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Knowledge Jun 26, 2024 Embracing the Future: The End of the Model Year

KDDI America

Next G Alliance

The automotive industry stands on the brink of a profound transformation, as we move from the traditional, rigid concept of "model years" to the dynamic, fluid era of software-defined vehicles (SDVs). This shift is not merely a change; it's a complete redefinition of what a car model is and how it can evolve. With the integration of cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the embrace of ubiquitous connectivity, we are ushering in a new age of manufacturing and vehicle ownership. 

The Dawn of Software-Defined Vehicles

The idea of the SDV is revolutionary. Imagine cars that evolve over time through software updates delivered over the air (OTA), much like a smartphone receives the latest operating system enhancements. This innovation signifies an end to the traditional annual model updates that have long been a staple of the industry. Instead, vehicles will continually improve, adding new features, enhancing performance, and adapting to the latest safety standards without the need for a physical overhaul.

AI and Predictive Analytics: Paving the Road Ahead

The role of AI in this transformation cannot be overstated. AI's predictive analytics capabilities enable car manufacturers to anticipate and cater to market needs with unprecedented precision. This technology goes beyond mere convenience, offering the potential for autonomous model definitions that can adapt in real-time to the shifting landscapes of consumer demands and regulatory requirements. 

Connectivity at the Core of Manufacturing

The potential for streamlining the physical model line-up is immense. With vehicles that can receive updates and new capabilities remotely, and the integration of connectivity in the early stages of the manufacturing process, the need for multiple physical variants decreases. This shift can lead to a more sustainable manufacturing approach, with less waste and a more thoughtful use of resources. 

eSIM Technology: The Backbone of Dynamic Connectivity

To facilitate this level of connectivity, the automotive industry must embrace eSIM technology. eSIMs allow for dynamic changes in the connectivity profile based on the intended market, without the need for physical SIM swaps. This technology enables manufacturers to produce vehicles that are truly global, capable of adapting to any market's connectivity infrastructure without additional hardware changes.


The Road Ahead

The end of the "model year" as we know it is an evolution towards a better, more adaptable automotive industry. By embracing AI, SDV, and connectivity technologies like eSIM, we can streamline manufacturing, reduce waste, and deliver vehicles that are in tune with the desires and needs of consumers.

The future is bright, and it is connected. It is time for the automotive industry to not only accept this change but to lead it. We have the opportunity to redefine what a car is, how it is made, and how it serves us. Let us drive forward, embracing connectivity as the cornerstone of this new era, forging a path toward a more responsive, sustainable, and innovative future.

The "model year" may be ending, but in its place rises a new paradigm, one where every car has the potential to be as unique and dynamic as the driver behind the wheel.

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The opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of KDDI America, Inc or any other companies or organizations.

KDDI America, Inc.

 KDDI America is the US subsidiary of KDDI Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company and is growing communications carrier with a proven track record in Japan and a longstanding reputation for quality and reliability. KDDI America provides a wide range of High Quality Services such as Communications, Data Centers and Solution Services throughout the world.

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Writer / Interviewer

Bjorn Qvarsell

KDDI America

Björn Qvarsell
Head of Product Portfolio

Joined KDDI America and the Spherience team in October 2023 after having built successful products and teams in Wireless and IoT in Europe, North and South America. His scholastic experience includes an  MSc in Electrical Engineering from KTH in Stockholm, Sweden, a year in an exchange program at ENSIMAG in Grenoble, France specializing in Computer Science, as well as an MBA from SMU in Dallas, Texas. Björn enjoys a life outdoors whenever given the opportunity; in the mountains, the forests or on the sea.