This was originally posted on LinkedIn.
At this past year's IAA Conference, a question arose: could best practices in digital industrial transformation from the aviation and rail sectors benefit the automotive industry?
If you’re reading this at the airport, on the train, or in the back of a taxi, just take a minute to look around you and think about the complexity of our modern transport systems. Consider the thousands of components packaged into the vehicle, the infrastructure, software, and teams that support the pilot or driver and the multiple data points being generated and transmitted across multiple networks.
As users, we take this complexity for granted. That’s because the transport industry continually evolves--because it has to.
Changes in technology, customer behaviors, regulation, as well as wider macroeconomic influences, such as oil price and production all mean that this industry is in a constant state of transformation.
If the opening days of the IAA event showed us anything, it's that the merging of digital and industrial is becoming the norm--and not the exception.
In fact, the sector has always pioneered in its use of technology to link business and supplier processes, from very early forms of lean manufacturing; electronic data interchange to connected cars through to Industrial IoT-based, just-in-time manufacturing.
Digital industrial transformation is visible and thriving in certain parts of the sector. Recently though, the automotive industry has arrived at a major inflection point, signaling a period of intense change and the evolution of the entire industry.
Over the next few years, what has been traditionally thought of as ‘automotive’ will come to be known more broadly as the ‘mobility industry’--the next generation of products and services enabling the transportation of people and goods.
These products and services include traditional products such as cars, trucks, and buses, combined with new technologies in material and digital sciences, and business models, such as ride-sharing and shared ownership.
The automotive industry has arrived at a major inflection point, signalling a period of intense change and the evolution of the entire industry.
This time though, the transformations coming for this industry are so broadly disruptive that companies in the automotive value chain that do not move fast enough might find themselves permanently left behind and unable to compete.
This could potentially upset the landscape, players, and power dynamics within the industry.
This represents significant opportunity, not just for OEMs and savvy Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers within the industry, but also new, non-traditional players emerging from the technology space.
As the automotive industry grapples with this intense period of change and disruption, it might benefit from looking at how the aviation and rail transportation sectors have approached digital industrial transformation given the similarities in their partner ecosystems and supply chains.
GE has a long history helping the broader transportation industry navigate change and transformation. Our laser focus is still on helping them achieving optimal efficiency and productivity, but today it is within a digital context.
Some of the innovation approaches we are seeing our customers in the aviation and rail sectors adopt include:
So what can the automotive industry learn from these examples? Imagine a world in which your connected car continually sends its health status to the OEM, the service garage all the way back up through the supply chain into the cloud, where its digital twin can predict maintenance requirements, order spare parts, schedule service calls, and update the owner with all the information they need to keep their vehicle running at optimal efficiency and lowest cost. That future might not be here yet, but looking at the rail and aviation sectors it is surely not far away.
In the meantime, digitization will continue to make its biggest impacts in the manufacturing and supply chain. If you'd like to learn how - take a look at how we are helping major automotive companies to digitalize their operations. I also encourage you to register for the live premier of the first episode in our new video series, Industrial Internet at Work: Capitalizing on Disruption in the Automotive Industry, to learn how to get ahead of the biggest trends that are disrupting industry.
Industrial Internet at Work is a new video series from GE Digital that takes an in-depth look at how automotive companies can accelerate their digital transformation and remain competitive through the disruptive changes that are shaping the industry.
Watch on-demand and hear automotive industry experts from Capgemini, GE Additive, and GE Digital discuss the current state of the automotive industry and the biggest trend lines that are influencing it, as well as how to leverage the right industrial applications to help your company capitalize on the upcoming disruptions.