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The Biggest Issues Impacting Mobility in 2021

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2021

Even though the impact of 2020 on the automotive industry continues, one thing remains, our problems last year are still our problems today. The advancements in mobility haven’t stalled, as engineers and researchers have been working hard at home to continue their work. In order to keep the industry on track, it will require cross-industry collaboration and discussion to continue the evolutionary advances impacting our mission. 
As the global leader in connecting and educating engineers for the advancement of automotive and commercial vehicle engineering, we will be hosting the 2021 WCX™ World Congress Experience Digital Summit. This premier digital event will bring the community, its leaders and innovators together virtually to help foster critical conversations, and get today’s brightest minds in mobility up-to-speed on the latest developments and integrations of technology.  

Mobility Innovations
As we focus on the year ahead, it’s no surprise that innovations in mobility will be fundamental to future success. Already, major mobility disruptors—autonomous, connectivity, electrification and ride sharing (ACES)— are becoming standard options as OEMs partner with tech companies to meet customer demand for greater safety and sustainability. Software, electrical and electronic components sales are expected to reach at least $460 billion by 2030, and software for functions, operating systems and middleware is projected to reach at least $50 billion. Similarly, cybersecurity remains a top concern of major OEMs, especially as the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) continues to work with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to release new regulations for cybersecurity and over-the-software updates. 

Systems Approach to Manufacturing
New complexities and dynamic partnerships should usher in a greater focus on a systems approach to manufacturing, especially regarding connected vehicles. What is needed is a process that considers the factories of today and how data and communication from the customer can create future products that drive consumer demand. This sophisticated transition in manufacturing requires integration of diverse fields, including Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0, the digital thread, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and JIT vehicle diagnostics.

Systems Engineering
Customer demand for greater performance from plug-in and battery-powered EVs underscores the critical need for system engineering management for propulsion systems and coordinated electrical and electronic applications, especially with the rise in electric vehicle (EV) purchases, which have increased by over 20% during the past three years with expectations of 600 new EVs through 20251. 

Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS)
In an effort to reduce traffic accidents, ADAS systems will continue to have a dramatic impact on safety and human lives, and in some cases, be able to override vehicle malfunctions and human error. Similarly, as connected vehicles become even “smarter,” connectivity is likely to extend beyond vehicle architecture and impact urban planning and architecture at the society level, with even more significant implications on how people connect and travel. 

Questions for the Future 
Manufacturing and R&D professionals are already seeking answers to questions that will inevitably occur as any disruptive technology naturally upends — as well as advances — an industry. For example, as EVs increase, how will governments handle the decrease of hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenues, and how will those decisions affect the mobility sector? Cybersecurity also remains a major concern as hackers and nefarious agents continue to keep pace with the latest protective measures, and AI will always ignite ethical discussions and debates. 

Register Today
These are just a few of the topics that industry leaders, engineers, innovative changemakers and top OEMs will be discussing at the 2021 WCX Digital Summit, April 13-15. Whether you attend roundtable discussions in the afternoon at the Leadership Summit or dedicate your morning by attending technical sessions dedicated to advancing your knowledge on each facet of the industry, WCX will continue to be the source of solutions and standards you can trust. 

Register today and learn more about what is being covered in the WCX Digital Summit and the on-demand content that’s available, which can be accessed for three months after the event.