The Record - Issue 15: Winter 2019

57 T he automotive industry is undergoing huge transformation, and it’s chang- ing the very nature of what a vehicle is. Today’s vehicles are increasingly connected to the world around them, and the possibilities for the future are extensive. While the change is mostly positive, it is profoundly disrupting the current state of the industry. “Automotive is facing disruption at an unprecedented pace, affecting virtually every aspect of the industry,” says Sanjay Ravi, general manager of automotive industry at Microsoft. “New innovations are altering industry funda- mentals, changing the current value chain and radically altering how we will view transporta- tion in the future.” The industry is becoming digital, and the approach of automotive companies to the new reality will determine their success in this future. Facilitating this transition is where Microsoft sees itself playing an integral role. “We do not compete directly with automakers, and we do not try to monetise or own their data,” says Ravi. “We are focused on co-innovation and forging strategic partnerships to help automakers build their own digital platforms and mobility services. One critical area of development will be the connected vehicle. With consumers always con- nected through their mobile devices, the relative isolation of the vehicle today seems old-fashioned. By bringing the car more cohesively into that con- nected environment, automakers will find them- selves able to offer a multitude of services and experiences that they were never previously able to, which can be personalised for the consumer. “Changing the behaviour of the vehicle using software suits the concept of adaptive customisa- tion,” says Mario Ortegon, head of system strategy and innovation management at DSA, a global organisation and Microsoft partner developing innovative and customer-specific communication solutions for vehicle electronics. “The monitoring of normal communications on the vehicle bus con- tains a trove of information regarding the charac- teristics of the driver. This information can then be matched against known driver profiles. The result- ing data can then be used to provide additional vehicle options or ‘software as a service, such as an update for an enhanced ‘sport’ driving mode.” These increased data capabilities will allow vehi- cle manufacturers to gain important insights into consumer demands, enabling them to develop more personalised services to attract consumers. This represents the beginnings of an evolution in the role of these organisations, going from simply selling vehicles to supporting them with services into the future. For example, analysts Frost and Sullivan predict that up to 65% of all cars sold in  AUTOMOT I V E The Prime Minister of Luxembourg and Microsoft’s Sanjay Ravi visit Roborace’s booth at IAA