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Automotive industry 4.0: Advantage through collaboration

Mar 19, 2015

automotive IT

"Automotive industry of the future – the new role of IT": this was the slogan of the automotiveIT Congress, which gave participants a detailed look at the transformation of the automotive sector at this year's CeBIT. Dr. Ferri Abolhassan, Director IT at T-Systems, talked about the changes in the automotive sector that are arising as a result of Industry 4.0 – and how the industry can benefit from digitization.
The connection of industry is making substantial progress – and the automotive sector is not being spared. "Digital is real – in all industries," said Dr. Ferri Abolhassan at the 7th automotiveIT Congress, with CIOs of successful German car manufacturers such as VW, Mercedes-Benz and BMW in attendance. The Director of the IT Division at T-Systems made clear that the technological trend of Industry 4.0 and the associated digitization of businesses will cause sweeping changes. In particular, Germany's strong mechanical engineering sector, as well as the automotive and chemical industries, can benefit from connected production.

Cross-industry business models and partnerships

What are the ingredients of the transformation to Industry 4.0? Sensor systems, networking and the processing of large amounts of data. According to Abolhassan, the critical success factors for digitization are cloud computing, M2M technologies and security, as well as dynamic and mobile processes based on high-performance networks. "We rank among the successful pioneers in these areas," continued the member of the Board of Management at T-Systems.
In addition, in the age of Industry 4.0, companies are developing completely new, cross-industry business models and partnerships that incorporate the expertise of previously separate industry sectors. "Companies have to digitize their own core processes, as well as across their companies' boundaries, if they want to remain competitive. They can attempt to make this transformation alone or together with a partner like T-Systems," explained Abolhassan. The close interaction between telecommunications, information technology and mechanical and electrical engineering is driving the digital economy.

End-to-end services along the entire value chain

Current figures from automotive market studies show which new challenges the automobile industry will face in the coming years as a result of digitization. The number of cars connected with the Internet, for example, is predicted to increase more than sixfold, from the current 23 million to 152 million by 2020. In addition, presumably 1.8 billion M2M Internet connections will exist in the automotive area by 2022.
Deutsche Telekom has collaborated with Daimler for many years now. The company developed the communications infrastructure for the online services and web applications in the German automotive giant’s cars and trucks. Special M2M SIM chips in Mercedes-Benz models provide mobile transmission capacity. "Our customers get the cloud infrastructure, services and connectivity simply, from a one-stop shop, in high quality and high availability," said Abolhassan.

Zero Outage: reliability and safety in the connected car

Telekom solutions also help companies in the transportation and logistics sectors to cut their operating costs. By analyzing vehicle use, for example, car mechanics can determine the optimal time for the next inspection and arrange a date with the freight forwarder far in the future. The module also collects data such as fuel consumption, speed, accelerator position, RPMs, gear switching and braking, to improve fuel efficiency.
Meanwhile, the demand for in-vehicle online services is increasing rapidly. In the connected car, broadband connections and telematics services will become standard in future. As the leading ICT provider in Germany, Deutsche Telekom also ensures nearly error-free IT in connected cars. This is made possible by the TÜV Rhineland-certified Zero Outage program from T-Systems, which guarantees better reliability and security in ICT operations.
"Deutsche Telekom and T-Systems have automotive DNA. We bring a lot of experience to the table from our long-standing partnerships with our numerous customers in the automotive industry." Ferri Abolhassan is convinced: "Our innovative solutions underscore our capabilities – including those as a partner for the digital transformation of the automotive sector."