We recently invited leaders from the automotive industry to a roundtable dinner. As you’d expect, it was a fascinating evening.
In a hugely competitive business where technology has always been a disruptor, there is always something to talk about. From the future of electric to the potential of self-driving cars, the conversations around the dinner table were passionate and insightful.
Before dinner, our guests also heard from Jeff Perkins, Executive Director of Storyful EMEA. Jeff has been carrying out research for AmazeRealise, Edit and Kin + Carta on the Future of Mobility. Through social intelligence, Jeff and the team at Storyful wanted to find out what people were really talking about when they discussed cars. His findings raised interesting questions surrounding consumer, industry and government opinion.
The following debate uncovered four main themes:
Share and share alike?
There is a real concern amongst the public about there being too many cars on the road. In fact, cars are seen by some as an inefficient way to handle large numbers of people on the move.
Carpooling is seen by many as a way of reducing the number of vehicles in use, particularly as a ‘last mile’ option. This could be supported by rail and other public transport networks for longer journeys. People questioned why driving a car had to be a private experience, but would this require a shift in mindset by many car owners?
Click and go
Thanks to services such as Uber, we’re getting used to transport on demand. Many are now asking why this mobility on demand can’t be extended further. Our guests discussed why people should pay thousands for their own vehicle when they could press a button on a phone and a car arrives ready to drive. The result could be a move away from car ownership with vehicles becoming a ‘situational tool’ rather than a status symbol or statement of identity. This might prove more economical but, then again, will it overcome the joy and pride many take in owning their own cars?
Tap a button on your phone and a Tesla pulls up outside your house, ready to go.
Electric cars have been talked about for many years and it seems that they’re now finally becoming a viable reality. However, conversations between consumers indicate that we might not be ready to get rid of our petrol engines quite yet.
The distances capable of being travelled, high costs and the tendency to over heat were just three of the concerns raised about next generation vehicles. Some also suggest electric public transport is a better way to reduce road congestion and its related pollution.
Rise of the robots?
The possibility of cars that drive themselves is also treated with caution by the public. The thought of someone being killed on the roads by software rather than human error seems particularly disturbing to some. How does a computer make a moral choice between hitting a child or an oncoming car? These are the questions we need to answer before Autonomous Vehicles become a daily sight on our roads.
People get angry when people kill people using cars, but people will probably be more annoyed by people being killed by cars operated by corporations through their software.
All of these issues were discussed intently by our guests during dinner, and provided a brilliant springboard for discussion. We’re having similar conversations across our group with clients, such as Jaguar Land Rover, Lexus and BMW.
Where do you stand on the points raised by our research?
Let’s have a conversation about automotive. To find out more about our joint report on the future of technology in the automotive business simply fill in the form below.