Digital and intelligent technologies are fundamentally reshaping the automotive industry, enabling breakthroughs such as connected vehicles, autonomous driving and mobility services. New technologies such as cloud and artificial intelligence (AI), crucial components of these breakthroughs, are enhancing customer experiences, enabling predictive maintenance and driving efficiency in the value chain.
Accenture’s new research shows automotive cross-functional executives (CXOs) recognize this massive shift.
People + Technology = Future strength
Automotive companies can equip the workforce to navigate—and even benefit from—technology disruption. Those companies that rethink jobs, roles and partnerships can position themselves to thrive in the future.
Three steps can help companies build a digitally enabled workforce that fuels innovation and efficiency.
Rather than technology just replacing manual power, it is supplementing brainpower. Production automation will advance further, especially since there is a growing need for agile product development. In addition, next-level automation is enhancing front-and-back office functions.
AI equips workers to move from routine to more complicated tasks, such as quality control. Real-time visualization using augmented reality, coupled with image correlation algorithms, can fix problems sooner.
Considering this new division of labor among man and machine, auto CXOs must rethink the roles that are needed—even redesign job descriptions to factor in the role of technology. They also must prepare their workforce to be ready to work with AI.
Elevate the workforce
Technology has the power to reshape ways of working and minimize the burden on people, allowing them to work in higher-skilled, more meaningful jobs. While some jobs may not require as many people, new jobs will be created that require humans. These jobs aren’t necessarily in production. There may be orchestrators, data scientists and AI officers. Having people work in new technology-enabled roles will help OEMs to meet challenges of quality and cost–keeping pace with new power trends and production technologies.
Leaders must prepare for the workforce’s adoption of intelligent technologies, but research suggests few are doing so.
(2) in response to “Considering the recent advances in intelligent technologies, how does your organization plan to change the proportion of investment in training and reskilling programs in the next 3 years?”
Collaborate across boundaries
Business boundaries are blurring in automotive. The industry is no longer a traditional value chain. It is a value network in which incumbent OEMs and suppliers will share the market with technology firms, telecoms and new entrants. Rather than creating a collection of sophisticated capabilities in-house and risking longer development cycles, automotive businesses will engage the ecosystem—startups, universities and digital transformation companies—to deliver leading-edge capabilities. Already, four out of ten automotive businesses report working with double or more partners today than they were two years ago.
Powering the future
As automotive companies adjust to the impacts of intelligent digital technologies, these steps can help guide the journey.
Determine the balance. As widespread use of automation and AI spurs a new era, auto leaders will have to
understand how to redesign jobs and tasks so that technology augments human skills.
Start, then scale. Initial ROI from workforce investments can be small, leading to reluctance to start big. Automotive
leaders should look beyond short-term implications and work to create a self-funded “flywheel” approach.
Make security a priority. Cyber resilience should be extended to all key areas of the business. New measures must be
put in place to monitor and control data within a company and across the ecosystem of partners.