Using digital PLM to bring the connected car to life

Automakers turbo-charge their in-car technologies using Digital PLM.
Eric Schaeffer
Eric Schaeffer
Global Managing Director, Industrial and Product Lifecycle Services

It’s no surprise that the connected vehicle—one that combines hardware (i.e. the automobile) with today’s rapidly moving advances in software technology—has already changed the automotive industry forever. Today’s automakers are under the gun to ensure their cars feature the latest cutting-edge in-car technologies.

The availability of in-car technology is dominating consumer car-buying preferences in ways that were not thought about ten years ago. According to Accenture’s research, today’s drivers are twice as likely to purchase a vehicle that is based on in-car technology options rather than its performance.

The challenge for today’s automakers isn’t a lack of opportunities that are currently available for in-car technology. Rather, the real challenge is how to manage product development during the entire lifecycle of the car. One strategy that will help resolve this dilemma is digital product lifecycle management (PLM).

Digital PLM sits at the center of the product development lifecycle, digitally sharing information between all functions in the product development process. This approach creates a more agile and responsive PLM network that continually adapts to the industry’s changing needs.

Auto manufacturers that are able to understand these new developments and quickly implement new strategies will create a competitive advantage and grow their market share in this increasingly competitive industry. However, to grow—and remain competitive—is becoming increasingly complex.

At one time in the automobile industry, the challenge was only to develop and manufacture cutting edge hardware. Today, software development has emerged as a rival to that traditional challenge. Managing new product development is just as competitive as ever—and probably more so, given the challenge of balancing new software and hardware applications in a market where there are endless opportunities to develop the next generation of in-car technologies. Those who rise to the top will master the management of these competing consumer interests, a complex process that will require Digital PLM.

Using the latest technology in analytics, social media, mobility and the cloud is critical for automakers. These technologies are already enabling car manufacturers to capture unique consumer insights that will lead to better decisions today—not tomorrow.

Automakers can now learn which capabilities consumers prefer and discard those that do not justify their investments. The technology now exists to learn how consumers use these capabilities and with the additional insights offered by big data, they will be able to recognize future opportunities and have the data to justify their decisions.

Automotive manufacturers will soon be able to use this technology to gather consumer’s input on product performance and crowdsource ideas for the next generation of connected vehicles. While the possibilities of using in-car technologies are endless, using Digital PLM to bring the connected car to life is a certainty.