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The Internet of Things drives new opportunities for the automotive industry

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General Manager, Internet of Things, IBM

The Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected car are altering the landscape of the auto industry. Automotive engineering, manufacturing and customers are all changing rapidly. Not only are cars being transformed; the entire driving experience will undergo a dramatic shift, where next-generation automobiles will help improve our lives. Real-time analytics is being integrated with information across the enterprise to find new opportunities for competitive advantage. Solutions must effectively employ analytics to help enterprises design the right products faster, build and distribute them cost-effectively, and offer a superior driving experience to digitally empowered consumers. There are five distinct areas within the automotive industry that are facing the challenge of redefining business to keep up with the demands of an increasingly connected world.

Automotive engineering is key to speeding up the launch of more sophisticated vehicles that meet the mobility and sustainability demands of car buyers as well as regulators. A systematic approach to automotive engineering supports investment decision-making while easing the tighter integration of people, processes and information across the product lifecycle. This approach lets you bring innovative products to market faster and more efficiently.  

Supply-chain and manufacturing operations must get smarter—they need to be systems that think. By seamlessly aggregating data from assets, business processes and ecosystem partners, and then mining that data for insights and intelligence, you can gain an end-to-end view of activity, monitor and prevent equipment failure, strengthen supplier collaboration, exploit global efficiencies and drive better real-time decision-making.

The auto industry must capitalize on service opportunities presented by the growing demand for intelligent, connected vehicles. By leveraging the wealth of data generated by vehicle sensors, vehicle applications and driver interactions, you can make insight-driven improvements to your marketing, sales, service and product development functions; personalize and deepen customer relationships; and increase revenue by developing differentiated value-add services.

Another huge opportunity involves connecting with today’s digitally sophisticated consumer in new ways by capturing information at every touchpoint, and delivering a personalized driving experience that demonstrates you know and understand your consumers and the auto market. By building a consumer engagement strategy based on deep customer insights, you can improve the entire commerce lifecycle while creating long-lasting customer relationships. 

A somewhat less-obvious opportunity for the auto industry is usage-based insurance (UBI) and its pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) and pay-how-you-drive (PHYD) variants. UBI began as an effort to collect data to enhance insurance ratings and billings. PAYD applies to the quantity of a person’s driving—that is, the amount of the insurance charged that is based on actual use. This pricing model is analogous to metered billing for electricity. PHYD is based on the quality or style of a person’s driving. This model considers driving style and determines whether the driver is aggressive or makes good decisions while driving. UBI is an opportunity to improve on current approaches to save lives, make a positive impact on society, help the economy and protect the environment.

Like many industries, the IoT is changing how the auto industry operates. These changes bring multiple challenges, but even more opportunities. Businesses will have to rethink the way they manufacture, sell and manage vehicles and customer relationships to outpace the competition. The good news: if you figure out how to turn these challenges into competitive advantages, you will lead the way. The IBM IoT Foundation Platform can help you build solutions and connect devices to handle all of these challenges. You can get started with the IoT Foundation Platform today, or you can take it for a test-drive to discover its features and functionality if you prefer.