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The Future Challenges of the Automotive Industry, According to Four ADAS iiT CEOs


The automotive industry is facing its biggest challenge yet: adapting to rapidly-changing technology and customer expectations. And it’s no surprise. Digitization and the race toward autonomous vehicles has disrupted carmaking to its core, and automakers need to innovate faster than ever to succeed and even survive.


The CEOs of each ADAS iiT company (read more about the ADAS iiT collaboration, a single-platform solution for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) from NI Alliance Partners, here) sat down with us to share their perspective on the automotive industry’s future and the challenges automotive engineers face right now.


Frank_Heidemann_SET_Headshot.pngFrank Heidemann, CEO of S.E.T. GmbH, speaking to us at Automotive Test Expo (ATE) Europe in June 2017.


Frank Heidemann, CEO of SET GmbH


“What are the challenges for automakers in the future? That’s a big, big question.


Digitalization is rising and changing the technology world completely. We have new players like Uber, Google, and Tesla that no one thought would be in the market playing a big role in automotive. The future will show that we’ll lose a third of the top 10 automotive companies. The industry will be massively affected. They’ll just disappear.


Automakers need to keep on that fast path of digitalization. Believe in electric vehicles. Believe in autonomous driving. Believe in people not having cars in the future for their status anymore. Believe that cars will become more like living rooms than vehicles.


Maybe the true challenge for car companies today is believing that customers are changing so dramatically fast in a digital world, demanding solutions from OEMs. These companies simply have to change must faster than they do today.”


Dr._Gerd_Schmitz_SEA_Headshot.pngDr. Gerd Schmitz, CEO of S.E.A. GmbH, speaking to us at Automotive Test Expo (ATE) Europe in June 2017.


Dr. Gerd Schmitz, CEO of S.E.A. Datentechnik GmbH


“What’s the biggest challenge for automakers in the future? Providing sensible innovation for the customer. Combustion engines have been on the market for 100 years. There’s only so much innovation you can do.


Really, innovation today is about providing additional comfort and safety to the customer, which is a part of what’s moving the industry toward autonomous driving. A reliable carmaker needs to be safe. To have safe products, we need the best testing equipment available.


Autonomous driving is a complex area that requires deep expertise. So, ensuring safety is an enormous challenge for automakers right now. ADAS iiT has what automakers need to take on that huge challenge and move at a competitive speed with the industry.”


Joe_Hilsmann_measX_Headshot.pngDr. Joachim Hilsmann, CEO of measX GmbH, speaking to us at Automotive Test Expo (ATE) Europe in June 2017.


Dr. Joachim Hilsmann, CEO of measX GmbH


“What’s the biggest challenge for automakers in the future? Reducing the time spent test-driving on streets by a great amount to save cost and stay competitive, by test-driving virtually. To accomplish that, ensuring structured data management is key.


Structured data handling also needs to scale globally and be standardized. The way data management and vehicle communications are standardized is different regionally, so we’ll need to work to standardize these things to ensure safety on the roads in an autonomous-driving world.”


Michael_Konrad_Headshot.pngMichael Konrad, CEO of Konrad Technologies GmbH, speaking to us at Automotive Test Expo (ATE) Europe in June 2017.

Michael Konrad, CEO of Konrad Technologies


“The biggest challenge for automakers in the future is surely innovating quickly toward electric, autonomous cars.


I suspect we’re running out of gas, and our highways are getting more congested. I’d expect fully electric, autonomous cars as the next step in the industry. I see autonomous cars taking my kids to school. I have six kids, so I spend a lot of time taking them from A to B every day. I think it’d be great to have fully autonomous cars.


Also, in Germany, we have long distances and will drive more often than fly. So, we should definitely also consider charging on the fly.


ADAS iiT is already a meeting point for new ideas in the industry.”


About ADAS iiT


ADAS iiT stands for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) Innovation in Test (iiT). This collaboration includes four German companies: Konrad Technologies GmbH for data validation, S.E.A. Datentechnik GmbH for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication, SET GmbH for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing, and measX GmbH for data management. ADAS iiT combines solutions from each company to create an end-to-end solution for ADAS and sensor fusion testing built on NI software and hardware. It’s one of the only integrated, one-stop solutions for ADAS test in the world today and is focused on helping automakers reduce the time and cost of vehicle testing in the race toward smarter, autonomous vehicles.


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