A global report by put out by McKinsey and Co., which operates a large office in Detroit, outlines how radical changes in autonomy, connectivity, electric, and sharing are coming faster and across more dimensions than mobility’s first horses-to-cars inflection point in the early 1900s.
“Radical improvements in cost-effectiveness, convenience, experience, safety, and environmental impact will, taken together, disrupt myriad business models on an almost inconceivable scale,” says Asutosh Padhi, senior partner and global co-leader of McKinsey’s Advanced Industries practice.
The report is titled “Mobility’s Second Great Inflection Point.”
“The characteristics of mobility at the second great inflection point will be significantly, not just marginally better,” according to the authors. “Electric and autonomous vehicles, more interconnected and intelligent road networks, new customer interfaces and services, and a dramatically different competitive landscape in which tech giants, startups, and OEMs mix and mingle, are just a few of the shifts in store.”
Recent studies from McKinsey and Co. have found that among auto manufacturers, OEMs, tech giants, and startups combined, more than $325 billion has been invested in autonomy, connectivity, electric, and sharing research and development since 2017.
“Just as Ford’s revolutionary Model T birthed entirely new industries ranging from repair shops to highway authorities to commuter railways, this new age of mobility will similarly bring transformations and innovations that will reconfigure the global economy,” says Russell Hensley, co-leader of the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility.
The effects of the investment are near-term. According to the report, level-3 autonomy, or when drivers are able to completely shift safety critical functions to the vehicle, are expected to be introduced in several high-end vehicles in the next one-two years. In the commercial space, level-4 autonomy, or fully autonomous, vehicles are expected to cover 60-70 percent of all miles driven in the U.S. before 2030.
Technology advancements soon will shift the vehicle occupants’ experience from reactive to predictive with personalized infotainment available through voice and hand gestures. Connectivity systems are expected to become virtual chauffeurs, with artificial intelligence anticipating and fulfilling riders’ needs.
Finally, the megatrends of autonomy, connectivity, electric, and sharing are expected to lead to cloud-based vehicle control centers that shorten travel times, reduce accidents, and increase shared passenger trips; strengthen government mandates for electric vehicle production and sales, and spur cities and urban populations around the world to become vanguards for social change.
“In many ways, the story of the automobile and the story of the 20th century were one and the same,” according to the authors. “The new narrative taking shape tracks the same dimensions – none of which will be resolved perfectly, but all of which will change rapidly for the better. The implications for transportation, for the broadening array of companies that will help provide it, and for business and society as a whole will help define the 21st century.”
Authors include Padhi of Chicago, Hensley of Detroit, Rajat Dhawan of India, and Andreas Tschiesner of Germany.
McKinsey and Co. is a global management consulting firm. It has consultants in 131 cities in 66 countries across industries and functions.