Read more of this series:

Part 2: OEMs: 5 reasons why you need to look again at digital twin

Part 3: How to set up your automotive ecosystem for success

Gritting my teeth, I punched a few keys on the dash, turbocharged the engine, and pinged the Riddler’s position back to Headquarters. Then, I hit the gas as hard as I could.

I was nine.

What child of the 70s didn’t pretend their dad’s Buick was the Batmobile, with hi-tech features like remote connectivity and over-the-air (OTA) upgrades? Today, automotive leaders are using digital twin and thread to create the car of the future, unlocking new capabilities, services and revenue streams as they go. Learn how to leverage these technologies as you navigate the industry shift from manufacturing to mobility.

Step 1: Get ahead of the curve

You know as well as I do: The way people engage with cars has changed.

Last year saw a worldwide decline in auto sales by 4 million vehicles, while the popularity of smart products and services like Alexa Auto, self-parking and SiriusXM’s connected maintenance bundles grew. No car? Grab an Uber. No driver? Let Waymo take the wheel.

By 2030, less than 55 percent of the industry’s profit share will come from vehicle and aftermarket sales, compared to 70 percent today. Mobility services will make up the rest. To capitalize on the shift, original equipment manufacturers (OEMS) must fully digitize the vehicle and share that data across new and diverse ecosystems. Digital twin, digital thread and multiparty systems are key enablers.

Figure 1. Mobility Ecosystem

Figure 1. The automotive industry is undergoing a digital transformation toward a more service-centric, connected mobility ecosystem.

Step 2: Digitize the vehicle with digital twin and thread

A digital twin is the digital identity of a physical object, in this case, a car. Through cryptography and blockchain, we can authenticate digital twins in a trusted, undeniable and transparent way. Unlike a vehicle identification number (VIN), they can’t be created or counterfeited without access to a blockchain identity network, in which each party has its own trusted digital identity.

Whereas physical vehicles are born in a factory, a digital twin can be generated before manufacturing begins. From that moment on, ecosystem partners can continually add information to it across the vehicle’s lifecycle. This ever-growing collection of data makes up the vehicle’s digital thread. It includes everything from parts and condition to usage and behavior, with the entire ecosystem contributing data “from cradle to grave.”

  • Digital twin – The trusted digital identity of a physical object.
  • Digital thread – The collection of data associated with a digital twin across its lifecycle, gathered by ecosystem partners.

Figure 2. Digital thread and twin create opportunities for everyone in the ecosystem, whether it’s streamlining maintenance or embedding in-vehicle retail capabilities.

Step 3: Share digital thread data through multiparty systems

Together, digital twin and thread serve as your vehicle’s DNA with a daily diary. That data can be used to improve and invent all kinds of experiences, but it requires strong ecosystem collaboration. So how do you mobilize data across your network without sacrificing privacy and control?

Multiparty systems provide a shared data infrastructure to enhance trust, transparency and collaboration—even among competitors. Using technologies like blockchain and distributed ledger, they allow ecosystem partners to see and agree upon a single record of data in real time. No copies, no back-and-forth. Another key trust factor: They give you unprecedented control over the data you share, allowing you to specify who can see it, for what purpose and how long.

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With digital twin and thread, multiparty systems make the car itself the single source of truth that everyone can agree and act upon at once.

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This collective agility allows us to track, validate and monetize vehicle data and events on the spot, across the ecosystem, over the car’s lifecycle. Purchases, wear-and-tear, late night trips to Taco Bell—you name it.

Step 4: Collaborate to delight customers and unlock value for the entire ecosystem

Efficiency and savings are a given, but the new services and revenue streams that emerge from multiparty system collaboration will drive value for everyone involved:

  • OEMs: Extending their brand influence beyond the point of sale, OEMs could track vehicle status and warn customers of service requirements. With secure OTA upgrades, they could deploy new features to entire fleets or premium add-ons a la carte (Think BMW's recent software update providing on-demand functions like heated seats as a service.)
  • Civic authorities and insurance companies: With the ability to settle transactions on the road, the vehicle becomes a payment device. Tolls are instantaneous. Cities could pay drivers for reporting road conditions. Governments could track carbon emissions for compliance and accountability, and insurers could validate credentials the moment they’re needed.
  • Auto service providers: Standardized data sharing makes for secure and easy onboarding of partners across the value chain. When the need arises, a car could automatically schedule an oil change or break check with the local auto shop of choice.
  • Retailers: Going on a road trip? Why not upgrade your car to include more music stations for a limited time? With automated payments and quick-and-easy partner onboarding, the sky is the limit for in-vehicle retail opportunities.
  • Users: As vehicle features become available as a service, drivers and passengers enjoy more customization, convenience and quality of experience, with improved maintenance that keeps their cars on the road longer.
  • Dealers and secondary market businesses: Ultimately, the trusted maintenance history of a vehicle will impact its selling price on the secondary market. Time to trade in your vehicle? Your dealer could repurchase it with more transparency and less risk, giving you a better commercial offer in return. It’s a win-win.

And that’s just a preview. In our next two automotive posts, we’ll explore more use cases in detail and outline how to set up your own multiparty system that puts the vehicle at the center of every mobility interaction.

The road ahead in the new era of mobility

This is where the industry is going, and adoption is already under way. Leading organizations are aligning on the standards and governance required to build these powerful new mobility ecosystems.

The time is now for OEMs to come together and maximize this window of opportunity. Take the wheel and lay on the gas—there’s runaway revenue to catch.

Read more of this series:

Part 2: OEMs: 5 reasons why you need to look again at digital twin

Part 3: How to set up your automotive ecosystem for success

Disclaimer: This document is intended for general informational purposes only does not take into account the reader’s specific circumstances, and may not reflect the most current developments. Accenture disclaims, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information in this presentation and for any acts or omissions made based on such information. Accenture does not provide legal, regulatory, audit, or tax advice. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel or other licensed professionals. Accenture, its logo, and New Applied Now are trademarks of Accenture.

This document makes descriptive reference to trademarks that may be owned by others. The use of such trademarks herein is not an assertion of ownership of such trademarks by Accenture and is not intended to represent or imply the existence of an association between Accenture and the lawful owners of such trademarks

Richard Meszaros

Managing Director – Technology Innovation Group, NA Market Lead – Multiparty Systems & Blockchain

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