Historically, car drivers used to own or lease their vehicles, usually for a period of a few years before possibly selling them on. The digital services in these cars were chosen by (or provided for) the first car owner, at the time of the initial purchase. These services tended to remain with the vehicle throughout its lifetime, and stay relatively static. Today, I see that more and more drivers use car sharing or subscription services, rather than owning cars themselves. This development requires future connected car services to become a lot more dynamic than they have been. Dynamic lifecycle management is key to making that a reality.
What does lifecycle management for connected car services mean?
The lifecycle of connected car services can be summarized as launch, use, and ultimately retirement. This lifecycle used to follow that of the vehicle, over the course of several years. With the growing popularity of car sharing or subscription, these lifecycles are becoming increasingly shorter, quicker, and – most importantly – connected to the needs and requests of both individual drivers as well as car owners.
Create the smooth service evolution your customers want and expect
In order to make drivers use your digital services repeatedly, your services need to evolve. Successful and dynamic lifecycle management relies upon the provider’s ability to offer a portfolio of attractive services, maintain and improve the breadth and quality of these services, and be able to easily monetize them.
Compared to most other car functions, connected services are, in a sense, living products. Not only do they need to be developed even after they have been launched, but this must also be done in a smooth and user-friendly way that only improves – and never interferes with – the user experience.
Customers are increasingly accustomed to effortless software and service updates, and will expect nothing less of their connected car services. A service that is not updated or managed to meet customer expectations is bound to become obsolete very quickly. Inadequate digital services will also affect the customer’s experience and perception negatively.
Make sure that your connected car services benefit both drivers and mobility providers
As the business landscape becomes increasingly complex, I believe that these new multiuser scenarios call for a new approach to the management of services. Some connected car services need to benefit drivers regardless of which car they are driving. Other services need to be car- or owner-specific, in other words function independently of who the driver is. The latter should also provide mobility providers with important information about the car – maintenance needs, for example.
Today, much of the business focus in the automotive industry is still on the end-consumer, thus the individual driver. For car makers, the portfolio of services must appeal to both the owner’s need (business-to-business) and the drivers who will use their services (business-to-consumer).
Use software to offer customized connected car functions on demand
Another aspect of lifecycle management for connected car services I want to mention is the ability to turn predetermined functions into functions on demand. Examples include cruise control, entertainment packages, and park assist. Instead of being pre-selected at the time of purchase, these and other functions can be made into flexible driver options.
While still in its infant stage, this is a development that underscores the importance of dynamic lifecycle management. Software will continue to enable the digitalization – and improvement – of services for quite some time. Car makers need to make sure not only that these services work as intended, but that they learn from, improve, and profit from them. Why sell these services once, when you can sell them over and over again?
Three key benefits of dynamic lifecycle management
- Service evolution: The ability to handle, improve and tailor connected car services throughout their lifetimes.
- Multiple purposes: Addressing and delivering services not only to the drivers (B2C) but the owners (B2B) as well.
- Recurring business: Being able to continually develop services and features – and monetize them – without having to rely on that one initial car sale.
How does WirelessCar work with lifecycle management for connected car services?
WirelessCar is a service enabler, using our expertise and services to help car makers and mobility providers in their operations. When developing our services, we do so with both the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) perspectives in mind. As outlined above, a connected car service needs to address both in order to be successful.
Every service of ours comes with an inherent “service intelligence”. What we mean by that is that these services are able to provide feedback and data. Both are highly useful to car makers and mobility providers, and essential when creating and developing new services and features. By making this intelligence a natural part of our services, we become better at supporting them, and helping you manage your services throughout their lifecycles.
Through dynamic lifecycle management, the digital services of connected cars can last longer and stay relevant; all while providing drivers and mobility providers with valuable, relevant features. Should you have any questions on this topic, you are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also recommend reading the articles on edge computing, the business potential of connected fleet management, as well as other articles here on the WirelessCar blog.