The Future of Automotive Mobility

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A series of articles published by Deloitte’s automotive practice engages in a close examination of the evolving mobility ecosystem in the automobile market. With gas prices reaching a 30-year low, demand reaching record levels, and the sales mix becoming skewed towards larger, more profitable vehicles, automotive manufactures are searching for ways to meet the mobility needs of consumers.

With all of these factors in mind, one of the major questions that arise is how will ever-more connected vehicles impact the market as vehicles become an indispensable part of the Internet of things.

The Evolving Mobility Ecosystem

Among other things, rapid advances in connected car development are driving the evolution of the mobility ecosystem. This evolution will bring about a value shift that requires manufacturers to make strategic decisions about the type of—and the role of—vehicles in the future.

Deloitte envisions a future where the automotive industry is entirely different. Acknowledging that industries rise and fall, they project that the industry will simply change into something new.

One of the most significant changes may be that the industry decides to lead the adoption of the new mobility ecosystem. Doing this, however, will require a fundamental change in their business model.

For instance, the most value will flow to manufacturers who can provide true end-to-end seamless mobility. These manufacturers must also be able to manage their mobility network and holistically create and manage the in-vehicle experience.

Nearly everything manufacturers must do to reach the necessary level of mobility will depend on the creation of a reliable, carrier-grade Wi-Fi network that serves the widest possible geographic area. Without such a system, the mobility experience will be disrupted as cars move in and out of dead zones. This becomes particularly problematic when dealing with autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles.

One thing is for sure. There will be winners and losers, and new players will arise to disrupt both the status quo and the evolution itself.

Who Will Be the Winners

When asked who will be the winners in a future driven by a new focus on relationships and not products, co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge John Hagel gave this response:

“The winner is whoever captures the most integrated, holistic view of individual mobility patterns. Who can deliver value in terms of helping people increase the value generated from, and the efficiency of, their mobility? We’re just cracking the surface of how brands evolve to satisfy different consumers, in part because consumer preferences are evolving so rapidly…. So how brands see their business will need to evolve from selling vehicles to providing mobility on demand for specific segments.

“They’ll have to serve the consumer not only in the vehicle, but in public transportation, taxi services, car-sharing, bicycles. That creates a unique opportunity for brands that can do that across modes, with a focus on the broader customer experience.”

Again, the ability to reach the level of service and customer relationships envisioned by market analysts will required a revolutionary evolution in the Wi-Fi sector.

Automotive Cybersecurity Presents a Major Hurdle

The Internet of things is linking machines that create, share, and act on data without the need for human intervention. This evolution is independent of the automotive evolution, yet it is becoming more central to mobility. While the Internet of things will help create more convenient lifestyles and keep us safer on the roads, there remains a significant cybersecurity threat.

Some of the most exciting developments in mobility and the Internet of things are autonomous vehicles, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, and connecting the automobile to the driver’s home. A security breach of any part of any of the systems that drive these technologies can range from relatively minor theft to catastrophic injuries and loss of life.

All of this means that a tremendous amount of effort must be applied to securing both each component of the Internet of things as well as the underlying Wi-Fi infrastructure.

The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been. Even so, it is possible to create a mobility experience that is enjoyable, secure, and resilient.

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Mr. Fellah, is a Senior Analyst and founder of Maravedis with 20-year experience in the wireless industry. He authored various landmark reports on Wi-Fi, LTE, 4G and technology trends in various industries including retail, restaurant and hospitality. He is regularly asked to speak at leading wireless and marketing events and to contribute to various influential portals and magazines such as RCR Wireless, 4G 360, Rethink Wireless, The Mobile Network, Telecom Reseller to name a few. He is a Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) and Certified Wireless Technology Specialist (CWTS).

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