The vehicle industry must have a rethink
Despite the fact that the vehicle industry is currently described as an industry in crisis, there are high hopes that the development of future IT services for vehicles will drive development. However, for new technology to become reality requires greater openness within the vehicle sector and a changed view of vehicles. This is revealed in a new thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
"The vehicle industry currently views IT services as something that primarily concern the physical vehicle. However, a broader perspective provides the realisation that a vehicle is so much more, it is a workplace, a cog in a complex transport flow, a financial asset - but also a cause of accidents and environmental impact," says Jonas Kuschel, a researcher in applied information technology.
In his thesis, Vehicle Services, Jonas Kuschel studies the prerequisites for the development of future IT services for vehicles, so-called vehicle services. For example, IT solutions within the vehicle sector might make it possible for a vehicle to automatically book a time for service and repair via a wireless connection, but it might also entail supplying services to town planners to enable understanding of traffic patterns or current emissions levels. The list of potential services can easily be extended.
Innovations require openness
However, if the perspective is limited to focus on the physical vehicle, there is a risk that the vehicle industry misses out on a lot of new innovations. According to Kuschel, the capacity to develop new inventions and applications requires the vehicle industry to open up its innovation work and allow other actors to enter into the field of developing services.
"It requires the vehicle industry to move from perceiving vehicle services as a part of the product and instead to focus on the services as a part of vehicle usage within a network of actors. It is more important to focus on how a vehicle is used and which role it plays in society and people's lives than on product development," says Jonas Kuschel.