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McKinsey's Top Trends in Tech Influencing Automotive, Part II

By Alejandro Enríquez | Thu, 07/29/2021 - 12:30

This is the second part of our series on the Top Trends in Tech influencing automotive businesses by McKinsey. You can read the first part here.

McKinsey’s top 10 trends in tech have the potential to change the automotive industry. Our previous article discusses the first three trends; here are the remaining seven trends “drawing the most venture money, producing the most patent filings and generating the biggest implications for how and where to compete and the capabilities companies need to accelerate performance," according to McKinsey.

Trend 4: Next-Generation Computing

This trend refers to the use of a quantum computing approach for certain applications and involves the development of specialized microchips called application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). The number of patents related to quantum computing have increased by 100,000 since 2015. Besides its applications in numerous fields such chemicals and pharmaceuticals, this technology could "accelerate autonomous vehicles with quantum AI," notes McKinsey.

Autonomous vehicles relied greatly on state-of-the-art systems and semiconductors that enabled performance of their autonomous capabilities. Deloitte points out that electronic systems on a vehicle represent 45 percent of its price but this figure will increase to 50 percent by 2030.

If you want to learn more about semiconductors, microchips and the automotive sector, do not miss our analysis.

Trend 5: Applied AI

This trend has the highest levels of applicability for the automotive industry among McKinsey's tech trends. AI algorithms will train machines to better recognize patterns and launch an action accordingly. The firm estimates that eventually more than 50 percent of what the user touches will be augmented by AI-driven speech, written word or computer-vision algorithms. Patents in this field have tripled since 2015.

Trend 6: The Future of Programming

'Software 2.0' involves the replacing of programmers by neural networks that use machine learning to write software themselves. "Software 2.0 promises to unlock higher-order, edge use cases like autonomous vehicles, where the only way to progress is through AI models," notes McKinsey.

Trend 7: Trust Architecture

Developing the right infrastructure could prevent cyberattacks, which are continuously increasing. According to the firm, more than 8.5 billion of data records were compromised just in 2019 alone. Some examples of these more secure applications are blockchain or distributed-ledger technologies (DLTs). Patents in this field have doubled since 2015.

In case you are interested, take a look at the highlights from our first-ever Mexico Cybersecurity Summit.

Trend 8: The Bio Revolution

This trend is considered as a "niche" trend by the firm, which reflects the confluence of advances in biological science, computing, automation and AI. This trend is more influential in the fields of agribusiness and healthcare.

Trend 9: Next-generation materials

Material science has led to the development of innovative materials, including graphene, 2-D materials, disulfide nanoparticles, nanomaterials and a range of smart, responsive and lightweight materials that enable new functionality. The firm notes that this trend presents the lowest level of maturity as many of these materials are still being developed, so patents and investments in this area did not grew that much between 2015 and 2020.

As mentioned in the previous article, additive manufacturing is gaining a more prominent role in the sector and these innovative materials go hand-in-hand with it. Just recently, 3D Systems, an additive manufacturing company, introduced a new material for the construction of parts meant for long-term use.

Trend 10: Future of Clean Technologies

This last trend reflects how a combination of new technologies address the need for clean-energy generation. Applications in this field go from power systems to transport, buildings and water infrastructure. OEMs are embracing this trend and introduced carbon-neutrality goals for somewhere between 2040 and 2050, depending on the company. If you want to learn more about each OEMs' strategy toward carbon neutrality do not miss our analysis on the subject.

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Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst