Automotive industry is a huge business involving various activities and business processes. From the repair and service of vehicles; selling of tools and parts; repair and maintenance of motor bikes and cars; and some non-car manufacturing; are covered by automotive industry.
Automotive industry comprises companies and organizations involved in design, development, manufacturing, marketing and selling of motor vehicles. Automotive industry is the world’s biggest source of economy by tax and revenue. However, automotive industry does not cover the industries dedicated to the maintenance of automobiles following the delivery to the end users such as repair shops and fuel stations. Automotive is a combined word from Greek autos meaning self and Latin motivus meaning of motion. The history of automotive industry began in 1860s with the manufacture of horse carriage. At the time, U.S was the one country in the world leading the industry. With centuries passed by, not only U.S, the automotive industry is now led by the most developed and powerful nations like Japan and China. It is climbing it’s way up to the point which would have been impossible to even imagine during its initial rise. New advanced digital technology is contributing a great deal to enhance the automotive industry to the greatest height of human imagination. We are now talking about automatic, self-driven vehicles, and in future, with the help of AI (Artificial intelligence), if not we, may be our upcoming generation, might experience the luxury of intelligent auto motors, or we might as well call them smart cars.
Intelligent Personal Assistant
Intelligent personal assistant is a digital software that replaces human personal assistance by helping people with their basic tasks, based on the verbal command. Intelligent personal assistant, in short IPA, use natural language processing to process the verbal command from human, and turn it into digital instruction and perform the task accordingly.
Intelligent personal assistant can also be called as automated personal assistant or virtual assistant. This technology is mostly integrated into and used in mobile operating devices and mobile applications. IPAs can be designed to perform one specific task based on the user’s voice instruction as well as it can be designed to perform an ongoing task based on the online information and series of events. It can be called as a part of artificial intelligence where computers or computer based software are designed to operate as human. They are fed with lots of data, information and instructions, from which they learn patterns and rules which allow them to perform tasks like human.
IPAs like Apple’s Siri, Google Now, Amazon Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are the popular intelligent personal assistant devices that are used to command and perform any tasks. Most of the people have at least some kind of intelligent personal assistant on their mobile phone or at their home and office. People are being used to the routine life where they could have their work done just by commanding to a small device. Such as asking google to play music on your phone, scheduling a meeting just by talking to the smart watch, searching a best route to work or home just by using a tiny device, making a call without having to dial the number, etc. Based on the growing popularity of IPAs, we can sure expect its future use in highly sophisticated areas like automotive industries, agriculture, aeronautics and many more.
Part two: Brainstorming
Ways technology may change or can disrupt the industry
Both the automotive industry and intelligent personal assistant technology are the popular field of interest among intellect group of people. Meaning both are the part of science: automotive industry being part of physical science while IPAs being part of advance computer science. As people say science never dies, it is a progressive field, where new things are expected and invented always. For this two fields of science, we can expect and imagine great changes and achievements in near future.
· IPAs used in motor vehicles (automotive industry) are docile to drivers’ (human) commands. It is limited to getting info from the surroundings and presenting it to the drivers to navigate in safe driving, pollution control and traffic management. The next step in automotive evolution will be the whole internet of automotive vehicles where vehicles will be able to make decisions, they could communicate with other vehicles connected in the network. Based on this concept initiated by Google Car, vehicles will be intelligent, inter-connected and interactive.
· Not just for safe navigated driving, IPAs can be integrated into the automotive vehicles for its actual purpose. The duties of personal assistant is to help with meetings scheduling, answering phone calls and taking messages, taking notes, emailing, communicating, etc. What if you can do it all those while you are driving?
· As mentioned, automotive industry includes design and manufacturing, and selling of the auto motor vehicles. If we can use IPAs in those sectors, the automotive industry would advance with a very high rate. Suppose, you have IPA in automotive vehicle selling, tasks like vehicle launching, event managing, and vendor meetings, pricing, market research can be now done digitally by the IPA. Your job would just be finalizing the decision made by the IPA. Managers in the automotive industry would have a lot less job to do with the help of IPAs, human error will be minimized, industry will evolve and business will be more productive.
· If artificial intelligence became advanced and evolved as imagined, then intelligent personal assistant will replace any human PAs. We will be interacting to a machine or a software in normal basis. IPAs will be able to predict human behavior and human won’t even have to make a verbal commands. IPAs will be so advanced that they could read our minds, read our thoughts and able to do the tasks before we even say it. They could even talk like human. For example, vehicles will be on our doorstep when it’s time for us to go to office and like human PAs, they will be greeting us, offering coffee and beverages, talking to us, briefing our schedule, etc.
The advanced IPAs will be turning the automotive industry into a virtual reality where software will be assisting human and human will be following them. Human would be interacting and relying on to a machine instead of another human.
Part three: Regulations and Ethics
Lawrence Lessig’s Regulations: Market, Law, Architecture (physical and Natural) and Norm (Social/Ethical)
Technological development is inevitable. Unsatisfactory and curious human nature makes it impossible to stop ever-growing advancement in technology. Time is money and money is everything. People are becoming lazy and dependent (on technology). Each day people are looking for a technological solution to resolve their problem in as less time as possible with as less effort as possible. As a result, IPAs are developed. Now IPAs on our mobile devices can do most of the basic tasks in no time, without us having to put any physical effort. Such as, telling a time, weather and traffic, playing songs, turning on and off the lights, taking and reading text message. There are some factors that make it possible for the impacts of IPAs in automotive industry.
Market of ideas: People are ambitious and demanding, especially businessman and capitalists. The idea of full integration of IPAs in auto motors and related industry will be an interesting concept. If you are told that on the way to the office, you can schedule a meetings, make an appointments, prepare your speech, email your boss and reach the office before time, just using a small app installed in your car, then who would not want that. If this concept is to be made public, the automotive market would be flooding with ideas, demands and investments. The market of technology is fast and would be even faster in future. Any new idea of technology that would make people’s lives better, would be sold in no time in the market. This is one of the major factor that would make possible the integration of advanced IPAs in Auto motors.
Business Profit: When there is manual labor is involved, human errors are likely to happen. Personal Assistants are human too. They can get exhausted mentally and physically due to the workload. Person in mental or physical exhaustion, is not capable of doing the task 100% accurately and effectively. But, in any automotive industry, fast and smart work is required; even a small error can result in massive loss and consequences to the business and organization. Computers are known to be accurate, it does not get tired and completes the task faster. Use of IPAs, which are computer based software, would be the perfect alternative technology for minimizing human errors, getting an accurate and most efficient achievements in automotive industry. Production management will be faster, product marketing will be easier and the business will be in profit.
Security risk: Computers can perform like humans and may be even better in terms of efficiency. However, when it comes to security, it has its limitations. Suppose, for intelligent personal assistant to take notes, record messages and send emails, arrange a meeting, manage personal files for you, those information and instructions need to be stored somewhere, for this case in the internet. Computers and internet can be hacked no matter how strong the encryption or firewall is. If those IPAs were to be hacked, it would be an attack on our privacy and safety, which can result in great destruction. For example, I am a manager of a big Auto motor design company; I have an intelligent personal assistant which manages all my meetings with designer and engineers. If enemy hacked into my IPA, they can steal all my personal data (usual route, emails, designs, schedules) and use them to harm me or for their own profit. Not only that a huge chaos can be created by hacking into one of the IPA server, a terror will be created in automotive world. So security is a major challenge.
Ethical Dilemma: Computers perform based on the instructions we provide or the way it is programmed to perform. How intelligent the computer device is, it is not human. Human have sympathy, empathy, ethics, and norms; which computer devices lack. Intelligent personal assistant can help you with your tasks involving business meetings and schedules but they cannot help you with your ethical dilemmas. Human mind is complicated and it works differently for each individual. IPA developed by a professional or group of professionals may not always work for everyone. Based on the surrounding information, IPA can make a calculative decision but it won’t be able to consider social factors and personal ethics. Suppose, IPA installed in your car is programmed to take you to the office to attend an important business meeting. But on the way, you witness an accident and you want to help out of humanity. You are getting late but there is a man on the street who is in life and death situation and needs your help. In this case, IPAs are programmed to avoid any accidents and just focused on to take the user to the destination safely. They are not obligated or designed to deal with those situations. But as a human, you have a duty to help people in need. If you let the IPA to do your job, you have to ignore a human fighting for his life on the road, and go attend a meeting which may or may not give any result, and you might live your life with the guilt. But if you follow your morals and try to help the person, by taking him to the hospital which is not in your usual route or any schedules, then the IPA will meet a crash or disturbance in the system and may not work properly; say what if you could not drive the vehicle to the hospital, since it’s not programmed to. The system designed to make your life better is now making your life hard.
Part four: Disruption
Auto motor Marketing Field
Activities and tasks:
· Getting auto motor design
· Accumulating required infrastructure and resource for the manufacture
· Planning of the manufacture
· Staffing and task distribution
· Product marketing
· Meeting and negotiation with vendors, Price and distribution.
In auto motor marketing field, the impact of intelligent personal assistant technology can have a significant change. In marketing field, marketing manager, market researchers, trend researchers, customer service managers are involved. These individuals have multiple tasks to perform for managing a good and profiting market for the manufactured auto motors. Marketing is a vital part for any kind of industry or business. Any new technological impact effects the marketing field the most.
Marketing involves several functions and processes such as: product management, pricing, research, marketing communication and customer demands. Marketing manager, market research team, customer management team, decision support team are the major teams involved in marketing. Once an auto motor vehicle is manufactured, it has to be launched and made public. From then, the marketing campaign starts: when, where and how to launch the product, in what price, when to send it to the customers, through which suppliers and vendors, which area would likely to have the greater possible buyers, what the customers are looking for in the market (price, schemes), what is the market trend, how to use advertisement marketing, etc. These are all parts of marketing and are very important. There are many decision that have to be made, such as when choosing a vendor, you have to consider which vendors are popular in market, which have the good reputation and best success rate, which are reliable. Similarly, for launching new vehicle, which area is good, which strategy like launching before Christmas or new year may be good for some product, or may be adding specific scheme or an ad campaign can help boost the marketing. These decisions are taken by the marketing committee and the outcome will be a perfect marketing strategy, increase in number of customer and good profit for the company.
Vendor Selection for a new model of Car X
For vendor selection for marketing, a team has to do market research and background checks on available vendors in the market. They have to schedule a meeting with a top list of vendors, make a proposition, analyze and take a decision and finalize the vendors. For market research, a research team is needed, for background checks, a team is needed, for scheduling meeting with vendors, an assistant is needed and for making decisions and finalizing the vendors the marketing team has to be involved. All these sub-processes require time and assistance, which can elongate the marketing process, many resource and capital is required to manage those teams and perform task in different level. On top of that, if any one of the team missed their task, the whole process will be a failure.
However, if intelligent personal assistant technology is implemented on vendor selection process, a single market management professional can perform most of those tasks in short time and there is a less chance of error or failure rather more chance of efficiency and success. IPA will do the real time market research, deep background checks on vendors, schedule meetings with list of possible vendors and make proposal simultaneously. You can just analyze the report prepared by the IPA and make a decision. IPA will be replacing research teams and reducing the tasks of marketing manager. The vendor selection process will be completed with less resource and more efficiency.
Formulating Marketing strategy
Using intelligent personal assistant instead of human assistants, the market research activities can be done in real time which provides reliable data. It would take days for a human assistant to accumulate data, analyze it and derive a conclusion. There is a chance of human error making the conclusion unreliable. But IPA can do it in very little time using online resources and data and it will be reliable. IPA can also perform competitor analysis in the real time, which can give a better result for formulating effective marketing strategy for the product. IPA can work 24/7, monitor the market continuously and if any change in demand or market if to occur, IPA will report immediately, which is very important in marketing. Suppose, an IPA is designed to study and monitor the market trend and customer behavior, which is a very difficult and time consuming task for a human; you are about to launch a new car model in January; until January IPA will run many tests and if there is any shift in customers behavior or demands during that time you can make a change or an update to your product model and launch a product as the customer wanted. This will improve the business. It would have been nearly impossible for a human assistant to do that.
Over all, the impact of intelligent personal assistant technology on the automotive industry is both positive and negative. It can disrupt the conventional method of business and create an efficient way for successful business. While the use of technology can also have ethical challenges which may not be practicable in some cases. However, if both the technology and the industry could be collaborated in a way where both the market as well as ethics can be wisely considered, there can be a great future for the betterment of people’s lives. Many benefits can be achieved from the intelligent personal assistant technology in the automotive industry.