Autonomous Cars in the Age of Experience

AKKA Link&GoCustomer buying behavior is fundamentally changing. Living in mega-cities, they often have to cope with traffic congestion and pollution. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2M people throughout the world are killed in car crashes every year. Human error is to blame for at least 60% of traffic fatalities. Vehicles are, in fact, mission critical systems because of the sheer mass they move in a fairly open system.

Now, customers care more and more about aesthetic, economic, driving performance, or unlimited technology. That is why the Transportation and Mobility industry is now exploring how to deliver the optimal “experiences” to their consumers. We are on the brink of a new technological revolution: the “self-driving” vehicles.

Olivier Sappin, Transportation & Mobility VP at Dassault Systèmes, provides a quick overview of this technological breakthrough:

Validate Customer Experience

Autonomous driving makes it possible to create entirely new driving experiences. The industry is thinking about how autonomous cars would “move” people, and not just in the literal sense. Self-driving cars could encourage work, relaxation or conversation. Passengers will spend their time in a more meaningful way. Autonomous cars will enable you to watch TV, listen to music, text a friend, or even eat dinner… without looking at the road ahead. As today’s drivers want to connect their various mobile, entertainment and GPS devices to optimize their vehicle environment, the new era of Transportation & Mobility starts to encompass social experiences. And these advancements will also improve productivity!

Self-driving cars make it necessary to test new types of vehicle-driver interaction. Now, consumers are fast becoming more comfortable with intelligent transportation systems: automatic parking, collision-avoidance systems and telematics. As a result, consumers of all ages are surely becoming prepared psychologically to cede control of the steering wheel.

So the idea is to challenge traditional automotive design. Automobile interiors will be redesigned so that seats can swivel sideways to face other passengers instead of facing forward, and desk surfaces will be built into the cabin walls.

AKKA Link&Go Interior

New Levels of Complexity To Be Managed

Automakers are increasingly developing cars that drive themselves. Audi, BMW, GM, Nissan, Toyota, and Volvo all have announced plans to “unveil” an autonomous car by 2020. But Google is further ahead in this development than traditional industry leaders (Google is to release publicly a prototype in 2016). Autonomous vehicle drive systems are electro-mechanic and driven by software. That is why the industry strives to build cars from a systems model which allows them to validate functions including electrical, software and hardware.

Connectivity within and between vehicle environment is still a huge challenge. Vehicles can collaborate, interpret data from other vehicles around them, from surroundings, with the “Internet of Things” and improved GPS technology. Thanks to sensors allowing them to drive closer together, autonomous cars will accelerate and brake more efficiently than humans, increasing fuel efficiency. These standards continue to be discussed in the Transportation and Mobility industry.

Olivier Sappin, VP Transportation and Mobility, interviews Luc Barthelemy, R&D Program Manager at AKKA Technologies about a new autonomous concept car, Link&Go.

Collaborate Effectively

None will do it alone. Today’s car OEMs are building new relationships with innovators in many new areas (apps, car sharing, service providers, urban transport). Transportation and Mobility suppliers are building expertise too, not only by collaborating with OEMs in innovative ways, but also by creating new networks of expertise by themselves. Our partnership with AKKA Technologies is a great example.

According to the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), self-driving cars will account for up to 75% of cars on the road by 2040. These new vehicles and sophisticated systems management tools will speed up innovation and foster new collaborative networks in order to create new, secure and delightful autonomous driving experiences.

AKKA Link&Go 2.0

There are still many questions unanswered:

  • Why don’t we see more driverless cars in the streets?
  • Who will be faster to get autonomous cars on the road? Car manufacturers, innovative companies, government,…?
  • What is the future of self-driving cars?
  • What do you think about this revolution?

We are looking forward to your comments and suggestions!

Thomas LANDOIS is a member of the Transporation&Mobility industry team.

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