Driving your business forward: why mobility is critical to automotive innovation

Mobile is not a new tool for the automotive and logistics sector, but up until this point, it has mainly been used in dealerships – as a sales tool helping staff to enhance their service, or as a diagnostics interface for mechanics.

Now, the mobile innovation game is changing. Leading-edge companies are putting the device at the heart of their innovation strategy – using smartphone capabilities in more exciting and disruptive ways than ever before. Here are some examples of businesses in the sector that are pushing the boundaries on mobility.

The mobile disruptors: 4 industry examples

One very interesting mobility use cases we’ve seen in recent years is in our own work with global supply chain solution firm, XPO Logistics. Together, we have created a customer-facing mobile application that provides clear visibility of where stock is during transit.

Delivery is one of the tensest parts of the customer experience, and by using the capabilities of agile software development on a mobile interface, XPO is able to reassure its customers with real-time updates, so they know when to expect their order.

XPO Logistics isn’t the only brand using mobile to redefine the customer experience. Vehicle manufacturer Hyundai completely reconfigured its customisation process with the launch of an online configurator this summer.

Through their smartphone, potential customers can change elements of a vehicle’s interior and exterior appearance to their liking, before ordering online. The entire function has been built in a mobile-first manner, to encourage more car buying transactions to take place online.

Another manufacturer experimenting with mobile’s innovative qualities is Honda, which introduced its MyHonda Connected Car Platform this year, to both enhance the driving experience and increase its safety credentials.

Using IOT capabilities, Honda can update drivers’ mobile devices with critical information about their vehicle – including running information, diagnostics in the event of a problem, GPS services (such as the ability to locate available parking spaces), and alerts when car maintenance is required.

The final example I want to pinpoint in this area is Toyota’s Smart Key Box, which made its debut last year. This not only integrates automotive functionality with mobile, it makes it part of the vehicle, using Bluetooth connectivity to unlock and access the car.

Mobile: critical to customer-centric improvement

While the four stories I’ve shared are very different in their execution, they all share one thing in common: they are built around the principle of improving life for the customer.

Using smartphones is second nature to most people, so it makes sense to tap into that relationship, and find new ways to interacting with customers through the device they use most.

From engaging them during the research and discovery phase, and supporting their journey to purchase, to increasing convenience, and enabling better aftercare and ongoing communication, there are endless ways that mobile can enable automotive businesses to innovate around their customers’ needs.

The time has come for automotive and logistics companies to look strategically at where they can leverage the humble smartphone across their product and service offering, and where investment in mobile agile software development will make the greatest improvement to their customer experiences.

If you’re an automotive company with designs on digital innovation, make sure you download our latest report - Is Automotive Fit for the Future? – to find out if you’re agile enough to keep up with the connected consumer.

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