accenture describes them. These technologies will greatly enhance the design, production, and operational improvements required to forge a successful mobility presence.

Carmakers already are improving their manufacturing operations by applying DARQ technologies. For example, a major truck producer is using AI to create a continuous feedback loop between manufacturing and engineering, enabling the organization to identify and address mechanical issues early in a vehicle’s lifecycle. Other manufacturers are also combining AI with other DARQ technologies to create virtual environments to accelerate vehicle design processes.

 

A window to prepare

While the industry is moving inexorably toward mobility, it’s taking longer than expected. This gives automakers some time to breathe and some room to fine-tune their approach toward mobility. Organizations can also take advantage of this time by focusing on these five key actions to help them become agile and mobility-ready as we approach the upcoming age.

 

  • Merge Strategies: A digital strategy must play an integral role in the business strategy—woven together to shape a vision for a mobility future. Moreover, to be effective, the vision must be driven by C-suite management, permeate the entire organization, and encourage a culture of experimentation and risk-taking that will be key to achieving greater competitive agility.

 

  • Master Data: The use of data has already become critical to manufacturing success. It is driven by today’s changing demands, which will become even more elusive in the future. This means honing the skills now needed to interpret and apply data in the right context to unlock its full value in the mobility era.

 

  • Increase Innovation Faster: A key way to continually enhance innovation overall will be to scale it. Scaling means identifying innovation enablers in the organization and matching those enablers to business functions that need to increase levels of innovation the most. In-house innovation factories can be established to seed and organically grow digital innovations.

 

  • Collaborate: The future of auto manufacturing—and, more broadly, mobility—will be characterized by collaborative partnerships that can deliver more and better products, services, and experiences than any one participant. Organizations will need to pursue participants that are digitally linked across multiple industries and that can share data to produce data-driven services.

 

  • Enhance the Workforce: A workforce empowered by data, knowledge, and new technical capabilities will drive the next wave of innovation. 45% of surveyed auto executives expect the roles of most of their workforce will change in the next three years due to technological advances. Data scientists and futurists will be among those needed to prepare the organization for the mobility market.

 

Differentiating technologies like DARQ are ushering in a new era of mobility. As the industry now waits for the next wave of self-driving and MaaS programs to continue moving forward, auto manufacturers should take this as an opportunityto continue preparing for the shift towards mobility.

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