Are automotive electronics players underestimating ecosystem challenge?

In-vehicle networking: autonomous driving adds another layer of electronics to cars that already contain numerous ECUs. Image credit – Continental / NAV Alliance

GSA Automotive Software & Electronics

I attended the recent GSA Automotive event in Munich. McKinsey and GSA released their latest, and highly informative, report at this event, and obviously there was much discussion and debate around the content.

One of the trends which we have noticed ourselves is the disruption of the traditional automotive industry value chain, and that is nicely reflected in this report. We see rising levels of collaboration and coopetition between the players, both new and established.

In a previous role I was responsible for large-scale ecosystem development, so the differences between a value chain and an ecosystem and the very significant challenges to be addressed as you move from one environment to the other, are burned deep into my soul. At the GSA event it felt to me that many of the “traditional” automotive players have not started to make that mental transition yet … the terms were frequently conflated and interchanged, particularly as some of the speakers discussed important issues such as quality, safety and associated liability.

I predict a rude awakening is in store for these players as the shape of the industry changes around them, unless they stop underestimating the extent of change required in response to the emerging industry landscape.

I particularly enjoyed Danny Bren’s (Otorio) talk. He reinforced that we must put safety-related security first, and data / privacy-related security in a firm second place. This message resonates strongly for us at UltraSoC, and we are delighted that we are gaining traction with our hardware solutions to detect and eliminate threats and hazards in real time, allowing us to play strongly into the functional safety market.

One other more general observation struck me at the conference, and that was the lack of female speakers at the event.  I spoke with Sandro Grigolli of the GSA about this, and he assured me that moving the dial on this metric is very important to GSA. So we can look forward to seeing improvements for future events.

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