Technology surrounding the automotive industry is changing at a rapid pace. From software solutions that help manage a dealership becoming mainstream to cars that can drive themselves, sky has become the limit when it comes to the rise of digital technology in the automotive industry.
By 2020, the automotive industry investment is likely to be as high as $82 billion owing to growing digitalization and technology advancement. The tech-driven automotive industry is increasingly successful in meeting customer demands at every stage – researching, purchasing and operating a car.
Let’s take a look at the recent advancements in digital technologies that are making the biggest impact on the automotive industry.
Prevalence of Dealership Management Software
As technology permeates more and more into our everyday lives, it is only a matter of time before dealerships everywhere start incorporating dealership management software into their daily operations. Not only is it automating and digitising the various verticals of a dealerships but is also great for overall process development.
As time passes for a dealership and its inventory, customers, finances, etc. keep growing, it would need a sound dealership management software to keep a good grasp on the various verticals. Unless a dealership is adamant on being dependent entirely on manual efforts in this digital era, going with a DMS is the best option.
Dealership Management Software allows car sellers to keep their finances on track, practice efficient bookkeeping, tracks sales, generate reports and manage inventory with ease. A solution like eMsys AutoNet offers complete and seamless automation along with all the facilities and features which any automotive dealership would require for its day to day work. This software comes with an integrated accounting system which helps dealerships maintain their GST accounting and taxes. This popular dealership management software also generates MIS based reports on daily sales, spares, service, etc. and works across locations for seamless dealership management.
Blockchain in Automotive Industry
With concepts like AI, automation and cryptocurrency becoming popular points of discussion, blockchain is playing a significant role at the heart of all of it.
Blockchain, simply put, is a publicly distributed ledger (or a decentralised database) where transactions are being continuously updated and digitally recorded. It’s a significant technological advancement as blockchain can perform transactions, digital transfers and maintain records without involving a third-party mediator. This and the fact that blockchain is open-source has made it a piece of technology employed by seven hundred different applications.
Blockchain in the automotive industry is being leveraged to help companies easily share ownership of corporate vehicles and access to cars and trucks. The technology is currently in its testing phase and has been named as the Tesseract (not like the infinity stone, unfortunately). It will be launched by accounting and consulting firm EY, part of Ernst & Young Global Ltd. It will not just promote vehicle sharing but also allow access to the data related to the use of vehicles, vehicle ownership insurance costs and other transactions.
Blockchain allows shared access to data that is maintained by a network of computers, without the need of third party intervention. There’s also the fact that sharing data with blockchain technology is verified peer-to-peer so no single party can tamper with it, assuring data security.
There’s also the concept of the VLB Token aka the Vehicle Lifecycle Blockchain Token which is a platform that can store and record all the information pertaining to a vehicle. With this token, any necessary information concerning vehicle production, ownership, recalls, warranty issues, repair and maintenance records, accidents and damages, insurance history etc is recorded and stored in the database. In order to access this data, a certain amount of the platform’s internal cryptocurrency, the VLB Token, will have to be paid. The token owners will be able to track and verify a vehicle’s history down to each part, ensure profitability and make deals with a snap of their fingers.
The advancement in blockchain and the advancements that can be made are still being researched by companies like Volvo but rest assured that it will be making big headlines in 2018.
Automated Cars: The New Normal
A few years back, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc., made headlines when he spoke about the inclusion of the AutoPilot feature in their Model S line of cars. Tesla and Google were the two primary companies who started the race to develop self-driving cars and many companies have since joined it.
The technology that enables automated cars and driverless travel has now reached its pinnacle with Google’s driverless car Waymo, now live and testing. Alphabet Inc, Google’s parent company, is currently testing the Waymo in Arizona, US and the car is expected to be available for purchase later this year. Additionally, Uber, the ride-sharing company from San Francisco, has been developing their own self-driving cars which is in its testing phase.
The push for automation in driving has been largely due to the need for fuel efficient cars and to counter the pressing traffic conditions. Driverless cars will be able to access up-to-date data which helps in monitoring traffic, digital maps and other tools. These will help in determining the fastest, most efficient route possible, resulting in less traffic, less congestion and less fuel waste. Additionally, parking lots today require cars to be parked with enough space between them for drivers to move in and out of the vehicle. However, with automated cars, the need for this will be removed as they will be parking themselves, making it be possible for cars to be stacked more closely alongside each other. Driverless cars require an estimated 15% less space to park.
Internet of Automobiles
The Internet of Things (IoT) can be best understood as an interconnected network made up of different devices and appliances, which can send and receive data among each other. Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa are the best examples of IoT in action. These products enable multiple smart devices to communicate and share information.
With regards to automobiles, IoT’s greatest impact has been in making connected cars possible. Wikipedia describes a connected car as one which is equipped with internet connectivity and usually, with a wireless local area network. This connection allows the cars to share network access with other devices, both inside and outside the vehicle.
Connected cars will further be able to personalise the driving experience and simplify it. While selecting between different car options, people prefer sitting inside every vehicle, see how it feels, and test drive in order to make a sound purchase decision. With time, IoT will be able to emulate the feel of a car for a customer even before they sit inside it. This is likely to become the norm for car purchase in the near future.
With IoT, cars will be connected to each other and the grid so that they move seamlessly through intersections, instantly make way for emergency vehicles, self-report any accident, know the best places to park and come to get you when you’re ready for your next ride. Additionally, connected cars will use IoT to provide a seamlessly personalised experience by offering things like general internet services, entertainment options, access to social platforms, real-time recommendations for hotels, spas, restaurants, etc. Things like traffic information, car parking space availability, voice messaging, etc. are also possible using IoT.
These digital changes in the automotive industries might take a wee bit longer to come to complete fruition but their effects are starting in the present. As more and more automotive companies adapt to these changing trends, it is only a matter of time before the entire automotive industry has an overhaul in the way they operate.