Category

Automotive

Connected Car Challenge

Connected Car Challenge Winners – Where Are They Now?

By | Automotive, Connected Cars, Innovation | No Comments

What is the Connected Car Challenge?

In late 2017, I introduced the idea of the Connected Car Challenge to the Vehicle IoT Committee of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International).

The Connected Car Challenge is an open innovation competition. Participants—small, early-stage startup companies and individuals—propose, build and demonstrate an innovative connected-vehicle device, system, or application that demonstrates how vehicle connectivity can contribute to changing and improving mobility, quality of life of individuals and communities, and the environment.

The final stage of the competition took place during SAE’s WCX conference in April. Generous support from Amazon AWS, Dassault Systemes Solidworks and SAP Automotive allowed SAE to award the three winners substantial cash awards of  $10,000, $5,000 and $3000.

The motivation to hold the Connected Car Challenge is obvious. The auto industry is undergoing massive changes that will continue to shape its future for many years to come. More than ever before, technology and business innovation are coming not from the R&D and engineering department of traditional automakers and suppliers but from new entrants into the space. And while nontraditional megacompanies such as Intel, NVIDIA, and Google are driving much of the conversation, still much comes from small startups and even individuals. Nearly everyone is familiar with the mega-acquisition of Mobileye by Intel, but this is but one—albeit an exceptionally significant one—of many more to come. Read More

Edison Baker Electric Car c. 1895

End of Tax Credit is Looming: Implications for Electric Vehicle Manufacturers

By | Automotive, Electric Vehicles | No Comments

Did you put down money for a new bright red Tesla Model 3? (Or did you skimp and got the standard any-color-so-long-as-it-is-black car?)

Tesla’s Model 3 order book backlog has been growing longer. The company has confirmed having about 420,000 Model 3 reservations, which, at the current production rate, will take nearly two years to deliver. Tesla has been struggling for more than a year to ramp up manufacturing to meet the demand. The company is targeting production rate of 6,000 per week, which is a significant improvement, albeit still only about 65% of the factory’s capacity when it was co-owned by General Motors and Toyota.

To accelerate production, Tesla reduced the number of available Model 3 configurations from thousands to about 100, which means you will not be able to get the exact car of your dreams. And by the time your car is ready to be delivered to you, the federal tax incentive you were counting on may be gone. Read More

Focal Point (Leon Zernitsky)

Automakers: You’re Not Going To Get There From Here

By | Automotive, Autonomous Cars, Connected Cars | No Comments

The Race to Reinvent the Process for Developing Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Forward-looking automakers are recognizing how the convergence of technology, business, and societal trends is transforming the automotive industry, posing an unprecedented level of new opportunities as well as unfamiliar threats. These manufacturers have already begun to refine their structure and processes to embrace the changes, face the threats, and build organizations that can deliver on the ever-changing possibilities for new mobility solutions for customers.

Industry in Flux

Just over 100 years ago, Henry Ford disrupted the auto industry of the time with the introduction of the mass-production moving assembly line. To say that the auto industry is again in flux is almost cliché. Most everyone is aware of the massive changes the industry is undergoing, although the cumulative long-term effect of rapid technology innovation, disruptive business models, and evolving supply chain ecosystems is probably not fully comprehended yet. Read More

Saint El Camino: Our Lady of Internal Combustion (David Stephens, 2013)

Stop Thinking of Cars as Computers on Wheels

By | Automotive, Innovation, Manufacturing | No Comments

Is a Car Really Just a Computer on Wheels?

I am sure you have heard it before: your car is just a computer on wheels. It’s an opinion most common among the numerous startups and entrepreneurs with minimal industry experience attempting to jump on the automotive innovation bandwagon. I heard it again last week at an industry panel I participated in.

It’s true that modern cars incorporate a growing number of powerful computers that control most vehicle operations and interactions with driver and passengers, and with the outside world.

But whether thought-provoking or plain cute and trying to impress the audience, the assumption that these computers render a car as not much more than a powerful computer on wheels is not only inaccurate, it can be self-limiting and leading those new entrants astray. Read More

The Great Wave off Kanagawa (Katsushika Hokusai, 1832)

Digital Disruption: Shaping the Future of the Auto Industry

By | Automotive, Mergers & Acquisitions, PLM | No Comments

Industry in Turmoil

Automakers have been keeping a steady pace of technology innovation and manufacturing excellence for over a century. Since the breakthrough of the highly efficient assembly line, auto manufacturers were in the forefront of engineering innovation, designing and building cars that were successively better, safer and cleaner. For many decades, the industry has been at the center of the US economic development, and, to many, an industrial and social icon.

But over the past decade or so, the iconic and seemingly stable industry has been in turmoil. It has been undergoing massive changes caused by the cumulative effect of rapid technology innovation, disruptive business models, aggressive new competitors, and an emerging supply chain ecosystem whose full impact is not fully comprehended yet.

One of the most profound changes the auto industry is grappling with is the emergence of connected and autonomous cars. Most industry visionaries and practitioners portray a bold vision of a future in which cars, occupants, and cloud-based information and control systems communicate and exchange information in the omnipresent Internet of Things cloud. Cars are becoming part of the Internet, or, in today’s parlance, they are yet additional, if unconventional, “things” in the Internet of Things (IoT). Read More