How Mobility is Impacting Europe and the World

Consumers are rethinking car ownership.  Car makers are rethinking car manufacturing. In a world increasingly dominated by mobility services, the demands of software, services and cybersecurity are shifting the center of gravity from making cars to managing cars and monetizing vehicle data.

In this interview with The Innovation Group, Roger Lanctot, Director Automotive Connected Mobility, Global Automotive Practice,  Strategy Analytics, anticipates some of the insights he will present during the CONNECTED MOBILITY FORUM 2018, the next 26th June in Milan.

Roger LanctotTIG. Considering the Smart Roads of the future, which is the role of regulators to foster innovation while safeguarding drivers’ security, safety and privacy?

Roger Lanctot. Regulators and legislators have a role to play in supporting and guiding innovation.  The challenge is always to foster rather than to favor technological advance.

Regulators and legislators have an obligation to see to the public good – reducing fatalities, emissions, congestion – and should be mindful to not overstep into the area of “picking winners” on the technology side.

A good example is the European eCall mandate.  The EU overstepped its mandate in specifying in a very particular way what technology would be used and how precisely it would be deployed – rather than focusing on the objective and leaving the technical solution to the private entities in the marketplace.  The result has been a greatly delayed implementation based on an older technology which, though well intentioned, puts the EU at a disadvantage vis-à-vis higher performing technical solutions capable of transmitting voice, images, video and data from crash scenes.

The same debate is now unfolding over DSRC technology for vehicle-to-vehicle communications.  An ongoing struggle is unfolding over the EU potentially conferring legislative favor on one technology (DSRC) over another.  This same struggle is under way in the U.S.  Hopefully regulators and legislators will come to recognize the advantages of C-V2X and 5G technologies – but, more importantly, will not intrude on market forces.

TIG. While autonomous vehicles seem to get most of the media attention these days, the foundation technologies that connect vehicles are growing. What are your market scenario predictions about automotive connected mobility, especially in Europe?

Roger Lanctot. Autonomous vehicles today are focusing primarily on sensor based systems without wireless connections.  The onset of 5G technology in 2-3 years, though, will change the conversation enabling near real-time map updates and remote vehicle control.  Connectivity is most important, today, for enabling new vehicle ownership models and use cases that require payment platforms and vehicle location and status monitoring.  Autonomy will come later.

TIG. What is the importance of Big Data and Data management & monetization for the future of the auto industry? Which car makers are leading the way in monetizing vehicle data? What are the main Platform for managing the collection of vehicle data?

Roger Lanctot. BMW, PSA, GM are leading the way in monetizing data – but all car companies lag far behind in tapping the opportunities in data management and monetization.  Car makers are still coming to grips with the nature and the volume of available data in cars and the market opportunities.  No doubt third parties such as insurance companies and fleet operators will pave the way in the early stages of vehicle data monetization.  The baby steps being seen today revolve around location, insurance and customer relationship management in the form of service scheduling derived from vehicle diagnostic data.  But as personal assistants arrive in cars, the came will change considerably as cars morph into browsers on wheels.  Then the value of driver or passenger “search” will come into play.  This is where auto makers are fighting to preserve their relevance as Amazon, Alibaba, Alphabet and Apple muscle their way in seeking to “take control” of the customer relationship.

TIG. What value can derive for Car Maker and final customers from the collection of all the drivers data? From driving behavior, to location and search activities? Are automakers already launching e-commerce features in their connected cars? Are consumers willing to give up some of their privacy in exchange of new connected features and Apps?

Roger Lanctot.  Car makers are introducing “v”-commerce to their vehicles.  At the core of all of these value propositions is the importance of customer retention and the need to redefine the customer relationship and the meaning of the brand value proposition.  In a networked and connected world of transportation car makers must redefine the brand value proposition around service, content and application delivery.  Part of that message will include cybersecurity protection and the defense of privacy.  It’s a lot of moving parts, but the car makers that master this evolution in the most pleasing and clever fashion with be able to gain and retain customers best.

Roger Lanctot, Director Automotive Connected Mobility, Global Automotive Practice,  Strategy Analytics, will be one of the Keynote Speaker of the CONNECTED MOBILITY FORUM 2018, organized by The Innovation Group the next 26th June in Milan.