2020 has been “the year” – full of uncertainty, fear, recession, and dwindling cash flows. With government-imposed lockdown, scarce demand, increased burden of employee’s salary, and almost nil cash flow, capital-intensive sectors like Automobiles has taken a major hit.
But it is not all challenges, the fear of infection and lack of hygiene is likely to move people’s preference back to personal mobility, which in turn is likely to reverse the trend of declining car sales. The need of the hour for the automotive retail is to become virtual, lean, and flexible to align to the sudden accelerated change in consumer behavior – Calling for investment in forward-looking technologies/ partners and market intelligence.
Companies like Jaguar Land Rover are already a step-up and are working towards this. They envision a not-too-distant future with their cars to have touchless monitors to “reduce the spread of any kind of bacteria/ virus.” They did their research right and teamed up with Cambridge University to come up with “touchless touchscreens,” better understood as an AI-powered gesture-reading system in the wake of the pandemic. This technology called “Predictive Touch” responds by guessing where a driver intends to tap a screen without their fingers touching the surface.
To battle the Coronavirus, UFI Filters, an Italian automotive component manufacturer has launched an anti-virus cabin air filter, made of fiber layered with silver and copper ions, for passenger vehicle models under the ‘Sofima D+fend’ brand. It is effective in neutralizing bacteria as well as viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
On similar lines, Ford is working with Ohio State University to research the effectiveness of the newly conceptualized sanitization method. They are working on a study that indicates that exposing coronaviruses to temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius, or 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15 minutes reduces the viral concentration by greater than 99 percent on interior surfaces and materials used inside the vehicles. This newly heated software enhancement is ready to pilot with its Police Interceptor Utility – available immediately on all 2013-19 Police Interceptor Utility vehicles in the United States, Canada, and other countries around the world.
The direction of the automotive industry towards the five major megatrends CASE (connected, autonomous, shared, virus-free, and electric driving) is expected to move faster than expected. These trends will drive the industry evolution going forward. And the speed of adoption has already changed due to the emergency all fast-paced now.
Mastering the key industry trends, such as digitization and electrification, continues to be essential for survival in a post-crisis world. Transformational projects need to be pushed and continued and not canceled.
We at Ideapoke, are here to help our clients not only in navigating the immediate challenges of the COVID-19 crisis but also in creating responsive and intelligent solutions that will pave your way to a successful future.
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