Automotive & Transportation

CES Automotive and Transportation Highlights, 2018

War of Digital Assistants and Autonomous Shuttles
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Published: 5 Mar 2018

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 showcased interesting concepts yet this mega event was a continuation of 2017 themes and trends with a few minor exceptions like autonomous shuttles, digital assistants and integrated mobility platform. Original equipment suppliers (OEMs) and Tier I suppliers have realized that digitization—along with IoT, technology partnerships, software capabilities, and customized solutions—will be the way forward for the global automotive industry. The growing number of digitalization initiatives and pilot projects with a software-centric focus by automotive OEMs and Tier Is will increase automotive IT spending from $37.9 billion in 2015 to $168.8 billion in 2025 (CAGR of 16.1%). Connected cars, autonomous vehicles, and ride sharing provides more use cases for data monetization, which was the buzz word at CES 2018—OEMs, start-ups and technology companies are trying to monetize and formulate for-pay services by focusing on various data points. The two-hour power shutdown hogged all the headlines at CES 2018, and there were many interesting developments and announcements from Vegas pertaining to the automotive world. Most of these had to do with the world of autonomous driving and its implications on areas like user experience, infotainment, and entertainment. There were a few other across the board trends that will impact the market in near term, such as the integration of Amazon’s Alexa and a few others. For example, Amazon alone announced over 20 partners across PC, smart home, speakers, automotive, and other segments. From the automotive side, important integration announcements came from companies such as Panasonic, Garmin, Toyota, and Elektrobit. Frost & Sullivan believes that the only potential downside to Amazon Alexa as a solution, if it can even be considered a downside, is Amazon’s unwillingness to make it a white label platform for OEMs. Frost & Sullivan was present in CES 2018 and interviewed over 60 participants from various OEMs, Tier Is, technology companies and start-ups and in doing so, was able to identify ten very crucial observations. OEMs are developing native assistants with AI capabilities, but their branded digital assistants should not become an effort that is similar to an app store. While the overall UX language was primarily touch, it will be interesting to see the feedback of the UX specialists given that reachability was already discussed as an issue. CES 2018 was in many ways was a continuation of 2017 themes and trends, but with a few minor exceptions such as autonomous shuttles, digital assistants, integrated mobility platforms and OEMs like Toyota reversing the course on previous decisions to skip the Apple Carplay and other popular consumer standards.



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