Welcome to issue number 15 of the Just Auto magazine.

Technology to keep us connected on the move is also transforming the auto industry

Interactive personal connectivity is omnipresent for most of us. Indeed, it is becoming – if it hasn’t already become – the fulcrum of how our societies function in the 21st century. There are enabling devices that we carry around with us of course, such as the indispensable cell phone. But there’s more to it than that. Many more devices are becoming digitally connected to improve their efficiency or enhance performance. Much of it, we aren’t even aware of.  

The motor vehicle and the people on it, as driver or passengers, are an important part of the tide of growing connectivity which takes many forms. The human desire to maintain personal connectivity while on the move is one thing. It began with listening to the radio. Then came making phone calls and receiving them. 

The time in transit is a valuable thing and increasingly, vehicle makers are realising that the technology and its human interface is an important element in what the vehicular experience delivers. There is passive connectivity, too, which can help with safety and sustainability, reduce journey times.  

There are also opportunities ahead as the traditional auto industry business model in increasingly disrupted and new revenue streams become apparent. 

In this issue, we consider the forces at work in connectivity that are impacting the automotive sector. We also touch on the importance of emerging 5G and the 6G that follows. Hyundai is leading the way in collaborating with a Korean telecoms firm, KT. And it’s that expansion of the auto industry’s traditional operational ‘eco-system’ that advanced digital and connectivity technologies are furthering. Even as some OEMs look to gather more of the most valuable parts of the ‘automotive’ value chain in-house, the forces of its vertical disintegration are working strongly in the other direction – for example in software specialists who provide essential building blocks that transcend industrial sectors. 

The dynamics of the auto industry – and indeed the transport space - are set to become increasingly complex and connectivity, in its many applications, will be at the heart of it.

Dave Leggett, Editor