Digital technologies are significantly changed by a variety of spheres of our life, including how cars are produced today. Pandemic significantly accelerated the introduction of breakthrough technologies. For example, virtual reality and so-called digital twins make it possible to make a real joint workflow, testing hypotheses and concepts, regardless of where the developers of technologies and employees of a automotive enterprise, which has become particularly important during the restrictions on social distance and locudes. And industrial Internet of things and technology for collecting and analyzing large data brought to the automotive conmen to fully automated factories.
Rockwell Automation, a corporation with more than a century history, is engaged in industrial automation and digital transformation in the auto industry. The company allocated 4 main trends that are characteristic of the automotive industry and mobility in a broad sense in the future.
New vehicle architectures
Trends on electric vehicles and autonomous driving change the requirements for the interior of the car. It will undergo significant changes, and the composition of the components of the car will be different.
And already have such examples. Tesla launched the largest cast car in the world — Giga Press, which is intended for the production of the MODEL Y crossover, which will now consist of two monolithic parts, instead of 70 small parts used in Model 3.
New materials appear, including composite materials and complex alloys, opening new production capabilities, such as easier chassis or side panels, while maintaining the level of security for passengers.
Mobility as a service
Leading major automakers will soon develop and produce cars on a large scale, but with a minimum number of platforms, sometimes even sharing a platform with competitors. These platforms will be developed to support low-emission technologies (ZEM / PHEV) and provide advanced electronics and autonomous driving software. Although autonomous driving will almost certainly remain on the limited conditions, even after 10 years. All this requires more sensors around the car and 5G-communication. Rockwell Automation helps develop flexible lines capable of response to market requirements. For example, Magne Motion conveyor technology is ideal for electronic assembly.
New regional brands
Small manufacturers in individual countries or regions will develop vehicles for specific markets. In some cases, they will use platforms of large companies. But in other cases, much smaller plants will be used, while importing all the necessary details. These «car microfabrics» will be a continuation of today’s tendencies of «globalization», redistributing jobs and converting local authorities. Regardless of whether the manufacturer will use the «micro» or «gig» plants will become increasingly popular with the concept of «Unified Enterprise», in other words, a digital or fully automated enterprise.
Full transparency of the state of the components of the car
The safety and transparency of information on the state of certain components of the car is one of the main requirements for the industry. Advanced technologies will allow even greater accuracy to predict the service life of parts or, for example, a battery.