Difference between automotive and automation
Understanding the difference between automotive and automation is essential to learn how one impacts the other or vice versa.
Primary Difference – Automobile vs. Automotive
Both terms are linked with the vehicle industry. The automobile is the noun that refers to a four-wheeled automotive vehicle designed for passenger transportation. On the other hand, automotive is an adjective related to motor vehicles.
Automobile – Meaning and Use
The term automobile refers to passenger transport. It comes from the French word automobile. It is a vehicle moving on its own. In North America and Canada, an automobile relates to a car.
Automotive – Meaning and Use
Automotive is the objective related to motor vehicles. It can refer to organizations and companies involved in marketing, manufacturing, and selling cars. Automotive engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the design, production, and operation of ground-based vehicles. You can also use this adjective for the parts of a vehicle.
What is automotive automation?
The automobile industry has been on the automation journey for a long time. It is one of those industries that stays on the edge of technology and introduces advanced tools and machinery.
Its equipment tends to be used for more than one task. Each piece of equipment undergoes the production line, where separate robotics are used at each point. There is no flaw in this setup, but it is not as efficient as it should be.
Thanks to the new technological solutions, including cloud computing, IoT, 3D printing, and more, the entire manufacturing field seems to undergo a revolution as there is a new wave of automation. Some of these technologies are making it possible to introduce new strategies. For instance, 3D printing allows for in-house and near-instant creation of the components.
What is automotive engineering?
Many people tend to confuse automotive and automobile engineering. They are both interrelated and used interchangeably. It is essential to acknowledge that automobile engineering focuses on cars. Meanwhile, automotive engineering could be considered an umbrella term to refer to a branch dealing with all kinds of motor vehicles.
Automotive engineering deals with manufacturing, designing, and operating ground-based vehicles. This includes trucks, motorcycles, buses, and their engineering parts. It mainly focuses on research, design, and product development.
Automotive engineering can further divide different aspects of the entire engineering process, like design, testing, and research. Several job opportunities await automotive engineers. Their primary employers include manufacturers of individual car components, and automobile companies producing automotive-related accessories and consumables like dashboards and tires.
Automation in the automobile landscape
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, refers to how the automobile industry has changed more than it has modified in the past few decades. The change brought about in this landscape is quite deep-rooted. Actors like Tesla and Uber are the prime drivers behind this new wave of modification.
The traditional automakers are struggling to stay profitable. On the other hand, companies that have accepted automation are witnessing wide acceptance in the communities. As automation becomes a norm, some notable trends are taking place. These include:
Increasing use of robots
Despite much automotive manufacturing and development, many human factors are still involved in the process. Robots have been used for repetitive and dangerous jobs that humans should not handle.
Fortunately, today’s advanced technologies are making a tremendous difference in the conventional manufacturing landscape. Robots are now working along with their human counterparts in a joint effort. These new kinds of machines are known as robots or cobots.
BMW relies on cobots to enhance the safety of its workers in its plants. It is also working to improve the quality of goods and components produced. Other companies, such as Nissan, Ford, are also working along the same lines.
3D printing increases the pace of operations
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is becoming famous in the automotive field. What was previously focusing on small projects is now upgraded to create large parts and components in all forms of manufacturing. The technology is leveraged to print with different materials, ranging from concrete to masonry and wood.
3D printing creates objects, layer by layer, from the bottom up. This will make a significant impact on how cars are assembled. Advanced forms of welding are often used to combine components permanently. Although welding will be required, 3D printing lowers the need to create complex structures. This means that the resulting parts are vital and made quickly. This means a faster assembly too.
It is not surprising that the automobile industry has tapped into technology’s potential to learn how it will help them. Companies like Audi use additive manufacturing techniques to print spare parts and metal prototypes for their vehicles. Porsche, Rolls Royce, and others are following the suit.
Vehicle autonomy is around the corner
Automation is occurring at the same pace for the consumers. The only difference is that vehicles are also gaining autonomy. Self-driving and fully autonomous cars will hit the roads in a few years. According to some estimations, 15% of the new vehicles sold in 2030 will be completely self-sufficient.
Of course, it is essential to optimize the technology before this happens. Regulations need upgrading, and the user operation should also mature.
Electric vehicles are also gaining popularity as society moves towards environmentally sound solutions. Each passing year makes these cars more viable, capable, and cost-effective.
McKinsey claims that 2030 will witness significant adoption of electric vehicles. The share of these vehicles will range somewhere from 10 to 50% of all new car sales. Adoption rates will be higher in urban and dense areas. This is because the cities may have strict emission rulings and more consumer incentives to go green.
Data-driven automation of decisions
Digitization has brought data and technology into the same domain. It helps to analyze, gather, manipulate, and interact with the data.
Data science has traveled far from business intelligence and early analytics applied to enterprise-owned information. This encompasses technologies like big data and predictive analysis. It also covers machine and deep learning, visual recognition, and natural language processing to handle vast quantities of data.
Initially, data was only helping to give a diagnosis in hindsight. It produces insights that can help make intelligent decisions and take timely actions. All of this can run without any human intervention.
The modern car is a supercomputer with wheels. The integrated cameras and sensors generate a wealth of data worth more than the automobile itself. For example, a sensor on the engine can alert the driver about a component that needs replacement.
Data-driven automation has also entered the dealership landscape. It impacts everything, from customer experience to buying cars. Let’s take the example of Walser Automotive Group. The marketing automation platform picks CRM system data to create individualized marketing messages. These messages speak to the customer’s desires and emotions in the purchase life cycle.
Intelligent automation of the domain
The most significant factor that we must realize is that automation will overtake the automotive ecosystem. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence can make the robotic automation process more intelligent and advanced. They are making it evident that the vehicle industry of the future will be worlds apart from its current position.
This will make it a smooth process for the customers too. We can take the following scenario as an example:
- A potential customer asks questions on an online chatbot about a particular vehicle. The bot will transfer that information and context to the car company.
- This will use an automated marketing platform to send additional relevant content about the car. It can also arrange a test drive in the virtual reality environment.
- The happy customer will then place an order where the chatbot facilitates the entire transaction. This includes getting an outstanding car loan and a vehicle insurance policy based on the buyer’s driving history.
- The plant gets into action and orders add-ons like paints and accessories from the vendors. They are added to the car and then delivered to the customers.
- The customer will pick up the automobile and sync it with other family members’ cars.
This scenario can be enlarged in multiple ways. For instance, Blockchain can hop in the picture to ensure transparency of payments and cross-border transactions.
The Automobile Industry continues to evolve
Automation and automobile are the terms that are interlinked with each other. Although one is a noun and the other is an adjective, the two words make a magnanimous difference across the world. The use of robots and machine learning can bring a stellar difference in the performance of modern cars.
There is a dire need for the automotive industry to focus on automating its ecosystem. The pioneers need to focus attention and resources on this segment because it will solve the industry’s problems by bringing new monetization opportunities and lowering costs.
The new systems will also help sell the unsold inventory and prepare for the domination of autonomous cars. Understanding the difference between these two terms will allow car owners and manufacturers to broaden their horizons and determine their direction for the future.