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Consumer insights and innovation ecosystem driving the future mobility experience

Automotive megatrends (connected, autonomous, ride-sharing and electrification) are transforming our industry

Automotive megatrends (connected, autonomous, ride-sharing and electrification) are transforming our industry. Significant societal changes too, such as rapid urbanization and demographic shifts that are driving the need to rethink mobility.

A few figures illustrate just how rapidly our world is changing: while in 1960, 80% of Europeans lived to 70 years of age, by 2030 this is expected to rise to 85 years old. In the space of just under 60 years, the proportion of people living in urban areas has increased from one third to over 50%. Asia, a region that will continue to lead growth: 66% of the increase in world GDP has come from this region. All this requires us to adapt mobility solutions to evolving trends, needs and expectations.

Our collective challenge is combining consumer research, OEM demands and constraints and our technology expertise to shape new user experiences. At Faurecia we bring consumer insight into every step of our product lifecycle – from ideation, prioritizing new features, developing products to exploring mobility experiences throughout the serial life of a vehicle. This involves a range of direct and indirect information gathering using artificial intelligence, from social media listening, analyzing keywords and sentiment in consumer videos to digital surveying techniques that help us to assess the impact of technologies on the perception and behavior of vehicle users.

This gives us a better understanding about what’s important to consumers – such as freedom (mobility wherever, whenever), affordability, safety and a seamless digital continuity between home, office and car. But this is not all. Research we conducted on autonomous driving between June 2016 and December 2018, revealed that 46% of people put making the most of the time spent in a car at the top of their priorities. All these insights have helped us fine tune our strategic focus, for example improving safety, personalizing the onboard experience and creating interiors adapted to new usages as part of our versatile, predictive and connected Cockpit of the Future.

Our ultimate goal is to enhance people’s mobility experience, but without increasing the overall cost of the car for consumers. Integrating new technologies enables us to do this. Take the instrument panel and display cluster. It’s now easier and more cost-effective to integrate advanced functionalities into one intelligent and intuitive system compared to connecting a series of different electro-mechanical components. Or sound systems that activate the surfaces in the car. Eliminating the use of loudspeakers reduces the system weight by about 60%, saves cost and significantly increases design freedom whilst giving a better consumer experience.

Having identified consumer needs and matched this with customer benefit, we need to bring new solutions to market quickly. For a systems integrator like Faurecia, that means working collaboratively as part of an ecosystem with partners who contribute knowledge and expertise to enable us to offer new technology bricks. To give a few examples, we are working with MAHLE for personalized thermal comfort, with ZF for safety systems, with Accenture for artificial intelligence and our own digital transformation, with Hitachi for a global offer in autonomous driving, with Michelin to create a global leader in hydrogen mobility and soon with a global partner for cloud services and edge computing. This technology ecosystem allows us to progress fast but step by step, developing smarter solutions that are already going into serial production to enhance user experiences and provide cleaner mobility.

By keeping consumer needs top of mind, we are on the right track to go beyond products to experiences and develop technology that really drives the mobility of tomorrow. We call this “technology with a purpose”.

SOURCW: Faurecia

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