The Era of Connectivity: Paving the Way for New Mobility

Digital services and data are often both a solution and a challenge for the mobility industry today. The key success factor in their deployment is the interconnection of all digital services and data points. Theo-Han Jansen, Vice President Strategy & Product Management at WirelessCar, sheds light on the characteristics of this emerging era of connectivity.

Mr. Jansen, what are currently the most important developments that will shape the mobility industry in the long term?
The mobility industry is undergoing rapid transformation propelled by a multitude of factors. On the one hand, the use of electromobility is increasing worldwide due to legal regulations, but also due to incentives. These factors include the implementation of emissions reduction regulations in China and Europe, as well as government-funded incentives in the USA and Europe that amplify consumer appeal. According to McKinsey & Deloitte, this could increase the share of electric vehicles in new car sales globally from 6 percent today to over 30 percent by 2030. At the same time, the development of advanced driver assistance systems will enable semi-autonomous mobility in the near future. In addition, the use of shared mobility, driven by Gen Z, is increasing. The proportion of kilometers covered through shared cars is anticipated to surge from the current 8 percent to around 20 percent. In addition, the increasingly digital and connected lifestyle of consumers is driving demand for a more seamless experience, including when it comes to micro mobility or last-mile transport. The automotive industry must navigate this mobility revolution through pervasive connectivity as its cornerstone.

What does this increasing importance of connectivity mean for vehicle manufacturers?
At the core of contemporary mobility lies connectivity, as cars are now almost like big smartphones on wheels. These Software Defined Vehicles represent a turning point for vehicle manufacturers who are traditionally not software companies. To gain essential competencies and navigate the intricacies associated with Software Defined Vehicles, manufacturers are forging strategic partnerships. They invest in crafting a seamless, connected digital experience that aligns with consumer desires while simultaneously addressing great challenges in data management and cybersecurity. These stem from the continuously expanding volume of data, both on-board and off-board, which intensifies the requirements for management and security.

What do vehicle manufacturers need to look out for if they want to be better positioned in terms of connectivity?
A significant challenge for automakers lies in striking a delicate balance between the costs incurred to establish essential mobility capabilities and the potential revenues derived from digitally connected experiences or service-oriented features. It is also important to understand consumers' willingness to pay, which varies from market to market and from

segment to segment. Related to this is the ability of the vehicle manufacturer to identify which pieces of this complex puzzle are strategic, differentiated or considered intellectual property in order to decide where to invest themselves or work with competent partners. In this complex construct, connectivity is the enabler that ensures new mobility is possible - it is not a means to an end in itself.

 Let's still look at the consumer - how will the driving experience change as a result of these developments?
As mentioned earlier, the way we experience mobility is changing and one of the consequences is that the experience in and around the vehicle is changing. This, combined with the increasingly digitally connected lifestyle of consumers, is forcing vehicle manufacturers and all of us in the industry to rethink and ensure that we understand consumer expectations. Vehicles need to become part of the digitally connected ecosystem that consumers are becoming more and more accustomed to. For example, interaction with the vehicle can be done via a smartphone or a virtual intelligent assistant, even when we are not in the vehicle. Off-board data analytics will help navigate to available charging- points and allow for a frictionless charging experience, or generative artificial intelligence can be used to provide a personalised entertainment experience for the vehicle occupants while the vehicle itself is driving. Furthermore, the real-time analysis of battery status, dynamic navigation updates, and even the seamless reservation of charging stations play pivotal roles in driving this evolution. This represents the 'driving' of the future – and it's what lies ahead for the automotive industry.

About Theo-Han Jansen
Theo-Han Jansen is Vice President Strategy & Product Management at WirelessCar. He has worked for 30 years in various positions in the automotive industry, including FCA (now Stellantis), Maserati and Ferrari. His main focus in recent years has been the design, planning and implementation of connected services and connected sustainable mobility.

Theo-Han Jansen

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