The Spanish automotive components industry is constantly seeking to adapt to the demands imposed by automotive technology and digitization. Notably, by the end of this year, up to 16 million vehicles on European roads, according to data from Berg Insight, will have Internet connectivity, essentially turning them into "rolling smartphones."
As a result, automotive component suppliers are modernizing their production processes and making significant investments in R&D and innovation. This includes collaborations with major telecommunications companies and tech corporations.
The digitization of the automotive industry goes beyond the development of driverless autonomous vehicles, focusing on a landscape where connectivity is the cornerstone and the central focus. Connected mobility, for example, will enable vehicles to optimize both their fuel consumption and every journey, resulting in fuel and time savings, aspects highly valued by vehicle owners.
Essentially, a connected vehicle is a car equipped with internet access. Typically, these cars also have access to a wireless or satellite local area network, allowing the vehicle to share internet access with other devices, both inside and outside the vehicle. This enables various features, such as the vehicle notifying us if we exceed the speed limit or remotely activating the climate control system before entering the vehicle.
So, where is automotive digitization heading? One of the clear directions for automotive digitization is to anticipate potential mechanical failures, aiming to reduce the risk of accidents and enhance driving safety. This is achieved through the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Thus, the processes of automotive digitization are moving towards millions of vehicles adopting a predictive maintenance approach through periodic component analysis, with the goal of preventing breakdowns that could lead to accidents or immobilized vehicles.
Additionally, vehicle digitization will allow for personalized safety plans based on the driver's behavior analysis. For example, it can detect if the driver is not wearing a seatbelt or if they are accelerating and braking abruptly.
Just as the application of technology leads to increasing automotive digitization, the surrounding environment is also moving towards the development of smart cities.
Within the framework of smart cities and the Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) concept, information exchange between the vehicle and its environment, including traffic lights and road signs, is made possible. Furthermore, with the mandatory inclusion of a digital tachograph from 2026, automotive digitization will facilitate the remote and real-time collection of data on kilometers, driving times, rest times, and more.
Given the evolving landscape, the work carried out by technology and telecommunications entities in the field of automotive digitization is becoming increasingly important. In this regard, Autoparts from Spain, a platform affiliated with Sernauto that brings together around 30 Spanish automotive component suppliers, believes that technology-focused entities involved in automotive digitization will play an increasingly crucial role as part of the automotive component supplier industry and for the automotive sector as a whole.
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