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Car Technology Is Only Beginning to Disrupt the Auto Industry

Thanks to the current eruption of car technology, the automotive industry is on the threshold of innovations signaling a sea change in the way cars are marketed, sold and used, according to a recent report from the global consulting and technology company Capgemini. Not only will trends in car technology make vehicles safer and easier to drive, but they may also vastly disrupt a century-old business model.

Capgemini surveyed more than 8,000 consumers in eight key markets, discovering changes in how people view cars and their thoughts on how they may use cars in the future. Several of the findings should be worrisome for today’s carmakers.

"Mobility" is today’s big transportation buzzword. Ford, for example, launched Ford Smart Mobility, designed to increase its focus on mobility and connectivity. A big chunk of the mobility pie is ride hailing and ride sharing services. Capgemini found more than one-third of today’s car buyers see ride sharing and similar services as an alternative to owning a car. Although more than half of survey respondents still see themselves owning a car as well as using ride hailing services, a major shift is in progress and no one can be sure where it will end.

Cybersecurity has become a huge consumer concern. In 2015, roughly one-third of survey respondents voiced concern about systems in their vehicle being hacked. That percentage jumped to nearly 70 percent by 2016. Carmakers doing the most to safeguard technology systems may have a market advantage moving forward.

As technology continues to expand and vehicles become more and more like rolling computers, connectivity and the digital companies involved in that connectivity are being associated more and more with mobility. When asked whether they put more trust in carmakers or tech companies as producers of self-driving cars, nearly half of those polled (49 percent) answered, tech companies. At this point, carmakers and tech companies still need each other in the race to autonomous vehicles, but, here again, perceptions appear to be shifting.

 

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