CES Automotive & Transportation Highlights, 2021
The research study scope showcases key trends observed during the CES 2021 virtual event. CES 2021 took to the digital stage as the COVID-19 pandemic forced a virtual walk through one of the biggest events that showcases technology disruptions in both the consumer electronics (CE) and mobility worlds. Frost & Sullivan attended the virtual CES 2021, analyzed announcements and presentations from various original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Tier I companies, technology companies, and start-ups, and identified crucial observations and key trends as part of this study. Electrification, connected customer experience, 5G, AIoT, new IVI design philosophy, software-defined vehicles, in-car commerce, and in-vehicle health were the primary trends at CES 2021. These themes are expected to shape the future of mobility in coming years. The automotive industry is finally looking at near-term autonomous, connected, and electric vehicle (EV) solutions that lead to monetization. A clear message that resonated from the mobility industry was the need to create experiential services that focus on the customer. Conversely, policymakers must quickly regulate self-driving technology while gaining consumer trust to establish a viable business case for autonomy.
More than 90% of automakers plan to launch infotainment systems with 12.3+ inch touchscreens. 2021–2023 is expected to be earmarked for launching advanced in-vehicle experiences (like virtual reality), with continued delivery of personalized and customizable interactions in all domains. Incorporating immersive experience and enriched user interactions are the goals of automakers and Tier I suppliers. Mercedes-Benz attracted the show with its impressive multi-screen 141cm displays housed beneath the glass surface with 12 actuators for haptic feedback. BMW launched a 14.9-inch central display for its next-generation iDrive platform and Cadillac LYRIQ launched a 33-inch light-emitting diode (LED) display with an enhanced GUI design. Features showcased as concepts are expected to quickly appear on production models with wide-screen displays, and automakers’ entire lineups are expected to have AI-based digital assistants with gesture-capable hardware installed. It is critical for OEMs to ramp up their HMI designs and roadmaps to quickly catch up on innovation and remain competitive in the market.
The health, wellness, and well-being (HWW) component is expected to surge in the automotive industry to reposition focus areas and charter new revenue opportunities for OEMs. Healthcare digitization, the emergence of mHealth apps and their integration in the car for clean and pathogen-free interiors, driver monitoring, and diagnosis are expected to gain strong footholds in the industry. To combat the COVID-19 fear among consumers, several OEMs have started implementing HWW services in vehicles for driver health and safety. Purification features, like advanced air filtration systems, are projected to be increasingly prominent in the short term (2021–2025) while measurement and monitoring features, like vitals monitoring, are expected to gain significance in the medium term (beyond 2025). To implement HWW services in connected vehicles, OEMs require collaborative efforts with a wide range of stakeholders from multiple fields, like healthcare technology, IoT wearables, and insurance. OEMs should understand the levels of importance customers associate with different HWW features and how they differ with age and other demographic factors. OEMs should also consider different options to roll out HWW services to consumers for quick revenue benefits, either through software upgrades or feature-on-demand (FoD) implementation.
Growth opportunities or themes identified in this study include the following:
• Displays are OEMs’ top priority that can influence user experience and vehicle purchase decisions.
• On-demand lifestyle-based cockpits are set to be the future of customer comfort and in-vehicle entertainment.
• HWW are poised to be part of any future vehicle cockpit strategy.
• 5G is set to unravel edge computing opportunities for the automotive industry.
• Non-automotive consumer electronics showcases can potentially lend themselves to automotive use cases.
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