Executive Briefings

There Are Roadblocks to Connecting Automotive, High-Tech Consumer Electronics Industries

It's the Daytona 500 of vehicle manufacturing: the race to bring connected cars, light trucks and SUVs to market. Unprecedented safety, driver assistance and infotainment features promise to revolutionize the driving experience. Still, few industry executives are confident that their current connected vehicle initiatives are on the right track.

Their uncertainty is understandable. For automakers, getting "connected" requires joining forces with the high-tech consumer electronics industry - an unlikely partnership, for several reasons. Vehicle manufacturers have intricate organizational structures and supply chains that have evolved over decades. They have long design and development horizons, and stringent regulatory and safety mandates. High-tech companies have simpler structures and supply chains that can shift more swiftly with consumer demand. They have much shorter development cycles and an "act now, apologize later" mind-set that isn't appropriate for products whose failure can result in the loss of life. And then there’s Moore's Law: The continual compounding of computing power implies that automakers will be called on to navigate a mind-boggling explosion of connectivity features and functions.

Auto companies have never before been confronted with an opportunity and challenge of this magnitude.

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Their uncertainty is understandable. For automakers, getting "connected" requires joining forces with the high-tech consumer electronics industry - an unlikely partnership, for several reasons. Vehicle manufacturers have intricate organizational structures and supply chains that have evolved over decades. They have long design and development horizons, and stringent regulatory and safety mandates. High-tech companies have simpler structures and supply chains that can shift more swiftly with consumer demand. They have much shorter development cycles and an "act now, apologize later" mind-set that isn't appropriate for products whose failure can result in the loss of life. And then there’s Moore's Law: The continual compounding of computing power implies that automakers will be called on to navigate a mind-boggling explosion of connectivity features and functions.

Auto companies have never before been confronted with an opportunity and challenge of this magnitude.

Read Full Article