In today’s discourse relating to trends impacting future of automotive industry we can distinguish several streams creating plenty of new business opportunities, for start-ups and small and medium enterprises in particular.
Some of such trends is development of electric vehicles, and shift toward near zero emission engines. Electric vehicles are disruptive innovation, and as such they provide new quality in new dimension, but worse quality in established performance parameters. Those problematic parameters relate to battery charging time, complementary charging infrastructure, and battery storage capacity itself. Except Tesla Motors, already discussed at blog, you can find interesting developments of Aptera Motors focused on resovling those problems .
Another trend impacting cars of the future is mass customization, and mass personalization enabling to most radical example of company enabling to design and literally print a car, as in case of Local Motors that can be used for regular transportation. Another examples are: BMW which enabled Mini Cooper users to design customized and personalized roof of the car, which was digitally printed on special foil; or Fiat enabling to design customized interior of Fiat 500. A different,widely discussed trend in the field of automotive industry are autonomous , or self-driven cars, on which discourse, according to Appinions, is dominated by companies such as Google, Intel, or GM. What I like about autonomous cars is that the discussion about them enables exploring not only new opportunities related to sensors, or decision making algorithms, but also the quality of travel and travel experience itself, when attention of human driver will be not required anymore. What is implication of this fact? People travelling with autonomous cars in order not to get bored will have to be entertained, and that can open a whole new market of autonomous cars entertainment industry. Just take a look at the picture from Geneva Motor Show, on how travel in such a car could look like. What Appinions will not tell you however is the fact that there are companies, which prototyped self-driving cars have made many more millions of autonomous miles than Google’s car. These companies are Volvo, and Caterpillar.
The automotive innovations relate not only to engeernering technology, but also new business models enabling to achieve commercial profits from introduction of new technologies. In terms of new automotive business models I’ve been recently inspired by Chinese company Didi Kuaidi, being one of the biggest competitors of Uber in Asia. There are 5 million of drivers working for Didi Kuaidi in 150 cities in China, and the services offered by the company are not only traditional taxi services, but also social ride sharing, private car service, or designated private chauffeur driving services. Having strong competitors in China like Dida Kuaidi, or in India like Ola Cabs, Uber is not missing opportunities to constantly innovate, and recently had introduce the service of Uber Pool and splitting the cost of a drive between passengers, who joined the ride in the same direction on the go, or Uber Eats enabling food ordering and deliveries of food by Uber car drivers. Who will be next to introduce similar, or more sophisticated services?
Taking a look at above developments, one of the most exciting future business sport for those who capture new opportunities may be the transport.