Henrik Svensson from Volvo Cars was the first presenter at Future Transportation Square here at Ideon Science Park. Volvo Cars are going through a major transformation in how they are developing products, and a lot of that concerns software. That is one of the reasons why Volvo Cars chose to open an office in Lund, there is a lot of competence within software and connectivity here.
“There is a major transformation in the auto industry right now and the four big trends that are shaping our future are connectivity, autonomous driving, electrification and sharing” says Henrik.
The customer experience is everything
One of the challenges today is that the software and services sets the tone for the customer experience.
“We need to rethink the way we are working with our suppliers going forward. Gone are the days when an order is placed with lots of specifications and then delivered and installed. There needs to be a close collaboration in order for us to develop great software with quick updates, they are key in giving the customer a great experience”.
Henrik talked about an early venture of adding software solutions to their cars, but having minor success, until it was possible to connect them with smartphones, like starting the heater with an app on cold days. “The service was there, but there were no tools to utilize them in the right way”. Now the tools are there and there are many possible applications, like route prediction and crowdsourcing of maps to alert other drivers of accidents, roadworks and so on. But in order for these services to really take off, a standard API for cars is needed.
There were several questions in the meeting, here are a few
In order to develop new software with open source, is there a need for standards in order to make it work?
“Open source is a collective standardization project, but there is definitely a need for standards. It would make it possible for all suppliers to build great, connected solutions for our customers.”
What is the biggest bottleneck when it comes to connectivity?
”The problem is standardization, as there is no one standard today that the authorities or the industry has agreed on. We would prefer the car-to-car communication to be cloud based in order for us to build smart solutions. In the US there is a proposal on legislating the car-to-car sharing and wifi standard. If introduced, that would have a major impact on the industry.”
What opportunities are you looking for in Lund and Skåne?
”Solutions for driver identification and sensors, both within and outside the car. We need solutions to identify the different drivers so that it is possible to predict and plot a route adapted for that person. The goal is for the car to learn the patterns of the different drivers, so that they don’t have to change the settings every time. Machine learning is important for the experience.”
Join us at the next Future Transportation Square
The last Tuesday of the month we gather at Business Lounge in Beta House, Scheelevägen at 08:30. See all details here.