Automotive innovations take time

Automotive innovations take time

CES 2023

LAS VEGAS – Technology that could fundamentally transform transportation was easy to find at CES last week.

There have been sensors that have enabled autonomous vehicles to drive at speeds approaching 300 km/h, breakthrough advances in batteries that could improve the transition to electric vehicles, and immersive cabin technology that is transforming the passenger experience in cars.

How such technology moves from the exhibition floor to the real world remains an irritating proposition. Innovation, especially in the automotive sector, can be tedious.

It’s an age-old problem that’s being scrutinized with renewed vigour CES. With pressing concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, energy security and geopolitical stability, as well as economic uncertainty, automakers are looking for technologies that enable both breakthroughs and cost reductions.

However, these technologies must go through tedious and thorough development, verification, and validation processes. Sometimes patience is required; Sometimes politics and funding can speed things up.

“You can argue that innovation is a function of time, and in the end you come up with a better solution,” said Philipp Kampshoff, who directs the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility in America. “It’s also a function of the resources you put into it.”

Automakers and others have provided these resources, according to McKinsey figures, investing more than $530 billion in autonomous, connected, electrified and shared mobility technologies since 2010.

But only 6 percent of that investment came from automakers, McKinsey said. The rest came from venture capital, private equity and technology companies. For those used to working outside of the automotive business, the speed at which the industry is evolving remains frustrating.

“Other sectors are saying, ‘Let’s go, this is awesome, we want to own this space,'” said Russell Pullan, CEO of eLeapPower, a Canadian startup that introduced an integrated inverter that enables electric vehicles to run directly from the grid without an on-board grid Battery charger to be charged and increases the range. “Automotive says, ‘That’s great, but have you been doing this for 15 years?’ “

– Peter Bigelow


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