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Future IT services might drive developments able to save today’s car-makers. For new technology to become reality, a much greater openness within the vehicle sector and a radical shift in the way vehicles are viewed is strongly needed.
” The vehicle industry currently views IT services as something that primarily concern the physical vehicle. However, a broader perspective provides the realization that a vehicle is so much more, it is a workplace, a cog in a complex transport flow, a financial asset – but also a cause of accidents and environmental impact,” says Jonas Kuschel, a researcher in applied information technology at the University of Gothenburg.
In his thesis, Vehicle Services, Jonas Kuschel studies the prerequisites for the development of future IT services for vehicles, so-called vehicle services. For example, IT solutions within the vehicle sector might make it possible for a vehicle to automatically book a time for service and repair via a wireless connection, but it might also entail supplying services to town planners to enable understanding of traffic patterns or current emissions levels. The list of potential services can easily be extended.
However, if the perspective is limited to focus on the physical vehicle, there is a risk that the vehicle industry misses out on a lot of new innovations. According to Kuschel, the capacity to develop new inventions and applications requires the vehicle industry to open up its innovation work and allow other actors to enter into the field of developing services.
“It requires the vehicle industry to move from perceiving vehicle services as a part of the product and instead to focus on the services as a part of vehicle usage within a network of actors. It is more important to focus on how a vehicle is used and which role it plays in society and people’s lives than on product development,” says Jonas Kuschel.