With nearly every system in the truck getting encompassed by electronics and sensors, the current electrical and electronic architecture needs to be upgraded to handle the increased need for energy and be prepared to handle the new devices added during the product’s lifetime.
The cost involved for OEMs in independently developing software and hardware would be high and require longer product development time. This is likely to impact product pricing, as cost of ownership would be higher to compensate for the amount spent on research and development.
In addition, popular third-party apps running on personal devices will need to synchronize with onboard devices.
To handle this, OEMs will need to make their software compatible and open source to create interest among individual app developers, which consequently, will generate excitement for the product and appeal among drivers.
A common protocol or standard is a logical solution towards reducing product development lead-time and cost. Also, a single standard will provide a clearer roadmap for Tier-1 suppliers as onboard devices and app development are the core competency of suppliers.
Similarly, a common multiplexed electrical and electronic architecture running on an open software platform is foreseen, developed in cooperation between major European OEMs, critical technology developers and giants from the Silicon Valley, such as Google Maps for navigation. This unique partnership is anticipated to provide a platform for future innovations to be added easily, as plug-and-play features.
All of this implies that proliferation of electronics in cabins will increase exponentially over the next five to 10 years, requiring electronics-focused service and maintenance of cabin systems.
That begs the question: Are the maintenance managers ready for this?
Wallace Lau is a research analyst within Frost & Sullivan’s Automotive & Transportation business commercial vehicle research department. Frost & Sullivan provides in-depth research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation and implementation of powerful growth strategies for a broad range of industries. www.frost.com.