Connectivity: The Future is Already on the Roads

The "Internet of things" leads us into a new era of mobility. The Bain management consultancy has forecast that around 210 million networked vehicles will be in use in 2016.

The Bain management consultancy has forecast that around 210 million networked vehicles will be in use in 2016, with the vehicle acting as part of a comprehensive mobility network. The trend towards connectivity is supposed to bring about greater safety, improved comfort, and more efficient mobility. ZF Services has developed a digital agenda to exploit this potential.

Connectivity brings comfort and safety

Experts expect revenues from technology and services for the Internet of things to reach USD 8 million by 2020. Navigating via satellite pictures from Google Maps or receiving e-mails via read-aloud function are standard today – and not solely in luxury class sedans. These are only gimmicks, though, compared with the efficiency increase in freight transport or the dynamic management of fleets across the entire continent. In the next step, the communication between cars and their environment will produce reliable, highly dynamic models of the environment. To Helmut Ernst, Member of the Board of Directors of ZF Services, future mobility already exists: "The vehicle is communicating and ZF Services will use innovative solutions to ensure that it is understood in the aftermarket – so that our customers will continue to be successful in the future," says Helmut Ernst.

Digital interfaces assist in maintainance and repair

The intelligent networking of diagnosis systems, components, or tools allows new and improved maintenance and repair procedures to be introduced. However, it also requires a completely new approach to traditional processes. If a networked vehicle breaks down, the workshop should be able to perform a remote diagnosis.

In today's vehicles already, the cockpit notifies the driver that scheduled maintenance is due – the workshop has to use this interface for capacity planning. Digital interfaces of this kind will grow in number, and they will also affect the driver at the wheel and the service providers. New processes will also be established in workshops, right down to smart glasses projecting the installation instructions into the maintenance technician's field of view.

ZF Services works on the technology of the future

The electronic service book will presumably soon become the norm. It will serve the customer's workshop to quickly gain an overview of the maintenance and repair work on schedule or already carried out. But every workshop that does not yet know the customer will face the challenge of obtaining the necessary access to the manufacturer's database. This will be a prerequisite for checking old service records and entering new ones. Thus, the mission of ZF Services is clear: developing trendsetting digital solutions in a practice-oriented manner and with a clear focus on the customer.

Images: © Fotolia/Syda Productions, © Fotolia/Sergey Nivens, © Fotolia/ WavebreakmediaMicro

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