Automotive Industry’s Answer for Future Transportation Challenges | by Yō Myōsei | Feb, 2024

The automotive industry and logistics has actually been sharing the same timeless concept;

Getting an object from point A to point B with the help of a medium

The difference only lies on the object; one being in the form of passengers, the other; goods.

Circling back to the MaaS craze, if we think about it, actually the current MaaS is trying to solve a part of logistical problem as well; one of the ways being Autonomous Vehicles.

Autonomous vehicles was an emerging buzz a few years back when Tesla rolled out its auto-pilot features. Professionals from across the landscape of expertise were grossly addicted to have a thoughtful conversation in this issue; trying to both regulate and figure out opportunities.

A perfect story that describes on how the automotive industry solves a logistical problem; is told with the Toyota Avanza. Toyota Avanza is a medium-size Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) with a rear-wheel drive with a huge space at the back, allowing it to carry and transport tons of goods easily. It is marketed as a versatile car that is able to be transport both passengers and also goods. The Toyota Avanza sat on the throne for best-selling car in Indonesia for more than a decade due to its versatility.

Toyota Avanza’s Massive Convertible Cabin | Courtesy of kompas.com

The story of Toyota Avanza & MaaS should be a great inspiration on why automotive industry should shift its strategical principal approach to solve logistical problems

However, though alluring, it is understandable that:

  1. MPVs may not be a good fit for every car manufacturer to pursue as its champion product
  2. Not every automotive company could or should majorly shift itself to be a tech company since its nature differs compared to manufacturing

Not to worry, at the present, there are multiple fronts of classic issues that are still faced globally due to some hiccups in logistics:

  1. Pollution : Emission & Packaging
  2. Poor Infrastructure Access
  3. Food: Famine(Shortage) & Waste(Surplus)

From the get go, it seems that the automotive industry is immersing itself with EV to combat the problem of emission. Logically, the scale-up for this technological building block for this would be to pursue autonomous transportation technology, despite the downside

Turns out, logistics experts are really hopeful regarding autonomous transportation, and argued that it may be used for ad-hoc rides, last-mile deliveries, or specific mass-volume commutes. Autonomous rides may cost 60% less compared to when humans are involved in the service.

Looking at the incredible momentum of the intersection between two giant industries, both the automotive and logistics industry might save themselves through collaboration.

Though it might seem and sound similar to MaaS, I would reaffirm that MaaS is only an early form. The cross-pollination and synergy of both industries will strive beyond what MaaS envisions through various forms.

Take poor infrastructure for example; should there be no solution of the roads; most likely a new type of vehicle medium be developed to solve the issue.

Isles, swamps, and other terrains containing hybrid conditions will pursue the normalization of adoption for customizable amphibious vehicles; Forests, dirt tracks, and other treacherous terrains will require vehicles with off-road capabilities to deliver goods across destinations.

Metropolises with strong level of congestions will appreciate solutions of last-mile deliveries to further increase operation efficiencies.

No doubt that startup people will be most genuinely intrigued by the last-mile delivery problem as its the most relatable painful experience for people who live in cities. Costs are huge and scheduling is a nightmare for people working in the logistics industry. Fuel, Routes, Schedules, Labor, Warehousing, Failure-in-Deliveries are the key contributors to the nightmare in this part of logistics.

Now, how can one in automotive; contribute to the solution of the problem?

EV :

↓ Fuel

↓ Maintenance Cost

Autonomous Vehicles :

↑ Efficiency of Routes & Schedules

↓ Labor Cost

Definitely a good start for them since they have a good start with technological building block to progress the discovery of the game-changing resolution of the issue.

Albeit, don’t we risk adopting fancy technologies when there is a successful last-mile delivery model in Asia? The answers: Labor & Congestion

Bike Delivery| Courtesy of Elias Ek via Unsplash

Asia is a continent where more than 50% of the human population live, and 10 out of 10 cities with the most dense population are all located in Asia. The ever-increasing satisfactory service level set by the customers, congestion, and labor costs creates a huge nightmare for logistic companies to stay relevant in the market.

When The West evolves to The East, will then It truly understands that the current best-practice will not work.

Henceforth, as the inevitability of evolution orchestrated by fate begins to converge, the world will need its savior to bring down the costs of logistics; even more so in the future when E-commerce will be a basic necessity.

Strong innovations for special-purpose delivery media need to start pronto and vigorously.

It would be incredibly absurd if the automotive industry ignores this golden goose while the seeds of the beanstalk has been planted.

Photo by 五玄土 ORIENTO on Unsplash

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