What does C.A.S.E. mean?

C.A.S.E stands for “Connected”, “Autonomous”, “Shared” and “Electric”. It describes the four megatrends in the automotive industry. All four trends will have a lasting effect on the automotive industry and mobility of the future. Countless influencing factors form the basis for these trends: drivers expect the same functionalities in their vehicle as they are used to from their Smartphone. Modern, innovative technology such as radar, LiDAR or camera systems are making it possible to relieve drivers of their driving tasks and even completely take over control of the vehicle. Increasingly densely populated urban areas mean that there is less parking space so that shared use vehicles are starting to make more sense. Finally, climate-related and politically motivated trends are also encouraging developments such as the promotion of e-mobility as part of the solution to increase carbon neutrality and climate protection. In principle, all four C.A.S.E areas are closely related to each other.

Explanation of C.A.S.E. aspects

C is for “Connected” – the cars of the future will communicate with other vehicles, people and the infrastructure. This will form the basis for countless applications in the future such as infotainment, diagnostic capabilities, software updates and even the prevention of accidents and consumption-optimized driving.

A is for “Autonomous” – at several levels, vehicles of the future will support, or even completely take over, the steering. This will be made possible by new sensors and their integration via hardware and software as well as the use of Artificial intelligence (AI).

S is for “Shared” – a new generation with a changed attitude towards mobility as well as the trend towards mega cities is leading to vehicles being shared more and more frequently be several users. Owning your own vehicle is no longer the norm and flexible offers for shared mobility will be in demand in the future.

E is for “Electric” – in order to achieve the climate objective of the 2015 COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, i.e. a maximum increase in man-made global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100, the widespread switch from the internal combustion engine to the electric power system is being strongly promoted.

What opportunities are arising from C.A.S.E.?

Vehicle manufacturers are affected by these trends in several areas. Firstly, new opportunities are arising for business models and earning potential. This is being made possible by networking, the resulting data and the increased use of software. Examples could be, for instance, fee-based online services or the use of “on demand” vehicle applications. At the same time, the development of these new technologies mainly means making huge investments, such as, above all, in the conversion of combustion engines to electric power systems. In addition, automotive manufacturers must be able to master numerous new technologies such as radar, LiDAR and software. In the future, the car will no longer be just a vehicle, but rather a “super-computer” on 4 wheels.

C – Connected

Networking represents the basic technology for driving in the future. Similarly to Smartphones, the car will be connected to the outside world. Whether GPS, SDARS for navigation, LTE or the future 5G for the mobile data network, WIFI or WLAN for data communication inside the vehicle or DAB for digital entertainment – the vehicle will be networked in many ways. In this way, applications such as Car-2-Car and Car-2-X will be possible, leading to greater comfort, greater safety and even to the creation of new areas of business.

Examples of new applications include the prevention of accidents as vehicles and traffic lights will communicate with each other, remote maintenance, intelligent fleet management, extremely fast breakdown assistance, streaming in the rear of the vehicle via WLAN, or the proactive display of POI (Points Of Interest) in the vehicle while driving. This last example in particular will open the door to new business model opportunities.

A – Autonomous

Autonomous driving redefines countless new functions in the car. Comfort and safety are increased, time during the journey can be used for other things. Autonomous driving characteristics have already been integrated into the latest car models. Modules such as distance radars, self-parking assist and lane keeping assist represent the first applications in the area of autonomous driving. So called “hands-off experiences” will be possible within a few years, at least on motorways. The question of liability has not yet been resolved, neither has the development of infrastructures (e.g. traffic lights that can also communicate) and this will be necessary before cars can be driven autonomously nationwide.

The six steps to autonomous driving

A total of six steps indicate the different levels of development that are required to achieve fully autonomous vehicles. Since the turn of the century, an increasing number of assistance systems have been made available to support the driver when driving. The logic behind the six steps is that the driver surrenders an increasing number of tasks to the vehicle:

  • Level 0:   The driver has full control.
  • Level 1:   Feet off – the driver is responsible for the car’s lateral movement (steering).
  • Level 2:   Hands off – the driver keeps an eye on what is happening.
  • Level 3:   Eyes off – the driver is on call as a replacement system.
  • Level 4:   Brain off – the car drives itself practically without a driver at all in specific situations.
  • Level 5:   No driver at all.

Which sensors make autonomous driving possible?

Autonomous vehicles interpret their surroundings without human intervention. To achieve this, a large number of sensors such as radars, ultrasound cameras, LiDAR, inertial measuring units and GPS are used. Data received by these sensors is collected and merged, and appropriate conclusions are drawn from this to detect obstacles and objects on the street and to be able react accordingly.

S – Shared

In the future, an increasing number of people will no longer want to own a vehicle or find this a reasonable or affordable option. Instead, people will borrow vehicles as needed – “mobility on demand” or “car sharing” are keywords here. In fact, car sharing is already widely available in populated urban areas. The sharing concept is also enabled by new technologies in the vehicle. Users book the vehicle via an app on their Smartphone, locate the vehicle and are then able to start the vehicle because all participants are networked together. Payment can also be fully digitalized if necessary.

Who offers car sharing?

In order to meet the demand for this flexible type of mobility, providers from different backgrounds such as automotive manufacturers, leasing providers, hire car companies and also start-ups have started to offer car-sharing services. Well-known names are “Share Now”, “Flinkster” or SIXT share”.

E – Electric

The future of the car is electric. Emission-free driving with fuel cells or batteries should help to reduce CO2 pollution in road traffic and achieve the climate targets. Classic drives with combustion motors are being replaced by electric drives, essentially consisting of a powerful battery, one or more electric motors and power electronics. 

About Wolfgang Reitsamer

Wolfgang Reitsamer is Global Vice President of Sales International at MD. His role is to acquire new customers for MD and to continuously expand business with them. Over the past 6 years, he has created the organizational and technical conditions to ensure this, especially in cooperation with his colleagues in North America and Asia. He has over 20 years of sales experience, including 14 in the automotive industry. In addition to close contact with international customers and working in a global team, it is his main task that inspires him every day to continue to strategically and operationally expand MD’s customer base.