“Necessity is the mother of invention”, as the saying goes. Being innovative and forward-thinking is especially important during a crisis or recession. And since mobility as a sector will likely be heavily affected, it is essential to understand how you can adapt to and serve its needs. The decisions you make, and the actions you take, during this time will propel you to an even stronger market position, and enable you to create the connected car services of the future. Here are eight ideas on how you can set yourself up for success after a crisis.
1. Make sure to use your systems and your talent to the fullest
Use the great resources you already have at your disposal to create flexible, cost-efficient, scalable connected car services. In doing so, you will also make efficient use of your time, and be better prepared for the future; a future where connected car services will be crucial not only to mobility, but the automotive industry at large. Get to know your systems better, and gain new insights in the process. Identify and work on your pain points and bottlenecks in order to achieve a more agile way of working. Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The more you can learn, develop and create during a time of uncertainty, the better!
2. Now is the time for new ideas and insights
A recession or crisis gives you an opportunity to evaluate your strategies, and think along new lines. Doing so will help prepare you not just for the better times ahead, but for the next economic downturn as well. Your people are still your greatest resource. Use your expertise and capability to create new ideas and services. Learn to collaborate in new ways. Expand your knowledge through internal as well as external networking, and stay up to date with the latest scientific research. Talk to us – we love discussing new ideas and solutions for connected cars!
3. Changes in infrastructure and driver behavior emphasize the need for car data and better connected car services
Cities around the world are making major changes to their infrastructure and city planning. This further increases the need for smart services of a wide variety; from route planning and traffic flow information to charging stations for electric cars, and smooth toll payment methods. The importance of connected car data will only continue to grow, for a great number of actors. Make sure to get as much data as possible from your connected cars, and that you are able to make the most out of that data. At WirelessCar, we have over 20 years of experience helping car makers turn their car data into valuable services and solutions.
4. Go for small scale service evolution, rather than revolution
Smaller projects allow for more experimentation and continuous development than bigger ones do. They do not require the same extensive economic or decision-making processes of major projects, and may come useful in many different settings and contexts. Taking small, safe steps in the right direction will also help you prepare for more grand, complex projects in the future. Car data is a goldmine of information, so use it to its full extent. Maybe create a new API, or make improvements in older but popular connected car services, or your fleet solutions? Release new services on a regular basis, rather than tying them to specific release dates and separate car projects.
5. Being agile is particularly important during challenging times
An agile way of working will make it much easier to continuously create, evaluate and release services. Several smaller efforts can contribute to many different deployable solutions. By minimizing waste, and releasing services on a regular basis, you ensure that every effort and release is of great value, even if major projects are stalled. Investments in agile work processes will have particularly positive returns in economically unpredictable times. This goes for the entire organization, including the legal and purchasing departments.
6. Make sure that today’s R&D budget sets you up for who you want to become in the future
Who do you want to be in five or ten years? Your current R&D budget should reflect those ambitions, and your unique selling points. Sustain your ecosystem of partners and suppliers, and focus on dynamic lifecycle development, rather than one-time-development. Enabling over-the-air (OTA) updates will make it easier to develop and invest in your connected fleet. Connected car services that benefit OEMs and drivers alike are essential to future mobility.
7. How will you meet the demand for safe car sharing and fleet solutions?
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted some of the potential health risks of public transport. Add to that the long-running trend of people wanting access to a car, without necessarily owning one. The potential for car sharing and connected fleets is huge, and growing. However, car sharing must not only be reliable and convenient, but safe and hygienic too. If your connected fleet solution addresses these requirements, it could have a major impact on people’s mobility and preferred mode of transportation.
8. Get ready for new electric car solutions and infrastructure
We have all seen the recent images of the smog-free skies above the world’s metropolises. The boom in automotive electrification will likely get an additional boost from this, which in turn requires new connected car services and new infrastructure, not least in terms of charging stations and power grid integration. Now is the time to look at these solutions in detail, and analyze how you can be a part of this development, rather than having to catch up with it later.
We are seeing an increased focus on digital services from car makers, and are eager to contribute with our expertise and experience. We hope that this article, and other articles on our WirelessCar blog, can inspire you in your work towards even better connected car services. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!