What Is The Future Of The Automotive Industry?


As electric vehicles start to take over and new players are emerging onto the scene, the altering automotive landscape is bringing with it rapid changes to the industry’s traditional business models. Instead of many suppliers and OEMs feeding into incumbents, the new automotive world is giving rise to vertically integrated organisations. This is because the new companies developing autonomous vehicles understand the importance of having full control over every aspect of their products.

Therefore, many use IP designs; to build customised, high-performance, energy-efficient silicon semiconductors that have the capacity and capability to open up this new world. Using IP also enables these new players to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market, without having to take on the cost and risk of developing the technology themselves.

future-of-automotive
Mobility-on-demand

As to be expected with incumbents, their approach to new advances has predominantly been incremental, rather than following the intuitive leaps that are required with breakthroughs and innovation. The new companies however are willing to explore new business models and automotive trends, such as mobility-as-a-service. As such, future generations may not feel the need to own a vehicle: instead, they will summon a ‘robotaxi’ when they need it and relinquish it when they have finished.

This is mobility-on-demand, and for Gen Z and beyond it may one day be the “new normal”. Requested by a smartphone, arriving moments later, autonomously driven, and efficient in getting you to your destination. In the future, robotaxis could be the way we all get around.

An often-quoted figure is that 80% of accidents are caused by human error and the insurance industry is waking up to these changing times. It realises that in the new world, who or what is driving will become a pivotal question.

When there is an accident, the question will be who is culpable and where does liability sit? If an autonomous vehicle is designed to reduce accidents but is involved in one, then who is responsible? Is it the car manufacturer, is it the “driver” of the vehicle, the hardware developers, the software developer who developed the machine learning algorithms, those that created the interface, or the tester who validated the code? These are all key questions.

When there is an accident, the question will be who is culpable and where does liability sit?

If accidents due to human error do not happen in an AV world, then insurance companies will have to change their business models. Likewise, car companies may choose to self-insure to make certain they can get to market on time with minimal frustration for the vehicle buyer.

A changing landscape
automotive legal liability

The move into a new automotive world is marked by many changes: changes to the engine in our vehicles, changes to how we interface with the vehicles we drive, changes to the structure of the industry that creates them. And, as mobility is so central to how we live, these changes will even ultimately impact how we organise our cities and our lives.

As such, production-ready solutions and technology are rapidly changing. As the concept of mobility matures, so too does the wider automotive industry.