It has been a while since the usage of automobiles has changed from a technical to a social commodity. The automotive industry is more user-centric rather than small production of vehicles, to make the life of a user more enjoyable, efficient & safer. As population evolves, we will face new mobility hurdles. With rapid urbanization, growing traffic congestion, more vehicles sharing the road – the need for driver and passenger safety is increasing. There has been a greater need to find cleaner & fuel-efficient solutions for rising levels of environmental pollution. At the same time, optimized transportation using on-demand options, shared vehicles are being explored.

With all of these needs envisioned into a vehicle, the automotive of the future looks to be – Autonomous, Connected, Electrified & Shared.

While we anticipate and witness the various trends transforming the automotive industry, there are speculations. Most often we are left confused with its reciprocal implications and unanswered questions. Here is an attempt to bring some clarity to a few essential predictions:

Can autonomous vehicles eliminate jobs?

There are many levels from zero and complete automation; essentially five that has been established by The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). These are – zero automation, driver assisted, partial automation, conditional automation, high automation & full automation.

Achieving the level of full automation could impact primarily long-haul driving jobs, while also creating newer roles like field support, long-haul drive leader, remote operators, tech-jobs and continue to have short-haul drivers. All other levels of automation would continue to require driver’s presence where drivers can cede conditional control to vehicles.

What is the relationship between autonomous, electrification & ride-sharing?

One of the simplest examples would be imagining a hypothetical scenario of a single-owned, non-electric, AV (Autonomous Vehicles) dropping off a user & continuing to drive on the streets for parking, causing congestion &  pollution. Without a well thought of infrastructure, fuel standardization this situation could outweigh some of the positives AV provides.

AV and ride-sharing reinforce one another and are tied to the affordability of EVs (Electric Vehicles). Also, capital cost being one of the biggest hurdles faced by EV and AV, ride-sharing could balance the cost factor until production gets full scale.

Would shared mobility reduce car sales?

The change in user’s mobility needs would cause a significant rise in the percentage of shared and autonomous mobility in terms of overall usage. Kilometers driven would continue to increase, due to higher mobility demands, and with driving predicted to be comfortable, safer (autonomous) and cheaper (electrified). All of this, in turn, means that each vehicle will be used by multiple individuals & fewer cars would be required to meet mobility demands. Yes, increased utilization of vehicles could certainly reduce the inventories (Vehicles needed to meet requirements) but vehicles sales will continue to grow as vehicles will be used more intensively (More mileage within a shorter time span) & thus replaced frequently.

With the above trends emerging at a rapid pace, we are likely to see a lot more interesting things in the near future and incredible transformations at breakneck speeds. The future of this mobility is quite exciting as we eagerly wait to see how soon these trends materialize and become available.

QuEST Global is working extensively with global leaders in this domain. QuEST’s services & technology alignment reflect our understanding of tomorrow’s challenges and vision of future mobility. QuEST Global offers various accelerator solutions like adaptive FOTA, AR/VR platform, smart parking solution, deep learning based ADAS solutions which are completely aligned to the needs of the future of mobility.

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Written by QuEST Global

on 21 May 2019