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Digital Trends Impacting the Automobile Industry

Automobile industry is an ever-evolving sector where new and advanced models are introduced to the market every day. Although the industry is experiencing a robust growth currently, the automobile professionals are facing a continuous challenge towards incessant innovation in order to excel in their business. Despite these challenges, there is an overwhelming need to flourish in the industry with sophisticated technology, since the experts predict that by 2040 there will be a ban on petrol and diesel cars worldwide. Thus, it has become a necessity for all the companies to establish a pertinent stature among the stakeholders in order to thrive. Gone are the days where printing peculiar promotions in the magazines performed this task. The automobile industry has realized the importance of connecting to its stakeholders on the digital front.

Moreover, with the collaboration of smart phones, internet and digital trends the future of automobile industry is going to be incredible. What seems to be a ‘fantasy’ today will be the reality of the world tomorrow due to the digital trends impacting the automobile industry. Digitization of automobile industry is transforming its value chain, establishing entirely new business opportunities as well as creating platform to provide unique services.

Prelude: Influence of social media

A recent study conducted by a researching agency reveals that almost 84% of the automobile consumers are active on Facebook, while 66% of the car owners/buyers responded to the Facebook ads. Interestingly, these figures indicate a rise of 100% compared to the statistics of 2014 – suggesting the rapid expansion of consumer interactions with online advertisements. Another online study suggests that the car ads on Facebook are more likely to be clicked twice than other advertisements. The influence of YouTube to persuade people to buy cars is about 69%. Similarly, posting photos with luxurious cars to gain maximum likes has been a popular trend on Instagram. This has revealed the power of social media to market automobile products.

Online media is transforming into research platform for purchasing cars. Interestingly, almost 84% of people rely upon online reviews over personal recommendation to take a decision towards the purchase. Surprisingly, 97% of them conduct thorough online research to select the potential brand before approaching the dealers. Statistics suggests, about 39% of the research last for almost sixteen weeks.

How does online media usage impact automobile industry?

The customers’ keen interest to purchase automobiles through online platforms indicates their dependency on online media. This clearly suggests that digitization of automobiles will be well received from the consumers. In fact their social media usage and perception of cars as ‘gadgets’ indicate their demand for new, sophisticated and innovative models of automobiles which would transform the world they live in. Thus, with more investments and interests flowing into automobile industry, a need for futuristic integrated design is stipulated which would link the conventional with the digital.

Mobility is the future

The automobile industry is undergoing a phase of severe transformation and within the next few years the presently known “automobile industry” will be officially referred to as “mobility industry”. Experts predict that it will expand its horizons to encompass futuristic technology by conjoining materials and digital sciences to provide highly sophisticated products and services such as ride-sharing and combined ownership. New players such as Google, Apple, and Cruise have started to emerge in the market whose non-traditional approaches have alerted even the well-established firms like Ford, Toyota, Daimler and Honda with the requisition to go digital.

The process has already begun

The automobile industry has already ventured into the digital era. Even the big giants who have been manufacturing automobiles since decades are reinventing their technology to cope up with the evolving digital trends. Various domains of automobile industry such as safety engineering, sophisticated manufacturing, automobile purchasing and maintenance are experiencing the dawn of digitization.

Innovative Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things (IoT) is an innovative digital technology highly being discussed in Automobile Industry which is expected to have momentous impact on automobiles. This has led to what is termed as the “connected car” which is set to dominate the list of most essential ‘things’ connected to the internet in the upcoming years. IoT is leading the industry forward towards the development of new data enabled services. In addition, it is revolutionising the manufacturing sectors where the product quality is enhanced by installing performance tracking sensors in automotives. This ultimately leads to continuous improvement of product quality, and also innovative and new services in the future.

Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS)

The digital trends are also going to change the social scenarios in the future. Car may not be viewed as a commodity to be ‘owned’ but rather something to be ’shared’. It is expected that by 2030, due to the digitization of automobile industry, the car would be transformed into a ‘Mobility-as-a-Service’ which would be an essential element of connected living. In this regard, Fiat has already started the discussion with Google towards collaboration of such technological innovation while Volkswagen is focusing on developing a ride-sharing app.

Advent of digital technology is near

It is estimated that by 2020, the investments in the automobile industry will surpass $82 billion due to the advent of digitization. Thus, there lies a greater responsibility for the industry to meet consumer requirements who seek virtually enhanced experience. In the future, car may no longer remain a symbol of ‘transportation’ in the physical sense, but rather conquest the trope of ‘magical realism’ in a metaphorical sense due to the merging of digital media, cloud technology, analytics and augmented reality. In the near future, autonomous driving – where the car drives by itself – will become a reality due to the alliance between various advanced technologies.

Due to the synchronisation of GPS, sensors, IoT, cameras and algorithms, the system will be capable of confronting any situation. This prevents the possible accidents and deaths and thereby providing the ‘liberty to travel’ by outshining all the previous limitations. Statistics suggests that if this becomes a reality, more than 900000 lives and about one trillion dollars of accident insurance funds could be saved.


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