About a couple of decades ago, futuristic renditions of automobiles looked like flying cars and space travel. While we may not yet be traveling in flying taxis, the future of automobiles is already defined and is traveling in the direction of electric vehicles (EV). With Tesla introducing groundbreaking luxury EVs to the market, the world has woken up to the big potential that EVs hold. EVs are also the current solution to the concern about dwindling fuel resources and the pollution problems from fossil resources.
The global EV market is only growing every year. It is expected to reach USD 1103.17 billion by 2030, and several governments worldwide are gearing up to transform their automobile scene to be predominantly EV based. Currently, EVs make up just 3% of the new vehicles in the US, but by 2030, the goal has been set to make this percentage go as high as 50%. While government policies may be crafted based on environmental factors, the acceptability of these vehicles still rests with the customers.
Many people associate value with their cars and have several differentiating factors in choosing traditional internal combustion engine-based cars. These cars run on fossil fuels and vary in how they work, the fuel used, and the corresponding effect on the driver and travel experience. But when it comes to EVs, the exact machinations and technology behind the car are more than just mechanical. The parts are smaller, more compact, and have more of a standardized way of working from the mechanical perspective.
What would set apart an EV would be the software used. EV makers will have to focus just as hard on their software as they do on their hardware because it is with software that they can provide value-added services and a distinguishable advantage over their competitors.
EV software is thus gaining a lot of traction both with automobile manufacturers and service providers who have rightly capitalized on the growing popularity of the EV market. As the market matures, you could also witness a highly advanced and evolving EV software market.
Electric Vehicle Software
Electric vehicle software can be a huge space where you can find a generic comprehensive software package delivering a multitude of services and feature-specific software packages focusing on just particular functionalities. For instance, the autonomous driving feature of Tesla, Tesla Autopilot, provides full self-driving capabilities. On the other hand, you could also download navigational software to be used in your EVs.
Some common software products come into the picture when you think about operating EVs:
1. EV Fleet management
If you want a successful EV adoption among the masses, it must come with the proper infrastructure support for charging stations and alternate charging facilities. This especially rings true for companies buying or leasing multiple EVs as they would need a proper management system to take care of their EV fleet operations and ensure regulations compliance. EV fleet management software is used to manage EV fleets with features like:
- Real-time charging reports and insights
- Integration with cloud
- Fleet safety
- Maintenance and support
- Optimized usage and improved efficiency
- Monitor and optimize fuel consumption
- Reduce costs of operation
- Improve customer satisfaction
2. Virtual prototypes for EVs
Another type of EV-based software gaining prominence is the software used to prototype EVs. This type of software helps emulate the complex electromechanical components and the interaction between the software and hardware pieces in the form of virtual prototypes.
Virtualization software helps develop EVs and test them in virtual environments without undergoing expensive physical prototyping and testing.
3. Digital cockpit
With EVs becoming a computing system on their own, it is fair to make them more in alignment with a digital driving experience. Digital cockpit software provides an all-digital dashboard system that can replace old steering wheels and gearboxes.
4. Intelligent mobility solutions
When you add digitalization to any machine, it becomes a connected device essentially. The computers that we use today are almost always connected as it is essentially useless otherwise. Similarly, EVs can also use SaaS-based smart mobility solutions to become smarter. These solutions, along with the Internet of Things, can be further exploited to create an optimized and personalized user experience. For instance, your EV can immediately get alerts on traffic status, send alerts in case of an emergency, schedule maintenance, and so on automatically by collecting real-time data from the vehicle sensors.
5. Software for self-driving cars
A lot of money and effort is being spent on autonomous or self-driving cars. Big names like Google and Tesla are already putting their AI self-driving cars to the test, and we could soon expect these cars to run on our roads, given the legal and compliance roadblocks are solved.
Electric vehicles software will propel the growth of EVs
As mentioned earlier, EVs will probably act as connected devices beyond your traditional cars. So the question arises: Do you gain complete ownership of your EV?
As an EV comes preloaded with software, just like your smartphone, you may not be able to claim complete ownership of the software in your EV. And with software, you also need to ensure compliance and stay up to date with the latest upgrades.
Besides these questions, there are also considerations regarding driver performance concerns. With a self-driving car or a digital cockpit system, it can be expected that driver errors will be reduced to a greater degree. What would it mean in terms of claiming insurance or finding faults in case of an accident? As the EV market continues to evolve and more EV software comes into use, all the considerations must be addressed.