China’s auto mobility revolution: Going from ‘ownership’ to ‘usership’

Gao Feng, a business consultancy headquartered in China, has released a new paper about the revolution in auto mobility in China

China’s unique set of urban transportation challenges, very high rate of adoption of mobile internet services, and rapid and aggressive introduction of alternative mobility solutions have combined to make China a global breeding ground for mobility innovation.

The deeply-rooted automotive industry business model is experiencing disruption.

Mobility needs previously satisfied through product “ownership” are increasingly being served through mobility services “usership”, with profound implications not only for traditional players within the value chain, but also for non-traditional players – as they enter and compete to deliver services.  Continue reading China’s auto mobility revolution: Going from ‘ownership’ to ‘usership’

Interview: Fast-moving robotics and automation market prompts updates to forecasts

apple homepod
The new Apple HomePod, the home automation device which mostly acts like a speaker and plays music

The global market for robotics and automation systems is growing so fast that it’s causing seasoned industry analysts to revise their forecasts. 

For example, the Boston Consulting Group released a report into the robotics which it has now updated with new numbers.

The causes of the reviews include the relatively new interest in personal robotics technology for the home, and the burgeoning market in collaborative robots for industry.

Another key development is the launch of the Apple HomePod, which, along with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, looks set to automate a huge number of homes to levels never seen before.

Continue reading Interview: Fast-moving robotics and automation market prompts updates to forecasts

Thailand prioritises robotics, aerospace, and auto industries as it looks to increase competitiveness

thailand bmw factory 1
Pictures from BMW’s factory in Thailand

Managing an economy today is not easy. But managing it for tomorrow? Now that’s a real challenge. It’s one that the government in Thailand is tackling head on, with a raft of new policies aimed at future-proofing its workforce and industry, particularly in the automotive, robotics, and aerospace sectors.

The measures, known collectively as Thailand 4.0, are centered on incentivizing foreign direct investment and nurturing innovation for 10 key future-focused industries.

The goal is to foster an ecosystem that promotes emerging technology, innovation, and creativity within each of these sectors.  Continue reading Thailand prioritises robotics, aerospace, and auto industries as it looks to increase competitiveness

Robot cars pose ‘unprecedented risks and costs’, warns Consumer Watchdog

robot cars

Robot cars pose unprecedented risks to the American public, Consumer Watchdog warned in a report, Self-Driving Vehicles: The Threat to Consumers.

In a representation to the Senate, Consumer Watchdog says robot cars – also known as driverless, self-driving, autonomous or highly-automated cars – require mandatory safety, security, privacy and ethical standards.

The organisation also warned that getting Madd is not enough.

The Consumer Watchdog report is being issued in conjunction with a day-long program, Driverless Cars: The Legal Landscape, sponsored by George Washington University Law School and a hearing by the Senate Commerce Committee, Paving the Way for Self-Driving Vehicles.  Continue reading Robot cars pose ‘unprecedented risks and costs’, warns Consumer Watchdog

China’s fast-growing automotive market presents opportunities for all

china Kunming_night

China’s auto market is creating “explosive growth opportunity” for companies prepared to adapt their approach, according to a new report by Gao Feng

The report, Rising Opportunities in China’s Automotive Independent Aftermarket, was produced by Bill Russo, Jason Zhang, Jackie Tang and Peter Hu.

The authors say China’s automotive market has “entered a new phase” which brings “enormous opportunities”.  Continue reading China’s fast-growing automotive market presents opportunities for all

‘Innovative’ Škoda factory introduces human-robot collaboration with Kuka LBR iiwa

Škoda Auto, Matador Group and Kuka have come together in the town of Vrchlabí, Czech Republic, for what they say is “a manufacturing initiative without borders or fences”.

The project is being undertaken in an automobile factory which produces direct-shift-gearbox automatic transmissions.

There, an industrial robot does what industrial robots do best: grow productivity, reduce costs and improve output quality.  Continue reading ‘Innovative’ Škoda factory introduces human-robot collaboration with Kuka LBR iiwa

US President Donald Trump pressures automakers to increase production in the US

Donald Trump and Mary Barra
Trump pulls out a chair for GM CEO Mary Barra as he hosts a meeting with US auto industry CEOs at the White House, on January 24, 2017. Reuters / Kevin Lamarque

By David Shepardson and Roberta Rampton, Reuters

US President Donald Trump pushed the chief executives of General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler to increase production in the United States and boost American employment.

Trump opened a meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Mark Fields and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne at the White House by saying he wants to see new auto plants built in the United States.

The new Republican president vowed to cut regulations and taxes to make it more attractive for businesses to operate in the United States. He promised frequently during his election campaign to be a job-creating president and stressed that message in his inaugural speech last Friday.  Continue reading US President Donald Trump pressures automakers to increase production in the US

Huge reboot: What Trump’s aversion to trade blocs could mean for the US robotics, automation and manufacturing industries

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US President-elect Donald Trump reacts to a crowd gathered in the lobby of the New York Times building after a meeting in New York, US, November 22, 2016. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

The US automotive manufacturing industry is probably going through some angsty times right now, what with president-elect Donald Trump reiterating his campaign pledge to repeal or at least renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and any other free-trade deal previous administrations have signed up to. 

For a highly globalised industry like the automotive sector, which sources parts from all over the world and may assemble its vehicles in any number of countries simultaneously based on a common platform, this is perhaps one election promise which it would rather not be kept.

However, Trump has already produced a presidential address style video in which he says: “I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country.

“Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.”  Continue reading Huge reboot: What Trump’s aversion to trade blocs could mean for the US robotics, automation and manufacturing industries

What the auto industry can learn from payments sector about cybersecurity

ultimaco information security

By Johannes Lintzen, vice president of sales and business development at Utimaco

Most big automotive brands have been around since the time “before connected cars”. Since automobiles are typically built incrementally through a complex supply chain, combining existing and new technologies developing at different speeds, it is difficult to ensure that a vehicle is entirely connected.

This includes being accessible for over the air software updates as well and being protected against security breaches, while protecting a driver’s privacy – all at the same time.

With the increase in connected cars on the roads, and an industry disruptor in the name of Tesla, many in the automotive industry are looking for ways to secure their products. There are some key similarities between the auto industry’s current situation, and what payment companies had to consider with the advent and wider adoption of payment cards. Continue reading What the auto industry can learn from payments sector about cybersecurity

Universal Robots signs up 10 new distributors in India

bajaj auto motorcycle

Universal Robots, which manufacturers light industrial robotic arms often called collaborative robots, has expanded its presence in the Indian market by partnering with 10 distributors across India.

Universal Robots India recently hosted a distributor meet in Singapore on May 27, 2016 to enable their training and development. One of their key customers Bajaj Auto, the world’s third largest motorcycle manufacturer, was also present at the event.  Continue reading Universal Robots signs up 10 new distributors in India

TU-Automotive Detroit conference and exhibition returns for 2016

sensors in a connected car
Sensors in a connected car. Picture courtesy Here 360.

Penton’s TU-Automotive has announced the agenda and speaker line-up for TU-Automotive Detroit 2016 (June 8-9, Nov, MI), the world’s largest conference and exhibition dedicated to innovation in automotive technology, covering connected cars, autonomy and mobility.

At TU-Automotive Detroit 2016, the city’s automakers (Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) will join international OEMs such as Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz to discuss their vision for how the car can become the leading “node” of the Internet of Things.

Leading technology disruptors such as Zipcar, Amazon, Via and Renovo Motors will also take center stage during discussions as the ecosystem widens to embrace new players.

The 80+ session agenda and 150+ speaker line-up can be viewed at TU-Automative Continue reading TU-Automotive Detroit conference and exhibition returns for 2016

US auto industry buys half of all industrial robots, says IFR

dürr robot

The US auto sector “buys every second industrial robot” sold, according to a report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR)

The US economy is one of the front-runners in the global automation race. By 2018, the number of industrial robots sold will, on average, rise by at least five per cent per annum, to a new record of 31,000 units (2014: 26,202). 

About one-half of these will be installed by car makers and their suppliers. Viewed according to robotic density – meaning the number of industrial robots per 10,000 employees – the US automotive industry, with 1,141 units, already ranks third in the world’s national economies after Germany (1,149 units) and Japan (1,414 units). These are the calculations published in the report 2015 World Robot Statistics, issued by IFR.

Continue reading US auto industry buys half of all industrial robots, says IFR

Chicago Auto Show: Robots rev up their engines in preparation for final victory over human drivers

Chicago Auto Show
Chicago Auto Show

Autonomous cars have already taken over the world and are on the verge of making their final, decisive manoeuvre to eject humanity out of the driving seat. The machines have achieved their domination by using the humble and unsuspecting traditional car as their primary instrument of deception.

That’s according to David Sloan, Chicago Auto Show general manager, although he may not have put it in those exact words. Speaking to Chicago Sun-Times, Sloan says: “People might be surprised to know that most of the technology that will be used to make car autonomous in the future is already in cars today on our show floor.”

Surprised? Try shocked and terrified.

Sloan goes on to say: “All the safety technology that allows cars to automatically brake or park, even adaptive cruise control, is there. Vehicles are now safer, cleaner and more efficient than they have ever been and automakers are still able to make them perform really well. The technology is rapidly advancing, and we’re ready for it.”  Continue reading Chicago Auto Show: Robots rev up their engines in preparation for final victory over human drivers