Enter The Digital Consumer, Driver, Services Buyer

William Newman

In working with several large automotive customers, it becomes clear that what it means to become digital – and to run a digital business – can take on many forms and meanings to different companies, depending on their organization and their position in the automotive value chain.

I have written about the advent of connected platforms, whereby suppliers are moving to land-grab specific elements of the ecosystem and lay claim to their use. This includes many scenarios about the enhancement and transmission of information from the individual consumer to the car, the home, the household appliance, or the mobile device. McKinsey estimates the market for vehicle-enabled digital services to grow to $1.5 trillion by the year 2030.

Understanding how the automotive consumer will function as a services buyer, however, is an entirely different matter, whether that individual is a personal vehicle owner, rideshare passenger, renter, or simply a passenger in a friend’s car on a night out. And while automakers are determining how to enable that customer experience, one thing is clear: the automotive consumer wants the same, easy-to-use experience to carry with them from one vehicle to the next, regardless of their role or how they’re using the vehicle.

What do I mean by this? Digitally connected customers should be able to move seamlessly across vehicles with their secured personal identity and profile available for the use and purchase of services. Vehicles would provide the most driver-desired customer experiences based on real-time feedback to engineering designers, significantly reducing warranty claims and updating software during non-use windows. It shouldn’t matter if I’m a passenger in a rideshare or renting a luxury vehicle for the weekend in the big city, my wallet and profile should move with me based on personal credentials, personal preferences (for entertainment, services, etc.), and secure onboard data connectivity.

Consistent profile and digital services, vehicle-to-vehicle comparison

Vehicles should be maintained with similar consistency. Soft service events – uploading software updates or even tuning firmware – would occur in off-peak times or as needed based on severity. Hard service events would occur at low-use hours to reduce labor and operating expense while maximizing vehicle availability during peak times. Parts would be available as needed, located on the quickest route to service locations.

Automakers are learning more about the advanced options to support driver, buyer, and passenger connectivity, as well as what abilities secure data environments in automobiles can deliver.

Learn more about trends in autonomous and connected vehicles at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, Florida (May 15-19). Secure your spot today!

This article originally appeared on Linkedin Pulse


William Newman

About William Newman

William Newman is a Strategic Industry Advisor, providing industry perspective, strategic solution advice, and thought leadership to support SAP automotive and discrete industry customers and their co-innovation programs. He helps build and maintain SAP's leadership position in the automotive industry and associated industry segments. He manages SAP’s annual digital aftermarket survey program and serves as the ASUG Point of Contact for the NA Automotive SIG. He is the author of two SAP Press books and a LinkedIn Editor’s Choice contributor.