Nearly two decades after eBay Motors paved the way for online marketplaces, creating a seamless purchasing process regardless of geography, we’re continuing to see new marketplaces emerge as a result of mobile and on-demand innovation.
Disruptors such as Airbnb and Uber continue to surface from every industry, offering solutions to problems we didn’t even know we had – and these pioneers are showing no signs of slowing down.
The automotive industry is no exception: semi-autonomous driving dominates technological innovation each year, and projections reveal a persistent march toward completely autonomous vehicles over the next few years. As the automotive industry welcomes these new advancements, and ultimately a new set of opportunities, there are countless developments we can expect to see.
Here are the top three areas we’ll need to continue to watch:
Car Sharing Marketplaces
Make no mistake, this area is already taking off thanks to the likes of Uber, Lyft and Zipcar. But the most interesting thing to observe will be the evolution of target audiences and how it impacts these marketplaces.
For example, what will be the needs and motivations of end users? Will they expect to purchase a car with the swipe of a finger, or will they want to own a car at all? Will co-owning cars be the arrangement of the future, or will they enjoy tradable transportation subscriptions like the cellphone data subscriptions we see today?
The level of personalized services will depend wholly on the new generation of consumer as they decide what their future car ownership looks like.
In our increasingly socially conscious world, a golden standard of electric vehicles and sustainable automotive technologies is not too far away.
In fact, India’s aim is to have only EVs by 2030, and the Netherlands may even get there by 2025.
With this in mind, it will be interesting to observe how open-source technology plays into automotive advancements, potentially increasing adoption of EV technology and ultimately driving staggering changes within the industry.
We can see the beginnings of this today with OSVehicle, a platform promoting free-flowing innovation and helping startups join the EV game. It will be interesting to see the impact of EVs over the next decade, and whether we will see a mass-market liftoff.
This long-established multibillion-dollar industry is built upon the needs of combustion-engine cars. After all, if car owners typically hang on to their vehicles for 11 years, there must be high-quality, accessible parts and accessories retailers to meet their maintenance needs.
It will be interesting to see how these companies adjust their supply in light of demand for increasingly intelligent technology, primarily cameras, infotainment and driver-behavior technology, sensors and self-driving technology.
We’re truly seeing a shift in philosophy, with giants like OEMs slowly giving way to the standard of open-source software. It is perhaps the most sophisticated example of crowdsourcing, bringing together everyone that has something to contribute so their combined expertise can develop the technology to its fullest potential. The core tenet of OS is, after all, that participants share and expand upon a common vision.
This comes to light most in marketplaces, where competitors are brought together to provide consumers with the transparent, personalized service or product they need. While open source may have started in software development, it can prove to be a valuable framework on various other endeavors as well.
For the automotive industry specifically, open source means bringing together advanced, modern options with the purpose of creating a consumer-focused platform for informed and convenient interactions.
Looking ahead, the real excitement lies in watching companies leverage their hard work and reliable platforms to spur innovation and inspire new advancement. With well-established customer bases craving diverse product offerings, these companies act as the platform upon which new technologies are amplified.
In terms of automotive innovation, there couldn’t be a better time, or more demand for that matter, to usher in intelligent mobility because the world’s leading marketplaces are primed to drive the industry forward.
Sree Menon is the head of parts and accessories at eBay Motors, responsible for leading the planning and execution of the vertical’s strategy, customer needs, marketing, product, sales and customer experience.