The future of movement guarantees to be progressively electrical and also independent. A study by KPMG considers that in 2030 there will be three disruptive forces by 2030: electric vehicles and alternative powertrains, independent and also interconnected vehicles and on-demand mobility services .
The consultancy firm Arthur D Little estimates that the demand for mobility services will double by 2050 in urban areas and, with consumers progressively hyperconnected, foresees a more personalized transport in which passengers will have greater control.
With regulation and prices in a suitable range, vehicles have the potential to significantly reduce traffic jams, pollution and energy consumption, mainly driven by increasingly smart cars, which ‘learn' from the data they collect.
These are some of the vehicles that could make this trend a reality.
Centoventi Concept, by Fiat Chrysler
This electrical vehicle, which was unveiled at this year's Geneva International Motor Show, seeks to be to Fiat Chrysler what its Fiat 500 model was in the 1950s: an affordable mobility option for users.
The batteries in this vehicle will be replaceable and will have a range of up to 100 kilometers. You can buy or lease up to three more batteries and place one under the seat. What is striking about this vehicle is that the rear end, being interactive, can also be used as a personal billboard, “making it the first car that can earn money when parked,” the company says.
Holden Time Attack Concept by GM
The design of this vehicle, which looks completely out of a futuristic movie, was developed in a totally virtual way, using simulation technology. Richard Ferlazzo, director of design at GM Holden – the Australian subsidiary of the American giant – points out that this technique allows us to offer better designs and with convincing animations in less time.
This concept is powered by hybrid power, with a 90 second recharge time, a carbon fiber body and Kevlar (a high strength fiber). It even includes a virtual reality headset for driver assistance.
ROOMZZ1, from Volkswagen
Unveiled as a zero-emission off-road SUV at Auto Shanghai this year, this autonomous concept vehicle could be the next meeting or family room.
When you switch to automatic driving mode, individual seats can be turned 25 degrees inward “to allow for a more communicative atmosphere, similar to that of an onboard lounge ,” the company boasts. In addition, it promises an all-glass dash, as well as a digitized steering wheel.
Concept-i, by Toyota
“What will our cars be like and how will they work? Are we going to drive them or will they drive us? ”Asks Toyota when it talks about its concept cars. The Concept-i, also known as Yui, seeks to be the answer.
The Asian company boasts this model as an intelligent vehicle, in which Yui, an artificial intelligence system, will accompany and learn from the driver, anticipating his needs and becoming a virtual co-pilot. “Thanks to artificial intelligence we can forecast a future in the automotive industry where the connection with our cars is a reality. The relationship between the car and its driver will improve thanks to Yui ”, takes into consideration the firm.
i Vision Dynamics by BMW
The German automaker wants this model to be a pioneering vehicle in electric mobility, opening the way to an autonomous future.
With four doors, barely visible joints, a range of 600 kilometers and a glass that opens from end to end, it will certainly allow passengers to enjoy a ride more independently. Additionally, the brand's iconic front grille is reduced in size, but promises to be a smart surface that guards the vehicle's sensors.
Concept EQA, by Mercedes-Benz
With two electric motors that will power all four wheels of this compact with up to 200 kW and a range of autonomy of 400 kilometers, this vehicle promises speed at all times.
Capable of charging to travel 100 kilometers in less than 10 minutes, this vehicle represents the German automaker's vision of a system of fast charging centers and fast payments. In addition, it has a fiber laser lighting system, which also ensures homogeneous lighting on the road, the company promises.
Unveiled in Tokyo in 2015, this self-driving, zero-emission vehicle embodies – according to the Japanese automaker itself – Nissan's vision for the future of electric vehicles.
“The Nissan IDS Concept heralds a very different vision of tomorrow. Even when the driver selects the Piloted Driving mode and gives the driving experience to the car, the behavior of the car (both when accelerating, braking or cornering) imitates the style and preferences of the driver himself, “says the automaker. .
Those who buy a car today usually drive it for between five and seven years until they acquire a new vehicle. “In the future, cars will change every three months,” says Claus Gruber, an expert in automotive software at the consulting firm PwC Strategy &, in an interview with DW. “They will get new functions and, of course, security features through software updates, similar to what we are used to today with smartphones and laptops.”
The engineering doctor is the co-author of a study that describes the prerequisites for the transformation to a software-based automotive industry. According to this study, software development costs for the new model series will double in the next ten years. Autonomous driving functions are the ones that generate the most costs, with 45% of the total.
The car of the future will be electric, networked and “smart” in terms of automated driving. In addition, there will be digital entertainment on board.
In today's cars there is a veritable mosaic of dozens of electronic control units, for example for the engine, air conditioning or window regulators. In the future, these individual control units will be combined into a few powerful computers known as domain controllers. “These central computers are the brain of the car and control all the functions,” explains Gruber.
The software is periodically updated from the cloud via a chip using the 5G network, as with smartphones. For this, visits to the workshops are not necessary.
New corporate culture
For the automotive industry, this evolution requires a readjustment of company culture. It's no longer enough to build high-quality vehicles, says Gruber. “We will perform more and more functions in the software. Consequently, an automobile company must also change its culture, in the way of creating the product, (evolve) towards a software company.”
If a smartphone app doesn't work the way it should, it's not a big problem. However, in a car, a breakdown of this type can have dire consequences. The computer programs of vehicles in which passengers are transported must be particularly secure and resistant to malfunctions.
But since the software industry has not yet solved its problems one hundred percent, as every PC user knows from painful experience, management consultant Gruber calls for further cooperation. “The automotive industry and its suppliers must collaborate with the technology industry to jointly offer these new functions with really good quality and safety.”
A great business
One thing is clear: the companies that develop these operating systems have a big business ahead of them. Like software companies. Because margins of 50 percent or more are common in the software industry.
Automaker Tesla has already announced that it will license its automated driving software and also sell it to competitors if necessary. Its supremacy in this area may partly explain why the American automaker, with a market capitalization of about € 670 billion, is now worth more than 3 times as much as VW, Daimler and also BMW combined.
German automakers react
However, German automakers are already developing their own operating systems, some of which are already in operation. BMW is a pioneer in this regard, with its own BMW OS 7 operating system installed in new cars since 2018. Mercedes-Benz is currently designing the MB.OS platform for its cars. VW is creating a car software organization with the aim of creating its own operating system called VW.OS and also is also cooperating with Microsoft.
These kinds of collaborations are liked by software expert Claus Gruber. Because, in his opinion, the transformation of the automotive industry has to happen quickly and also will certainly be relatively expensive. “We have to gather the resources we have and the digital talent. My request to the auto industry is that they cooperate more, that they dare to work together.” Because only by working together, he said, will certainly it be possible to achieve the necessary rate. The threats are undue for only wolves.