A perspective to the future

Since the latter part of the 19e century automobiles were the preferred mode of transportation but the growing demand for luxury and a sense of oneness with the vehicle that is often taken for granted today was, at the time, unheard of. Revealing essentials like a roof, windshield or even mirrors, early automobile variants were made for the sole purpose of getting from point A to point B.

For a race obsessed with mobility, modern times have unsurprisingly heralded countless transformations. Change is the only constant. Even more so with mobility and its perception in today’s world.

For centuries, the automotive industry has been a highly evolved, organized and tightly controlled environment with well-defined boundaries. Its main stakeholders were OEMs, auto parts manufacturers and end customers. Additionally, due to limited access to feedback systems, connectivity, etc., customers have had minimal interaction with OEMs throughout the vehicle’s life cycle.

With the advance of new technologies, the ecosystem has started to change. For example, with digitization, the whole dynamics of the car changes, because the fully analog cluster comes to an end with the digital instrument clusters, which come with many additional functions and features. Global advances in automotive technology have spurred even higher expectations, calling for the development of mobility as a world of its own, even simple, extension of our personal space becoming mobile.

Today’s consumers expect seamless and personalized automotive experiences and features, and they are ready to participate in product and service innovation. Over the next 10 years, we can expect increased activity, development and rapid growth in the mobility industry.

Evolving ecosystem: demand for modern vehicles
The drivers of mobility have been constantly changing due to advances in technology and largely due to changing customer needs. It used to be about vehicles maneuvering safely to destinations without breaking down, but it’s a completely different ballgame today. Modern vehicles have come to adapt advanced features such as park assist, pillar-to-pillar digital dashboard, and connectivity to cloud and cell towers.

To meet the highly technical demands of industry, we rely on so-called high-performance computers (HPC). They integrate the computing power of a multitude of features and functions into a vehicle and reduce the complexity of the overall system. Allowing for updates and upgrades, they turn vehicles into a kind of integrated “secure smartphone on wheels”.

The connected car uses big data to continuously evolve the software-defined vehicle, allowing them to deliver premium connectivity services and OTA (over-the-air) upgrades to the vehicle throughout its life cycle. life. OTA enables timely deployment of add-ons such as new features and critical firmware and cybersecurity updates.

With advancements in connectivity, the risk factor for cyberattacks is also increasing. Security governance of components/systems responsible for protecting vehicles and passengers is crucial; therefore, cybersecurity is essential. For example, accidents can occur if a car’s brakes and transmission ECUs are not protected against hackers.

A connected car has a network of features that work together to communicate information, such as cameras that monitor occupants, GPS and seat belt reminders. Besides the implementation of cybersecurity measures in the development phase, smart vehicles are continuously monitored for possible threats and vulnerabilities in security operations centers.

Additionally, smart vehicles can become part of the smart ecosystem by communicating with smart infrastructure and the cloud. This makes it possible to organize traffic, for example through sharing services or multimodal transport. This feature has positive implications on traffic jams, accidents and even emissions, improving safety and efficiency.

The smart ecosystem in areas with limited connectivity

Gone are the days when connected technologies were only vehicle-to-vehicle. Today, vehicles also communicate with the environment (V2X). A perfect example of this technology would be Intelligent Intersection. This end-to-end solution includes a set of sensors for the intersection, the powerful sensor fusion algorithms (radar, camera, lidar) that generate the environment model, and the dedicated short range communication (DSRC) units , both at the intersection, and in the vehicle. Although the basic concept is to protect vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists, it can also help drivers in complex traffic scenarios at intersections, such as preventing right-turning cars from colliding with traffic approaching from behind an obstacle.

In short, smarter mobility has enabled an ecosystem that includes OEMs, drivers, auto parts manufacturers, software technology companies, car dealerships, pedestrians, infrastructure, other IoTs, cell towers, SOCs, dealers, etc.

The future is closer than you think.

Continental recently added its second Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub in a city dedicated to leading the way in mobility innovation: Columbus, Ohio. Currently in its first phase of development, Continental’s Columbus Hub consists of two busy intersections with high vehicular and pedestrian traffic made smart by integrating Continental’s smart sensors, connectivity and software into the infrastructure. In 2019, Continental launched its first Smart City Mobility and Transportation Hub on two intersections in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

In addition to this, Continental has also launched a collision warning system in Hamburg. It will work as a digital guardian angel that will ensure safety solutions for vulnerable road users. Using smartphones, this system will be able to provide real-time collision warnings.

In addition, Continental’s technology for driverless vehicles is in series production in the EZ10 autonomous shuttle from the French company EasyMile. The CUbE is environmentally friendly, flexible, safe and suitable for a wide range of tasks. Over the next few years, these will initially be concentrated in places such as large industrial parks, airports, exhibition complexes, amusement parks and downtown pedestrian areas.


Autonomous driving, shared mobility, connectivity and electric mobility are the four megatrends of the future of mobility. The future will see increased collaboration between all

players in the mobility ecosystem, making the environment more complex than ever.

The in-vehicle transit experience will become a defining feature of the future of mobility. Content – vendors, in-vehicle service providers, and data and analytics companies will try to render experiences in transit the way we want them to be. Many of these features already exist, but they would expand significantly to become more immersive and interactive.

In addition, infrastructure will be essential. As data becomes the new oil, telecom providers, cybersecurity, and operating systems can add value by providing fast, reliable, and ubiquitous connectivity for all the data needed for the future mobility ecosystem.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


About Ferdinand Caldwell

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