The race to win the future mobility services business has begun. It is wide open on how automakers (“The Lakes”) will fare vs. technology companies (“The Valley”). Will automakers be crossing the finish line first? Or will they be delayed or get stranded in the pits of the past, tuning to technologies and business models that have been working well for them for a century but are only marginally suited to strive in a future driven by autonomous vehicles and connected transportation value chains?
The future mobility value chain will go far beyond connected vehicle or owner relationship management and what an automaker currently controls. It closely integrates maintenance services, energy, usage-based insurance, Internet connectivity, location-based services, parking, traffic lights, road charging, car- and ride-sharing and also other modes of transportation in a way, that future customers can conveniently consume.
Or will “The Valley” win this race by adopting new and successful business models and transforming fast paced innovations from the virtual into the physical business of getting people to where they want faster and at lower cost?
Fighting on Two Battlefronts
Automakers are currently fighting on two major battlefronts: autonomous connected vehicles and a fundamental business model transformation – from building cars to selling travel time well spent.
Autonomous connected vehicles are designed to deliver new experiences to owners and drivers (or passengers) and will propel the convergence of personal and public transportation. Eliminating human error from driving will all but eradicate 90 percent of crashes caused by human error, which will ripple through the traditional insurance value chain and business model.
The transformation of the business model from building cars to selling travel time well spent will be driven by differentiation in creating better driver, owner and mobility experiences and ultimately turn our vehicles into smart assistants.
How the Automobile Experience Will Change
Driver Experience: Everything we need in the context of our destination or driving there, like personalized destination search, real-time traffic and weather, location-based services, fuel consumption and payment will be molded into an experience that can easily be accessed while driving.
Owner Experience: Vehicle connectivity will become a gateway to maintain better ownership relationships over the lifecycles of vehicles. More and more vehicles will self-diagnose problems and propose remedies like services visits, and to the extent of over-the-air software updates, will be practically “self-healing”.
Mobility Experience: Ultimately, connected cars will be just one of multiple means of transportation in the connected mobility value chain. By 2030, more than 70 percent of the global populations will life in mega cities. In these dense urban environments, a connected vehicle will increasingly communicate with the transportation infrastructure and become part of the broader mobility ecosystem, including ride- and vehicle-sharing and other modes of public transportation. This will require automakers to seamlessly integrate the personal vehicle experience with shared and public transportation options, since commuters will prefer a combination of modes to get from point A to point B in the most convenient, time and cost efficient way.
Smart Assistant: As a key hub in the web of the Internet of Everything, sensing what is happening in their surroundings, equipped with a portfolio of the rich experiences described above and learning our habits over time, the connected vehicle will eventually evolve to become a smart helper that can assist us with mastering some of our everyday chores. It will make proactive suggestions on how we can make best use of our time in transit, take us to our preferred destinations, where we like to eat or shop, notify us where friends are currently located, take us there using the least congested and safest roads, guide us to parking spots close by and even pay for parking and refueling.