Technology has been driving the auto industry since the first car left the production line at the start of the 20th century. Over time, it has evolved car manufacturing, operation, and maintenance. And currently, software in the auto industry is causing seismic shifts in car manufacturing and customer experiences.
Vehicles are becoming safer, more advanced, and comfortable for the modern user. With concepts like autonomous driving, artificial technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT), software will soon drive the auto industry in the following 3 ways.
1. Cars Will Extend Our Living Space
According to the AAA Foundation, US drivers spend 6-7 hours weekly driving. That’s an enormous amount of time spent on nothing else than controlling a vehicle. What if you spent this time on other activities such as reading a book or finishing work presentations? Software is about to shift that responsibility to computers through concepts like autonomous driving and the Internet of Things.
Once these concepts become fully developed, cars will extend our living area, allowing us to travel as we do other things. Studies have already shown that people will spend more time in cars because even the elderly, the disabled, and children can ride cars independently. The Internet of Things will make driving safer and economical, as software is better at fuel control and making split-second decisions.
2. Mobility As a Service
In the past, you either owned a car or used public transport to travel. Software is changing that through concepts like ride-sharing and car-as-a-service. With these services, customers can use cars privately on demand without having to own them. Companies like Uber and Zipcar are already implementing these concepts, and more companies are funding research for similar concepts.
Other companies like Daimler and BMW are investing in car membership clubs with Car2Go and Drive Now services. The concept involves collective ownership and use of vehicles by a group of people with shared maintenance expenses. It is already experiencing immense growth. Once software makes cars fully autonomous, all these mobility-as-a-service concepts will essentially be the same.
3. Automating Customer Service
Cox Automotive’s research on US car buyers revealed that new car buyers spend 80% of their time shopping online. As a result, dealership visits have significantly declined. Most buyers make a purchase after two in-person visits.
The report also revealed that automakers and dealers have warmed up to the new trend by increasing their online presence. By using technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality, dealers create online showrooms with almost near-physical showroom experiences for customers.
However, the financing and leasing part of the auto industry is slightly lagging. Cox Automotive found that an estimated 40% of car shoppers experienced trouble seeking auto-financing services online. Advancements in auto finance software will ensure financial service providers, insurers, and dealerships connect to offer customers a complete car shopping service online.
This software will incorporate the Internet of Things to streamline data sharing. This will help dealers align services with customer expectations. In the future, the auto industry will be data-driven. Customers will find it easy to prequalify for car loans because lenders will use customers’ research data to simplify operational frameworks. Actually, it’s already happening in the insurance industry with automotive telematics insurance.
What Does the Future Hold?
Software is changing the auto industry on all fronts. Many companies are putting their money into mobility marketplace technologies, and the auto industry will soon experience tremendous growth. Automakers and dealerships who want to stay ahead of the pack