Software Smooths the Way During Industry Disruption

Bill Foy, Senior Vice President of Engineering, DENSO International America Inc.
Bill Foy, Senior Vice President of Engineering, DENSO International America Inc.

Bill Foy, Senior Vice President of Engineering, DENSO International America Inc.

The automotive industry is facing disruption on a level not seen since the invention of the internal combustion engine 160 years ago. Vehicles and parts alone are no longer the industry’s sole focus, but rather the broader movement of people and things.

As we develop new and sustainable methods for transportation, software has emerged as a key element to new-age mobility solutions. With autonomous and connected transportation systems becoming more prevalent, innovation is imperative – and the auto industry must revolutionize its software and digital systems to keep pace with, and drive, ground breaking transformations.

Across the auto industry, software-based components are already being embedded into current and future mobility services, such as advanced driver-assistance systems and vehicle firmware updates. To continuously advance software capabilities, it takes a combination of strategic industry partnerships, innovative research and development (R&D) and a focus on emerging mobility areas, which allow us to create new products and services that provide new values in the industry.

Work with Companies That Share Your Vision

Working with like-minded organizations allows for both the pursuit of new solutions as well as the sharing of knowledge. Thanks to the heightened need for software solutions, partnerships within the automotive industry are no longer confined to manufacturers and suppliers. Global companies, like Google and Microsoft, are also looking for opportunities to apply their unique knowledge to develop products and solutions.

As a result, businesses can increase their own functions and speed which in turn helps realize agile global development. Such agility is especially useful for creating, or upgrading, development processes to pursue work in areas like artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

  Change is essential, not only to prevailing in a rapidly shifting business, but to provide valuable products and services that go beyond a vehicle-centric focus and enrich society’s broader needs  

Seek to Create the “Impossible”

Thanks to today’s near-constant advancements in technology, R&D departments are testing more software-based solutions and proactively tapping into locations with emerging tech scenes and proximity to universities and consortiums. These are the proving grounds for the mobility solutions of the future – even those that may seem like they’ve been drawn from sci-fi worlds that only exist in our imaginations.

Urban air mobility, for example, is currently being researched as a potential mobility solution to reduce ground traffic. Thanks to major strides in electrification technology, soon electric-powered flying cars may no longer just be an entertaining concept on The Jetsons.

Pursue New Horizons

Software also enables new technologies and multimodal solutions, like those deployed in the Ohio Smart Mobility Corridor, that when put together have the capacity to create entirely new mobility ecosystems. These environments feature a range of software-enabled solutions, including automated vehicles, pedestrian tracking technology, traffic flow analysis and more, to help create safer, more efficient transit. As cities become denser and more populated, software will be critical in supporting safe transportation through these increasingly complex landscapes.

To pursue such seemingly futuristic projects, automotive players need the right talent to get there. Talent wants jobs that have impact and purpose and contribute to a greater purpose. Automotive has those traits in spades.

With this in mind as we plan for the future of mobility, it is important for the automotive industry to leverage and honor its past, but to also embrace the new. Change is essential, not only to prevailing in a rapidly shifting business, but to provide valuable products and services that go beyond a vehicle-centric focus and enrich society’s broader needs.

That means more partnerships. It means more innovation. And it means more software.

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