The automobile industry is experiencing a deep mutation led by new behaviors & technology. It’s all about services now : the Paris Motor Show 2016 highlighted the importance to provide driving solution for users.
Access over ownership
We all know it : people don’t necessarily want to own a car, but they want to use a mobility service. It means it’s not only about the development of options that facilitate or improve the driving experience, but it’s about the creation and growth of new services such as community-based navigations apps (i.e Waze), car sharing websites (i.e Blablacar), or VTCs (i.e Uber, Chauffeur Privé).
A growing concern for a smarter, safer & cleaner city
As demographics are shifting towards a super urbanization, priority is given to quality of life by reducing traffic and noise pollution. How is that impacting the car industry? To avoid congestion, quest for parking spot, and air pollution, individual cars are pushed out of cities. For example, cars older than 1997 are prohibited in the center of Paris since July 2016 by La Mairie de Paris. Public green transportation is now a priority for policy makers. Here are some initiative in Paris :
- New ways to get around in electric vehicles thanks to Autolib’ & Utilib’, shared hybrid or electric vehicles, electric shared LCV
- Financial incentive to buy electric cars
- Free parking lot for EV and hybrid
- An extensive charging network
A strong focus on e-mobility
EV skeptic’s main concerns are range & infrastructure. That’s why the top headlines of most stands highlight a better autonomy of the battery, satisfactory recharging time, extensive charging networks and increasingly affordable electric or hybrid models. About two dozen new electric vehicles were announced at the show, confirming the electric taking over gasoline.
Carmakers seek position in the new e-mobility with Nissan Leaf, Opel Ampera –E and Mercedes Benz’s concept car Generation EQ. They launch innovative projects or new business entities entirely dedicated to electric vehicles.
Tech giants are disrupting the industry
The race towards connected car and autonomous vehicles is ruthless. On the one hand, mobility providers are growing (VTC or car sharing companies), and on the other hand, tech companies are getting more and more legitimacy in offering new mobility services through innovative software.
Apple was first said to have invested US$10 billion in an iCar, which was supposed to “give Tesla a run for its money”, but now seems to be fully dedicated to research on autonomous driving technology. At the very same time, Google’s autonomous cars have already driven more than 1.5 million miles.
What does it mean for Peugeot, Volkswagen, Nissan, Seat ? They must invest in research and adapt their business model to this new competition. And they must review their whole customer promise, from an outdated “pleasure-of-driving” focus to “pleasure of being driven and do something else that really matters instead”. And this is a huge shift.
An acceleration of the transition towards autonomous driving
Connectedness and autonomous driving will radically impact the cockpit of the future. Through HMI and integrated electronics, the driver remains connected to the outside world. Depending on the driving mode, additional consoles and screens could become available. The use of sensors and Big Data will allow the car to anticipate, learn and adapt to external conditions and driver’s approach and needs.
A good example of this connectivity transition towards autonomous driving is the concept-car Volkswagen I.D. unveiled at the Paris Motor Show which, according to the brand, will define their future. This vehicle includes ‘I.D. Pilot mode’: a fully autonomous driving feature, described as a ‘mobile’ lounge, an Open Space enabling users to save time. Indeed, this is one of the main concerns raised by Odexa in a study regarding expectations for tomorrow’s vehicles.