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Previously we reflected on the trends impacting and shaping the connected vehicle, whether commercial or passenger, and the impact of the vehicle itself on business models.  We talked about how the traditional value chain may well be disaggregated or how 3rd parties might disintermediate existing relationships.  We questioned who will emerge to occupy the center of the connected vehicle ecosystem.

Let’s add bit more clarity or perhaps some create additional questions about the center of the connected vehicle ecosystem.  “It is the Wild West out there…”  is truly a metaphor for the determining who will be at the center of the connected vehicle ecosystem and the associated business models. 

As the connected vehicle ecosystem evolves and expands, traditional and new participants will create opportunities, conflicts and gaps.  Determining who is at the center will be partially answered by the question, “Who are the value creators and who are the consumers?”  And it should go without saying that the end-user or consumer will ultimately decide that point! 

Traditionally the OEM/Manufacturer has claimed the central position.  They have been in the unique position of providing ALL of the connected vehicle value.  But today, one point of potential contention is that very role of the OEM/Manufacturer.  However, in the future the OEM will have to morph from providing the value to one of “enabling” value to the end user.  As more and more 3rd parties become active in the ecosystem, “enabling” becomes a very significant concept.  The connected vehicle must be the enabler of value.

For light vehicles the connected car must enable business proceses and capabilities that are truly in the OEM domain.  Such things as diagnostcs, remediation, service scheduling and reminders, provide real value to consumers and work to improve the quality of the product and the ownership experience.  In commercial vehicles these very same things ensure and enhance operational efficiency and revenue generation, by ensuring a fully function piece of equipment and avoiding down time.

Is then the OEM the “enabler” of value?  Does the OEM thrive as the revenue clearing house for consumers, enabling 3rd parties to deliver content and services to the vehicle.  Does this imply that the core value of the OEM is enabling value and for this they receive a slice of the pie?  It seems that the answer is in building and delivering a robust network of both OEM services and 3rd party services and products via the connected car.

It might be thought that the connected car is a competitive differentiator for car companies.  But connectivity itself will soon be nothing more than a commodity…all vehicles will provide that.  The differentiating value is what the connected car provides…from the OEM and from 3rd party ecosystem participants…enabling the value will be key.

The “Wild West” approach is fully in effect…the dust will settle!

In our next installment we will explore the “future”, the digital identity of the connected vehicle and its driver/operator and the notion that quire possibly the consumer will be at the center of the ecosystem.

See you later…

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