Will a Car still be a Car? An Industry Experts’ Thoughts on the Future Car

By Julianne Bass

FutureCar1.jpgWill driving be a selling point of the future car? Will a car not so slowly morph into a portable pod of convenience similar to ones’ office? Will a car still be a car? There is a shift that is upon us within the automotive industry. Not in the way we buy cars or the cool new gadgets we look for but rather the impact cars will soon have on the way we live our lives.

Old classic cars were known for their little conveniences like a nice comfortable bench seat, vent windows, and seat belts. While these features have been adapted over the years, now they will be completely wiped off of the map, exchanged for autonomous driving, car to car communication, and self-healing paint?

As technology advances and becomes more accessible, as do consumer needs and their expectations to be the first to have the most powerful of conveniences at their ready.

composites.jpgThis unknown aspect of the automotive industry’s seemingly unavoidable future has provoked Ed Bernardon, currently the Vice President of Strategic Automotive Initiatives at Siemens to explore the many facets of the future car in his  blog series. With over 25 years of experience in the automotive industry Ed has knowledge and insight into the vary topics many are wondering about and has shared his thoughts on the different ramifications that await.

Ed’s thought process cleverly challenges the reader to begin to unravel the complexities associated with such impactful automotive changes as it related to business strategies and product lifecycle. Will the workflows be recognizable? What specialized products, software’s, materials etc. will be introduced? How will businesses support the designers, engineers, analysts and manufacturers that will be responsible for creating such sophisticated machines?

Viewing the future of the automotive industry from the present, what impact are these plans having on the current automotive market , and what role might composite materials play? Ed discusses this unique topic of discussion with Georg Käsmeier of Forward Engineering .


Changing gears from specs and features, Ed also explores the role ethics will play in the design of the future car. Who will be held responsible if an accident occurs with a computer behind the wheel? “For example, to avoid an accident, the car could maintain its current path and may injure or kill passengers in the car, or it could be confronted with choosing an alternative that could injure or kill pedestrians. How does the machine decide what to do?”

When it comes to morality the answers regarding the future car are not so cut and dry, as is also the case with the issue of ownership.

If we begin to think of the car no longer as something people seek out to drive for leisure or necessity but rather as a service to get from point A to point B without interruption, the question of whether the masses will continue to pursue ownership, is a natural one. Ed also explores this question with Gernot Spiegelberg, the head of electro-mobility in the corporate technology division of Siemens AG.

The evolution of an industry and its processes is often difficult, providing both opportunity and the threat of falling behind or completely out of the conversation. What issues are challenging your company? Are you prepared for the future car?

Share you stories, questions, comments, and concerns with us here. Continue to check back for updates.

Be sure to go and subscribe to Ed’s blog series too on the Digital Transformations Community under “Cars of the Future”

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at