Artificial Intelligence

Enabling innovation: Microsoft at Automotive News World Congress 2023


Microsoft is a proud platinum sponsor of the Automotive News World Congress 2023 event taking place in Detroit, Michigan on September 12, 2023. With a focus on the global automotive industry at large, this event attracts original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), suppliers, and other value chain companies in the broader automotive and mobility sectors.  

This year’s congress event will highlight topics such as autonomy and sustainability with a focus on the reduction of carbon emissions, retail, and the role of governments in developing industrial decision-making. Microsoft will provide thought leadership around our role in supporting transformation in the automotive industry.

Our focus encapsulates the entire segment known as “mobility” with a distinct concentration in automotive, mobility, transportation, and logistics, or effectively, the movement of people and goods. Within automotive, we provide the “platform for platform creators” and empower companies to innovate around industry opportunities.  

Traffic on a highway

Accelerating the future of mobility

Transform to smart mobility.

Addressing the industry challenges

While these opportunities are expanding, the industry is hyper-focused on the larger challenges that must be addressed to pave the path forward. These include: 

  • Technological disruption: The rapid pace of technological advancements and the challenges for companies to stay ahead of the curve. Existing automotive OEMs and mobility companies need to invest in research and development to keep up with evolving customer expectations and industry standards. 
  • Regulatory environment: The mobility industry is subject to various regulations and standards related to safety, emissions, and data privacy. Especially as we evolve autonomous systems and connected data. Companies need to navigate these regulations while ensuring compliance and adapting to changing requirements as new standards are introduced and mature. 
  • Infrastructure limitations: The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) requires a robust charging infrastructure, while autonomous vehicles rely on extensive sensor networks and high-speed internet connectivity. Expanding and upgrading infrastructure to support these emerging technologies can be a significant challenge and highlight the adjacent industries that are a significant factor in supporting the adoption of future mobility.  
  • Shift in consumer preferences: Changing consumer preferences, such as the rise of ride-sharing services and the sharing economy, can disrupt traditional business models in the mobility industry. Companies need to adapt to these shifts and develop innovative solutions to cater to evolving customer needs. 

Enabling innovation

While applicable to all industries, digital transformation, and the integration of digital technology into all areas of business are fundamentally changing how businesses operate and deliver value to customers. The automotive and mobility industry is no different and in fact, is heavily impacted by the move from physical to digital. This intersection of boundaries is also seen as the shift towards a “software culture”, that promises to usher in an unprecedented convergence of people, business, and things that disrupt existing business models and create new revenue opportunities in the movement of people and goods.  

As the industry transforms digitally, there are major trends that are having a significant impact in the areas of customer experience—connected, autonomous, shared mobility, and electrification (CASE), software defined vehicle (SDV), edge-to-cloud environment parity via high-performance computing, and AI. This shift acknowledges the drive by traditional OEMs, new entrant OEMs, mobility service providers, and suppliers to develop new digital and software-driven solutions which cloud platforms can enable. As we engage with automotive and mobility companies, we see similar areas of focus for innovation which include: 

Products and services

Product design and development is the single biggest area in the IT budget of most OEMs in the automotive industry. Companies are tasked with innovating top-line growth while holding the line on costs and the challenge of leveraging a labor pool in transition as skilling adapts to newer technology and techniques required to support innovation. This is also a growth area for many traditional OEMs now expanding into mobility service offerings and capabilities like SDVs to ensure product adaptability and create new business models that help companies drive growth beyond traditional practices. Read how General Motors reimagined its development tool chain process to drive innovation and connect people to things that matter here.  

Factory 

At its core, automotive is a significant manufacturing operation and more than ever has an imperative to improve productivity and adaptability to meet evolving customer demands, mitigate risk, and improve efficiency and sustainability to fuel innovative growth. With data as the new currency, many manufacturers are deploying AI tools, maximizing the value of their data to support the decision-making process. Manufacturers are increasing the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and operational technology (OT) cybersecurity solutions at the edge, cutting OT cybersecurity breaches in half. Companies with manufacturing operations will also prioritize digital literacy as a key skill set during the talent retention process to support digital transformation and enterprise-wide technology adoption. Read how ZF developed its digital manufacturing platform to reduce production downtimes and optimize inventory. 

Supply chain

The automotive ecosystem and the many players that support it are all linked by an intricate supply chain. The industry is rebalancing its supply chains seeking more resilience to endure future disruptions which now may arise from many different vectors—economic, geo-political, natural, and technological for example. Strategies such as multi-shoring sourcing will enable a more proactive stance against risk in supply reliability. In addition, actively managing carbon footprint as a key metric to execute sustainability initiatives is a goal beyond simply reporting. Read how Daimler Truck North America optimized supply chain processes to reduce downtime. 

Customer experience

OEMs are overhauling marketing, sales, and service processes, with a deliberate shift to centrally managing the complete customer journey and providing additional channels beyond the dealer network. Currently, customer experience projects face highly fragmented data and identity. In marketing and sales, central management of marketing and sales processes requires rapid experience innovation including metaverse. In service, connected vehicle data is utilized to improve traditional vehicle maintenance processes, reduce warranty expenses, and innovate with new business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) offerings like insurance, subscription, fleet, and other services. This is a strong growth area where technology-savvy companies are acting as disruptors to existing business models and are driving innovation leading to new services and business models. For OEMs, it is a focal point for driving deeper customer engagement and building brand loyalty. Read how Porsche Cars North America created an improved service experience for technicians and customers with mixed reality. 

Data and AI

It is said that data is the new currency—at least when it comes to intelligence that is driving innovation, informing on strategy, and powering decision-making. Generative AI and capabilities like ChatGPT have opened a world of opportunity across all the business areas mentioned above. It seems everyone is involved in pilots or projects in one way or another as companies seek real value in deploying them to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Read how Amadeus created personalized, on-demand mobility experiences with AI.

Security

Along with data comes the absolute requirement for data sovereignty and security. The foundation of any data-driven transformation strategy must include security measures to combat cybersecurity threats that not only impact data but also can threaten vehicles, assets, and infrastructure that are becoming increasingly connected. Read how automotive quality control leader Hollen grew its business through enhanced security.  

Microsoft at Automotive News World Congress 2023

We are witnessing a great inflection point in the industry—one that will dramatically evolve the landscape of automotive and future mobility that will cut across industries and ecosystems, and most importantly, impact people. As a platinum sponsor, we look forward to engaging with attendees on the topics discussed here at the Automotive News World Congress 2023 event on September 12, 2023, in Detroit, Michigan. Be sure to visit the Microsoft booth in the Innovation Alley. Visit Microsoft in automotive and mobility for more information.