Take a look at passenger cars 10 years ago, and compare with cars nowadays, can you point out the differences regarding to driving experience and safety? Those are the typical answers you will get: infotainment system, connected cars, driver-assisting features such as parking assistant or automatic pilot, safety-related functions, and more.
This trend of making car smarter with better driving experiences will continue in the following 10 years, only with a speed of exponential growth. In 2025 it may be common to see cars connected with other cars, with environment, and with internet driving on the roads to make our life better. This creates a huge possibility of various services which can be provided by OEMs and suppliers, and it also bring the following challenges:
- How to quickly and reliably identify user needs: with cars become smarter, the user profile can be expended from driver to passenger, car maker, dealer, maintainer, and even government officer and insurance provider. If there is a way to explore, experiment, and identify feasible user needs among those users then the risk of investment can be controlled and chance of success can be increased.
- How to provide features with shorter cycle time: with more software-driven features in smart cars, it is possible to release those features more frequently to reduce time-to-market. This requires agility in product development life cycle following traditional V-Model, which OEMs and suppliers are not familiar with in automotive industry.
- How to team-up and collaborate with suppliers and partners: the satisfaction of usage scenarios of various users requires collaboration of different players including OEM, suppliers, dealers, maintenance workshops, regulators and more (the so-called “ecosystem”). Even OEMs may team-up to save time and money. Among them the collaboration and management of software-related suppliers is always a challenge to OEM or Tier1 supplier.
- How to establish systematic processes of developing safety-related products: the automatic or driver-assisting functions requires a systematic way of development of safety-related product and a certification of safety standard such as ISO 26262. Although the design-in of safety is a common practice for major players in car industry, but it is a big challenge for new comers or OEMs sourcing for lower cost suppliers.
Dealing with those challenges requires many aspects of knowledge, one of them is an efficient product development process which incorporates knowledge of experienced staff in the organization, and best practices from industry. This is the major strength of PWCI (Process Works Consulting Inc.) service, and we welcome any question or request if you are interested.