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  • Writer's pictureJesus Grana

How Intelligent is Our Future?

Updated: 6 days ago


CX Insights - Trend Watch - Automotive Industry (ICYMI January 2024)


ICYMI - Just like that, we ‘re already in the second month of the year. As mentioned in our blog last month, I anticipated interesting automotive news out of the CES convention in Las Vegas. I was not disappointed: their focus on software and technology in present and future car design could not be ignored.


While great summaries were present in all the presentations at CES this year, I particularly like these highlights (and hope you do, too).


| AI HERE TO STAY

At CES, several OEMs displayed their AI-based offerings in the hopes that they will be as much a part of our cars as they will in our everyday lives.


Honda Bosch and HCMF Group, for example, suggested that the connected cars of the future could use artificial intelligence (AI) to cultivate experiences beyond driving, such as activating a coffee maker at home when cameras notice the driver yawning. Or, displaying hours of business for a particular restaurant or place of business by merely looking at it.


Both Honda and HCMF are actively working on this technology, as they revealed at CES 2024. By using a combination of sophisticated AI and interior microcameras to monitor drivers’ facial expressions and eye movement, they hope to provide this cutting-edge technology in the near future.


The Volkswagen Group had much to share as well! Volkswagen showed off its IDA voice assistant, which is powered by ChatGPT. This is notable because this marks the first time a major OEM has offered ChatGPT as a standard feature in their automobiles – a first that aims to bolster driver experience with AI- and voice-controlled features in several VW models going forward.


BMW focused their products on digital customer experiences, featuring enhancements in their in-vehicle AirConsole app, immersive gaming (Beach Buggy Racing 2 was a standout at CES 2024) – and most importantly, new features for BMW Operating System 9. AI models that weren’t present in this OS before are now launching into the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, allowing human-like interactions when a driver consults the program for assistance.


Beyond CES, industry announcements continued regarding how OEMs would use AI to move even faster in everything software.


For example, Stellantis just acquired CloudMade’s AI tech in order to bolster the OEM’s software advancements. CloudMade is a British IT company that marketed itself on providing AI-based solutions to automotive systems. Stellantis, having now gained their AI framework and property rights, now aims to implement these tools to further develop their STLA SmartCockpit. This means predictive diagnostics, fleet management and proprietary voice assistance for Stellantis vehicles in the near future.


But here’s one unique car subscription service you won’t have to wait long for. Presented by BMW and Valeo at CES 2024, journalist Tim Stevens at Ars Technica details his experience with BMW’s Remote Valet, a service where a valet driver in a call center elsewhere operates your car from far away as you request aid with a phone app. Stevens shares more about the technical particulars and the highly favorable impression this service had on him.


Speaking of connected car subscriptions, I also came across a great McKinsey article that will be liked by all auto software developers and OEMs alike, as it focuses on how consumers demand for connected car services are about to take off.


According to global consulting firm McKinsey, consumers appear to be ready for subscription-based services for their vehicle as it relates to several software-related tasks. However, the demographics tell a more nuanced story: those polled were from different nations, different incomes and very different lifestyles. Take a look at the numbers and see just where connected car subscription popularity lies – and what’s at stake for all OEMs as they determine best fit solutions for future revenue.


| EVTOLS TAKING FLIGHT AT CES

Ready for take-off? Next time you have to get to the airport, you may not need to drive or call an Uber. Electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) were all the rage at CES 2024, and with the variety present this year, getting to the airport or landmark of interest on time may be as easy as going to the closest air-taxi lot.



Hyundai unveiled the S-A2, their eVTOL that was first spotted at CES 2020. Built in partnership with Hyundai’s air mobility company Supernal, the S-A2 was shown as having great attention to detail with blending form and function, featuring eight titling rotors and a motor that they promise is “as quiet as a dishwasher.” While the S-A2 isn’t due for release to the public until 2028, see for yourself how the future of city air travel will look here.


At CES 2023, Stellantis announced collaboration with Archer Aviation to build the Midnight, an eVTOL that also revealed a similar eVTOL model, only theirs is in collaboration with Archer Aviation – the Midnight. Interested buyers may be able to put money down on their own soon, as Archer will begin production at its factory in Covington, Georgia this year!

 

For further information on how we got to where we are, I encourage you to check out our previous ICYMI blog posts throughout 2023 and early 2024.

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