How technologies will change the future of transport

The transport industry as we know it, is on the verge of a radical transformation thanks to major disruptive technological innovations built on IOT/Industry 4.0, Additive Layer Manufacturing, data analytics and artificial intelligence and electric-mobility. From self-driving cars, to autonomous flying drones, to 30-minute rides from LA to San Francisco on a Hyperloop!

The impact? Faster and cheaper commutes, changes to vehicular ownership models, overhaul of current transportation infrastructure and changes to business models of key industry players, among others.  In this article we examine the impact of disruptive technology innovations on 3-pillars of digital transformation (operations, customer experience and business model). The new industry business models that will probably emerge  and the face of transportation in the future.

Impact of disruptive technologies on the 3 pillars of digital transformation

  1. Customer and User experience
    Thanks to predictive analytic solutions air passengers can now enjoy customized in-flight entertainment options and targeted advertisements. Augmented reality (AR) is being used to improve transport safety; augmented reality glasses provides visualization of key cockpit data to improve situational awareness of pilots.
  2. Products and services
    Disruptive technologies are being used to  transform the current modes of transport. Google’s Driverless autonomous vehicles (WAYMO) are expected to  be launched for use from 2018. With the deployment of Telematics in the manufacture of motor vehicle, train and airplane parts also ensures that performance data is continuously available. This data can be analyzed to assess performance and to predict maintenance. The car ownership model is also evolving with the gradual adoption of car as a service.
  3. Operations
    Global demand for airplanes, motor vehicles and other modes of transportation continues to rise. In order to meet these demands, manufacturers have to ramp up production. IOT/Industry 4.0 solutions enable  manufacturers to bring products to the markets faster and to meet up with backlogs in market demand. Predictive data analytics empowers manufacturers to monitor factory equipment and systems in near real time, analyze data, identify imminent breakdown and even in some instances, automatically initiate corrective action when failures occur. Additive Layer Manufacturing also presents an opportunity to speed up the production of lighter and more compact engineering designs.
    AR is also being used to develop ship bridges, improved maritime navigational aids and to provide immersive advertisement experiences with the aid of AR viewing headsets.

Why transport players will need to retructure

  • Use Case #1 – Flexible Vehicle Subscription Mode

    Traditional vehicle industry will evolve from its current retail model to a flexible vehicle subscription model.  High end car manufacturers can expect to generate significant revenues not from sales but from subscription programs. The key differentiator will lie in the available value added services which enhances the subscribers travel experience.

  • Use Case #2 – Integrated and Seemless Services

    We are moving very quickly from public and private transport being separate businesses, to a more Integrated Multi Modal Mobility Network, due to changing demographics, preferences, and technology In both B2C and B2B environments customers are demanding intuitive services; many actors investing significantly in order to deliver the ‘killer’ seamless proposition & user experience.

  • Use Case #3 – Disruption from technology startups

    Emergence of key players who are not part of the mainstream transport sector as we know it. These will include technology startups who will provide R&D capabilities in such areas as Artificial Intelligence to improve autonomous vehicle performance and its safety, predictive analysis and Integration systems that ensure various solutions can interact seamlessly. We anticipate increased partnerships between traditional car manufacturers and these emerging startups to drive the next wave of innovation.

The face of transportation in the future

Borderless

While the full scale use of flying cars is still years away, we already notice cross-sector collaborations with the concept of flying cars. Airbus and Audi have presented the PopUp Next prototype, a modular ground-aerial vehicle while Volvo’s Terrafugia  transition flying car is billed to go on sale in 2019. UAV deliveries are likely to offer an earlier example of completely new modes of operation. These present a shift in specializations and industry sector focus for some of these players. Organizations have to be aware of and seize opportunities for such cross sector collaboration to maximize their competitiveness in a new “borderless” transport industry.

Sustainable and Energy Efficient

With increasing pressure to reduce green house gas emissions, the transport system of the future must be energy efficient. Motor vehicles are set to experience a shift from fossil fuels to semi and fully electrical vehicles. In the aviation industry,  Airbus has entered into a partnership with Rolls-Royce and Siemens to develop a hybrid electric plane with one of its four gas turbine engines replaced with a two megawatt electric motor. On the ground, Zeleros hyperloop transport system is another interesting example of the transport system of the future which is a fully-electric, self-propelled vehicle that is able to move at speeds up to 1000 km/hour.

Autonomous and Connected

Advancements in autonomous vehicle technology will change the concept of vehicle ownership and present opportunities for vehicle subscription services. It  enhances productivity of its users because travel time can be more productively spent. Telematics also offers a scenario in which all vehicle, train or airplane parts are fitted with interconnected sensors which continuously collect data that may be used to perform analytics and drive predictive maintenance.

More regulated

The introduction of autonomous self driving vehicles raises safety concerns, especially considering the wide variety of landscapes and scenarios under which they will operate. Regulatory agencies will therefore be expected to provide sufficient guidelines that address minimum safety requirements of the vehicles.