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Jaguar plans electric future

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From 2020, all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles globally will be electrified to some degree the company announced at its inaugural Tech Fest in the UK.

“Every new Jaguar Land Rover model line will be electrified from 2020,” said Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Executive Officer. “We will introduce a portfolio of electrified products across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid vehicles.”

Jaguar Land Rover provided the following information:

The electric Jaguar E-type Zero future-proofs one of the world’s most famous cars. Acclaimed by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car in the world”, the E-type now combines breathtaking design with electric power for the first time. E-type Zero is based on a 1968 Series 1.5 Roadster and features a cutting-edge electric powertrain for 0-100km/h in just 5.5sec. It was engineered by Jaguar Classic at the company’s new Classic Works in Warwickshire, UK.

Jaguar I-PACE Concept

With I-PACE we started with a clean sheet and engineered a bespoke, tailored, pure electric SUV from the ground up, creating a beautiful design with everyday practicality. It’s a performance SUV, it looks stunning, is great to drive and will be on sale next year.

Jaguar FUTURE-TYPE

The Jaguar FUTURE-TYPE is a vision for the car of 2040 and beyond. The fully autonomous virtual concept explores mobility for the connected world of tomorrow, where vehicles could be shared not owned.

With Future Type’s interface, you can separately access your different digital orbits of work, family or play, dialling up what you do need, and dialling down what you don’t.

At its heart is Sayer – the intelligent steering wheel that will revolutionise the way you live your life. Named after Malcolm Sayer, designer of the E-type, this steering wheel doesn’t just stay in your car – it lives in your home and becomes your trusted companion.

Sayer is the first voice activated AI steering wheel that will be able to carry out hundreds of tasks. The advanced speech recognition software will allow it to answer your questions, connect you to the news, organise your travel and select your entertainment.

Sayer knows what’s in your fridge and can even order your shopping or a pizza. You will never run out of milk again. It will be your go-to device. It is not just the ‘key’ to your car, it’s your membership card for our on-demand service club. A club which offers either sole ownership or the option of sharing the car with others in your community.

For our customers, driving is about much more than getting from A to B. It’s about living life from A to Z. You will always be able to experience the sheer thrill of driving with the option to take the wheel. But this is a steering wheel like never before.

Alongside Jaguar’s past, present and future, Tech Fest 2017 also showcases the following stories:

Recruiting for the future with Gorillaz

Jaguar Land Rover does not do ordinary recruitment. Gorillaz and Jaguar Land Rover have teamed up again to continue the search for world-class talent at Tech Fest. Fans interested in an engineering career at Jaguar Land Rover are invited to the physical ‘pop-up’ version of the Gorillaz garage to take part in a live challenge to test their technical ability, logical-thinking and memory. Successful players will be first in the queue for a chance to work at Jaguar Land Rover.

For those unable to make it to London, the Gorillaz app coding challenge remains open worldwide. In a major change to the way Jaguar Land Rover looks for candidates, fans are challenged to take part in a series of code-breaking puzzles to test curiosity, persistence, lateral thinking and problem-solving – all real-world skills the new generation of software and engineering talent must have.

Waste to Wave

This project has produced the first surfboard made from 100 per cent recycled polyurethane plastic, created from design studio waste. The surfboard, produced in partnership with eco-friendly manufacturer Skunkworks – was recently tested by Lucy Campbell, the UK’s top female surfer.

Lucy said: “The ocean is a big part of my life so helping to raise awareness of the need to preserve it is so important to me. I didn’t know much about the car design process and it’s been fascinating to learn about how Jaguar Land Rover is giving a ‘second life’ to its materials in this way. Getting out into the water and trying the board out for the first time was awesome.”

Jaguar Land Rover is committed to achieve zero waste to landfill and the ‘Waste to Wave’ project is one of a number of innovative recycling initiatives which give a second life to materials previously destined for landfill. Plans are in place to create production versions of the surfboard.

Autonomy in the real world (Range Rover Sport)

We’re already testing driverless cars in the real world. Autonomous Urban Drive can enable a vehicle to operate without a driver through a city, obeying traffic lights as well as negotiating T-junctions and roundabouts.

Designed and developed in the UK, this research technology is already in use in a Range Rover Sport and takes us a step closer to achieving level four autonomy in Jaguar Land Rover’s future vehicles within the next decade.

Your digital butler

The new Range Rover Velar is designed to take you further. Enhance your life. It contains intelligent technology in the form of its quad core processor; the brains behind the beauty of the Velar.

The Touch Pro Duo infotainment system incorporates two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens. We call this tailored technology Blade – your own digital butler. You can interact with your car from anywhere in the world. You can start it with your smartphone, lock or unlock it, locate it, check your fuel levels or even warm the cabin up before you get in.

Blade learns your daily drive, anticipates your needs, serves what you want, when you want it… but never intrudes.

E-PACE: Jaguar’s new cub

The Jaguar E-PACE is a seriously smart, compact performance SUV. Designed and engineered to be beautiful, fun and clever, it is instantly recognisable as a Jaguar. It’s a perfectly 21st-century car: connected, modern, practical and utterly engaging to drive. It’s beautiful to look at, fun to get to know and possessing a soul and integrity that can only come from Jaguar.

Land Rover Discovery Project Hero

‘Project Hero’ – a bespoke Land Rover Discovery for use by the Austrian Red Cross.

Designed and engineered by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), Project Hero is an advanced communications vehicle featuring a roof-mounted drone with the ability to land when the vehicle is in motion, as well as a number of other features to enhance the capability of the already robust Land Rover Discovery.

Project Hero was created to support Jaguar Land Rover’s partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world’s largest humanitarian network. It is currently being trialled by the Austrian Red Cross’ emergency response teams, with a view to helping save lives by speeding up response times to disasters.

Lighting Up Lives

Jaguar Land Rover will be lighting up the lives of 1.2 million people by 2020. Working with Climate Care, we are providing clean, safe, renewable solar-powered lamps to families in Kenya, giving up to four hours of additional light every evening. These lamps not only allow children to study and families to socialise together into the hours of darkness; they will save money on fuel, and crucially, prevent exposure to the dangerous fumes produced by the kerosene lamps many still use today.

By enabling villagers to work for longer at home, the lamps also foster economic independence. In time, families could be able to afford their own solar lamps, creating a virtuous circle of social and economic benefits.

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Are you playing auto roulette with smart car devices?

Kaspersky analysed aftermarket connected smart car devices, and made a pleasant discovery

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There are currently two ways for car enthusiasts to obtain a connected vehicle – purchase a ‘smart by design’ car from a dealer, or improve their existing car with a number of additional ‘smart-devices’. While both scenarios create a greater driving experience, smart technology also represents a brand new area for malicious use, as the media and Kaspersky’s own research has repeatedly shown. This is inevitable – when a piece of technology becomes essential, related security issues tend to increase.

With this in mind, Kaspersky researchers set out to discover whether these reports on the security of IoT devices had any impact on manufacturers of smart devices for the automotive industry. The researchers analysed several randomly selected devices, including an OBD dongle scanning tool, a tyre pressure and temperature monitoring system, a smart alarm system, a GPS tracker, and an app-controlled dashcam.

The findings were a pleasant surprise: while the IoT industry has often been considered vulnerable, these automotive-related smart and connected devices proved to be quite secure, with no major vulnerabilities exposed. However, several security issues were also revealed: the ability to remotely access driving dynamics data via a scanning toll, the option to manipulate signals from the tire monitoring system, and, most alarmingly, the ability to open vehicle doors using the alarm system. However, all of these elements are either very hard to implement or bring no obvious or immediate outcome for a criminal.

“The devices we examined met many security policies and were satisfactory, with the exception of a few small issues. This is partly due to the limited functionality of these devices and the lack of serious consequences in the event of a successful attack through these products – but also thanks to the vigilance of manufacturers. We were glad to see that they have invested their efforts into making these devices more secure, a good sign overall for the automotive industry. Yet, this is still not a reason to relax: based on our experience, the smarter the device, the higher the chances that security issues will occur. That is why security should be considered more closely in the early stages of product development, especially as a new generation of smart devices come to the market,” notes Victor Chebyshev, security expert at Kaspersky.

To keep smart automotive devices even more secure, we advise:

  1. When choosing which part of your vehicle you’re going to make a little bit smarter, first consider the security risks. Think twice if the device has something to do with the car telemetry or access to its ‘brains’.
  2. Before buying a device, search the internet for news of any vulnerabilities. It is likely that the device you are going to purchase has already been examined by security researchers and it is possible to find out whether any issues have been found in the device, or have already been patched.
  3. It is not always a great idea to buy the most recent products released on the market. Along with the standard bugs often found in new products, recently-launched devices might contain security issues that haven’t yet been discovered by security researchers. The best choice is to buy products that have already been worked on with several software updates.
  4. Always consider the security of the ‘mobile dimension’ of the device, especially if you have Android devices – applications are often helpful and make life easier, but once a smartphone is hit by malware, a lot can go wrong.
  5. To overcome the challenge of smart device cybersecurity, Kaspersky has invested in Kaspersky OS, widely used in customised manufacturing hardware and software. This system can be used across a variety of fields: on mobile devices and PCs, IOT devices, intelligent energy systems, industrial systems, telecommunications, and transportation systems. Kaspersky sees opportunities in the further development of KasperskyOS to meet the needs of our customers and ensure the highest levels of security can be achieved in all these fields, including the automotive industry. More information can be found here.

Read the full text of the report on Securelist.

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How car-buying must change

The car-buying experience must innovate to evolve the automotive industry, writes TREVOR HILL, head of Audi South Africa

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Our relationship with motor vehicles is a complex mix of emotional and rational decision making. Add to this, external influences such as longer product-retention cycles (up from five years to as much as seven years), a struggling economy and probably the greatest product choice in the market we have ever seen; there is a significant need for manufacturers to reinvent the car-buying experience.

So, while the “future of mobility” is evolving to enable new technologies such as autonomous vehicles, connectivity, electrification and shared mobility – it is necessary that there be a proportional shift in how we can innovate how these products are purchased or considered at the onset.

This trend is not new. As early as 2013, global consulting firm McKinsey published a report highlighting three key trends that would impact customer decisions and engagement on the retail end of the automotive industry. These included: an enhanced level of what it called “touchpoint management”, sales and service upgrades and the role of the traditional Dealership in the customer purchase and sales decision journey.

Fast forward to 2019. The challenge for automotive brands is how to deliver a personalised, digital service in an industry once solely reliant on bricks-and-mortar Dealerships and a hard-sell sales approach. In the premium segment, there is even more room for innovation around the Dealership experience to meet the demands of personalisation and technology while still delivering on fundamentals. This includes aspects like physically experiencing the vehicle before purchase, expert product advice and the personal customer experience that enhances long-term brand experience and loyalty.

Behaviour-driven thinking dictates how we reframe and design the customer experience of the future. As an automaker in the premium segment, we focus on three key principles of behavioural planning:

  1. The paradox of choice: Offering customers more choices is not always better, as we can trigger an unintended “paralysis of choice”. When we have too many options, the likelihood that we will make a decision is reduced. Given this, Audi has reviewed our options specification for new products entering our model range and will be developing specific packages around various customer needs. This allows for reduced complexity of choice and ease of ordering a new vehicle. This will be reflected on our digital platforms when configuring any of the new vehicles such as the Audi Q8 and upcoming Audi A1 and Q3. This simplification is the first step towards addressing how customers experience us as a brand.
  • Availability: Creating opportunities for customers to assess choices through innovative and digital examples is a foundation of how we are slowly reinventing our Dealership experience. We are pioneering this by introducing the Customer Private Lounge (CPL) – one of a kind in South Africa and located at Audi Centre Centurion in Pretoria – that allows customers to build up their Audi using digital configuration and virtual-reality technology.
  • Relativity: Customers are more likely to make decisions based on the context. While traditional Dealerships will remain key to the customer’s sales journey, Audi aims to connect new opportunities within this environment. This includes a combination of traditional selling (knowledgeable consultant, premium environment) and digitalisation (customisation, low need to carry extensive showroom stock). 

The launch of the Audi Customer Private Lounge is the foundation of this latter effort. A recent Bain survey found that even web-savvy modern car buyers’ still make an average of 2.4 Dealer visits before making a purchase decision – underlining the critical importance of combining a relevant and unique Dealer retail experience when finalising a sale.

Another foundation of our retail experience effort effort is a 4000m2 Audi and Volkswagen Training Academy in Centurion, custom designed to continuously improve Dealer performance through training and skills development. Added to this is Audi’s global and digital initiative towards training – Audi Training Online. This is an online platform offering convenient learning for all Audi dealership employees around the world. Employees can access the portal at any time, from any location and easily upskill themselves on brand related topics, products, technologies and job related (technical and non-technical) subjects. Given the increasing technical complexity of our vehicles and new business and brand themes, a high level of knowledge and expertise is critical to ensure optimal customer satisfaction.

The evolution of training and customer experience is the first, necessary step to respond to today’s car-buying customers’ demand for a unique retail environment. As an industry, we need to respond to this opportunity sooner rather than later. This response must deliberately address the customer experience journey from information, to contact, to purchase, handover and to aftersales. This requires interventions in terms of personalisation, how we introduce opportunities for customers to be in control while still receiving expert guidance.

A more digital retail platform gives us a significant opportunity to better serve our customers through this journey. In the case of the CPL, a dedicated consultant, specially trained, takes the customer through the process of selecting the customised specification on their virtual-reality Audi, before they even encounter a salesperson. The CPL represents the first leg of Audi SA’s digitisation strategy. It’s progress in the retail realm, and a game changer for the automotive industry.

In future, automotive retail will require many new functions and roles to meet the demands of an omnichannel sales model. Building these new capabilities is a fascinating process, bringing in new skill and fundamentally refreshing the industry to benefit the most important stakeholder – the customer.

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