August 2019

At the end of July, the respected research and analytics company J.D. Power revealed the results of its Mobility Confidence Index survey. Those results make for interesting reading as the global auto industry continues to develop the technologies that will make electric and self-driving vehicles the core of the world’s mobility future.

5,749 consumers were polled about self-driving vehicles and 5,270 about battery-electric vehicles and there was a marked lack of confidence surrounding the future of both. On the Mobility Confidence Index’ 100-point scale, self-driving vehicles scored only 36 and battery-electric vehicles scored 55.

Reasons for the low score for self-driving vehicles include the concerns about tech errors, about vehicles being hacked, and the legal liability as a result of a collision.
For electric vehicles, while the result was better, there were concerns about the availability of charging stations and, amongst other things, the usual suspects of vehicle range and price.

You can read more about the Mobility Confidence Index HERE, but at least one takeaway from it would seem to be that much more work needs to be done to bring consumers along on the journey the industry is already travelling. While it seems to run in the face of business norms that an industry be racing to develop products which consumers, at least to some degree, appear to not fully understand, it surely is inevitable that EVs and self-driving cars, given the gigantic investments poured into their development, are where the future lies.
We know that in some countries consumers have embraced EVs (in Norway, for example, EVs outsold petrol and diesel models in March this year with 58 per cent of sales), and so we know that given the right information and incentives, consumers will embrace this very big change.

And that must be achieved here in Australia. We can’t be left behind. Too much is at stake. Being noisy about where we are headed as an industry, about the ever-improving technology, about the benefits of future mobility, and about the great opportunities – social and economic – of getting stuck in and working to help develop that future, is what we should be doing.

OUT AND ABOUT

As always, it has been a busy month for the team at MTAiQ. We attended the RACQ Motorfest event (which you can read more about on page 30) and were also represented at a Thought Leadership Evening at the University of Queensland that discussed the skills required in a future where artificial intelligence and automation will revolutionise industries.
Also on the calendar was a networking night at Start-up Redlands, and the Queensland University of Technology Creative Enterprise Australia Collider Accelerator Demo Day – an event at which nine creative technology start-ups demonstrated their work following a three-month intensive program in the company of industry specialists and entrepreneurs.

INNOV8 & PROTECT INDUSTRIES

At the latest Innov8 Logan Meetup, MTAiQ Community Manager Nathan Nguyen, along with Lex van Cooten from VR and AR company Immerse Enterprises, delivered a presentation on the work of MTAiQ, and the future of mobility and our digital future (do an internet search on ‘Magicverse’ and be prepared for your jaw to drop as you start to understand terminology such as ‘spatial application layers’).

The meetup took place at the HQ of Protect Industries, an automotive group that includes vehicle modification business Vogue Industries (you may have seen some of their remarkable modified vehicles at the MTAQ Cars and Coffee gatherings) Pomponazzi Surface Coatings, and Trakpro – a technology business that offers a vehicle data and analytics tracking system that is used by businesses across the south pacific region.

The company is also developing an ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) system. That ADAS system is a very nifty piece of technology and was demonstrated by Alf Allman, Protect Industries’ general manager. A dual camera set up, it has one camera facing forward for collision avoidance with the other directed at the driver. The system utilises facial recognition tech to detect any pertinent changes in the driver’s face that would suggest they are distracted or fatigued. It delivers a warning to the driver if they close their eyes for longer than normal, if they yawn, or if their attention is diverted. It’s very clever stuff and proof of the technological and innovative work that is going on in Queensland.

GOT AN IDEA? LET US KNOW!

At MTAiQ, we work hard to assist those already in the industry to adapt to the disruptions that are already here and those that will soon be on the way. Equally, we strive hard to help start-ups, entrepreneurs and those who have a potentially grand concept get that idea off the ground and their business moving. The networks and contacts through government, industry, and academia that we have developed are what makes engaging with MTAiQ a natural fit for those working in the automotive field, and our work to combine innovations and practical solutions is what can make being part of the innovation hub such a rewarding experience.

So, if you have an idea, method, device or solution to a problem that you believe could make a real difference to the industry as it evolves, then let us know. Because though there may be, as the J.D. Power survey suggests, still some way to go for change to be fully accepted and understood by the public, that change is on its way and now is the time to take the opportunities such change offers.

As William Pollard, English physicist said: ” Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”

We look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time.