Automotive Industry Changes
Some changes key players in the global automotive industry have made or announced are new technology for hearing-impaired drivers (Hyundai), the restructuring of the global manufacturing network in response to developments in the electric cars' industry (Honda), the use of graphene parts in vehicles (Ford), the use of 3D printing in mass production (Volkswagen), and the organization of a Collaboration Lab (BMW). Below is an overview of the findings.
Hyundai Reveals New Technology For Hearing-Impaired Drivers
- Hyundai Motor Company has developed a new technology which makes life easier for people with a hearing impairment.
- The technology offers drivers with a hearing impairment a safe and comfortable driving experience and provides them with the means to interact with their external environment.
- Hyundai has devised a means wherein people with a hearing impairment can maximize their sense of sight and touch.
- The company has created a form of communication which translates internal and external sounds to tactile and visual elements.
- This technology uses AI to analyze sound patterns. It also uses two separate driver-assist systems, which are Audio Visual Conversion (AVC) and Audio Tactile Conversation (ATC). These two systems work together to help hearing-impaired people better familiarize themselves with the world around them.
Honda announces global automobile manufacturing restructure
- Honda has announced that they will organize their global manufacturing network differently.
- This restructuring comes as Honda focuses on electric cars, in response to the groundbreaking changes in the global automotive industry.
- As a result of the challenges that come with electrification, Honda will change its global manufacturing operations, and focus on company activities in regions where it anticipates high production volumes.
- The company will shut Swindon, its vehicle manufacturing plant in the UK, in 2021 as a part of this restructure.
BMW's announcement on First U.S. Collaboration Lab
- The BMW Group Financial Services in the U.S. has announced the Collaboration Lab and invited startups to participate.
- The startups will participate in a ten-week lab at BMW Financial Services’ offices in Hilliard, Ohio, aimed to help them further develop their ideas together with leading subject matter experts in the automotive and financial sectors.
- The Collaboration Lab accelerator program provides entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses in fintech and other fields with the opportunity to partner with BMW Group Financial Services.
- This would be to develop, and then realize, "innovative solutions and game-changing new technologies that can ultimately benefit consumers, dealers, and partners."
- The companies selected will work in the categories digitizing the customer journey, building a blockchain strategy, and data analytic and insight.
- Digitizing the Customer Journey: carLABS has created a conversational AI-powered platform for automating and enhancing sales and marketing in the automotive vertical. It will offer car buyers an easier shopping experience that notably increases conversions and returns on marketing spend for car sellers.
- Building a Blockchain Strategy: Supermoney is developing a unique digital wallet that allows in-store and online customers to pay with a simple QR scan. The product runs on a system of smart contracts that effectively manage counterpart risk, protecting both buyer and seller. Bloom uses public-private key encryption underpinning blockchain technology to verify customer identity, a technology also used to certify the accuracy of credit history without storing customer raw data on servers.
- Data Analytic and Insights: Omniscience Corp. is working together with finserv and insurance firms on solutions related to underwriting and capital modeling and is working to scale their analytic efforts on real-world data. Motion Auto Insurance is modern insurance for the modern world and regards fully programmatic, embeddable, insurance as a service delivered from directly inside the customer's mobile app for gig/sharing economy, new modes of vehicle ownership, and autonomous driving technology.
Volkswagen usage of 3D printing
- Volkswagen is the first manufacturer using the latest 3D printing technology: the "HP Metal Jet."
- The biggest advantage of this technology is that it improves productivity by fifty in comparison to other 3D printing methods and depending on the component.
- Three-dimensional printing can be used for mass production in the automotive industry.
- Along with HP and GKN Powder Metallurgy, Volkswagen is, therefore, pressing ahead with the development of the technology for mass production.
- By next year, GKN intends to create a process chain for automotive production together with Volkswagen.
Ford to use graphene parts in its vehicles
- Ford announced that it will be using graphene parts in its vehicles by the end of 2018, starting with the Mustang and F-150.
- Graphene is a material made from a hexagonal structure of carbon atoms and was first isolated in 2004. It is about 200 times stronger than steel but lighter and flexible. It is a good choice of an electrical conductor and an insulator of sound.
- Ford is aware of the difficulties of graphene manufacturing and use, but is confident with the partnerships made and has determined how to make use of graphene in certain components in order to strengthen and lighten them, as well as reduce noise.
Through our research, we found that information on changes the key players in the global automotive industry have made or announced was readily available. We focused on selecting those changes or announcements that could impact the global automotive industry or the global automotive interior materials industry. For example, Ford will be using graphene parts in its vehicles, starting with the Mustang and F-150. This is a change that will impact the make of the car, as this material makes the body stronger and lighter. It also impacts the automotive interior materials industry, which will have to focus on new interior attachments that are more compatible with the new car body.