Part 2: Why we should embrace the current disruption in the automotive industry

By | 5 minute read | May 24, 2018

As a guest of the IBM CE Summit, I shared the four reasons why I was excited to join. In this blog, I’d like to address the key ‘mega trends’ that are disrupting the automotive industry.

1. Automation

Automation presents itself as both an opportunity and a challenge. At Jaguar Land Rover, our vision of automation revolves around two key areas where the automation of repetitive tasks can really take hold:

  1. Production or the development of the products – things like robotics and using artificial intelligence to develop better products;
  2. Automation – as it applies to the delivery of a service to create an exceptional customer experience. This includes things such as automated driving and self-driving cars.

In the automotive industry, improving our approach to repetitive tasks saves time, improves the user experience and ensures consistency over time. When we think about the benefits to a consumer using a self-driving vehicle, we focus on quantifiable value. What does the consumer of our products or services gain when they take advantage of automation?

Driving on a motorway can be automated for periods of time in many ways. Instead of focusing on the driving task, that user can make better use of their time – socializing or being more productive – essentially being able to use the journey time in a different way. By enabling this kind of automation, Jaguar Land Rover can return something important to the customer. Time is valuable.

On stage at the IBM Watson CE Summit, 2018

On stage at the IBM Watson CE Summit.


2. Connectivity

Software is everywhere. The Mars Curiosity Rover had 500K lines of code; the F-35 fighter jet had 24.5 million lines of code. A high-end automobile has more than 100,000,000 lines of code.

Connectivity enables Jaguar Land Rover to improve products and productivity. With Internet of Things, we can take the insight and the data from all our devices and bring them to our engineers, helping them to make better decisions. With IoT, we can analyze performance and resolve issues in context.

Every day we are seeing how products are becoming more and more connected to the infrastructure. Ubiquitous connectivity enables a constant connection between us as an organization and our consumers. In scenarios such as a fully-connected car, we can think of scenarios where a vehicle-to-grid service is available which enables the user to feed electricity to the grid and vice versa.

Connectivity creates new services. Capabilities like vehicle-to-grid are only the beginning of how the petabytes of data can be used to deliver greater value to consumers in previously unimagined ways. When you combine automation and connectivity, even more services emerge. For instance, while driving an automated vehicle, the user engages with many different systems – streaming entertainment services or data and information for work are just two examples.

The benefits associated with a fully connected car are evolving from pure convenience and time-savings to include the ability to generate new income streams.

3. The Consumer

I think of the consumer, and in particular Generation Y, as an unprecedented area for innovation and engagement. The Y generation is comprised of savvy, techno-driven individuals demanding a completely new set of requirements. Generation Y wants to do more than interact and use a product. Their level of engagement is higher and comes with an expectation that they intend to be an active participant in how those products are developed. (For more information, read the study: “A new relationship – people and cars” from IBV.)

Again, my glass half full mentality takes over here and I see a vast horizon of opportunity. For Jaguar Land Rover, Generation Y will help set new requirements; they will play an active role in shaping the direction of our organization (and hopefully yours too) as we continue to develop new products and services, in addition to refining what’s available now.

Generation Y are much quicker with regard to adoption of things. They have very high demand in terms of technology. The Generation Y consumer represents the perfect collision of IoT and user design. They can offer our organizations an endless focus group with whom we can engage, creating a bidirectional loop between critical stakeholders developing products and the users consuming our products and services.

4. Agile across the entire development cycle

As the consumer is using our services they are also helping us to develop better products and services for the future. The data we are collecting from our data sensors is being turned into insight that informs our designers, engineers, service and support technicians about how people operate, how they drive, how they prefer to be driven. This information is improving our engineering and services. This is where agile shines.

Agile methodology is being implemented beyond the software areas of Jaguar Land Rover, right through the product development organization. The agile implementation enables a quick feedback loop between all the stakeholders involved. Jaguar Land Rover is planning to use real-time analytics to improve the way their products perform. Getting feedback faster and in real-time means Jaguar Land Rover can improve customer experiences quickly.

When we look at how we want to define and develop the specifications of the product we can do this in a much more agile way. That means getting new services and products out to our customers and stakeholders quickly, while also getting it right the first time. Instead of spending a lot of time developing the wrong product.

Agile knits the whole development process together. With agile processes in place, Jaguar Land Rover is much faster at delivering our products to market. To ensure this happens, agile is not only applied within our software development teams (where it traditionally shows up), but we are also applying throughout the entire development life cycle.


The auto industry is facing major disruptive trends.

Part of my presentation: the key disruptors facing today’s auto makers.


It’s a wrap

One thing which is critical for people to understand is that the growth in complexity, increase of data, automation and IoT are not going to go away. It’s not going to get easier. Systems will continue to get more and more complex. Using IBM Continuous Engineering and Watson IoT is fundamental to the way Jaguar Land Rover think about developing our products and systems.

To stay ahead in the face of increasing complexity, we all need to be much more interconnected and flexible in the way we operate. Working within an integrated environment and integrating all these different industry sensors and stakeholders is critical to our industry leadership. This is exactly what IBM Watson IoT brings to the table.

Learn more

Overcome the complexity of connecting requirements, design, development and deployment. Speed product development in a software-driven world. Learn more now.

You may also read the IBV report: A new relationship – people and cars. This report explores how consumers around the world want cars to fit their lives.