Interviews, Smart Mobility, Vehicle Automation

Expert Interview with Zielpuls: Changing the existing Automotive Market Landscape

Markus Frey
Managing Director, Zielpuls

Arnd Zabka
Managing Partner, Theme Cluster Manager for Connected and Autonomous Driving, Zielpuls

We spoke with Zielpuls MD Markus Frey and Arnd Zabka, Managing Partner, Theme Cluster Manager for Connected and Autonomous Driving, on the company’s relation to the evolution of ADAS, vehicle automation and new mobility concepts. The two experts pointed out upcoming market changes for the automotive sector, important hurdles to take on the way to level 5 autonomy and exciting projects for Zielpuls in the future.

we.CONECT: What is your company’s/your relation to the evolution of ADAS, vehicle automation and new mobility concepts?

Zielpuls: The beginning change of the mobility market is the biggest challenge in our point of view. It comes hand in hand with new technologies, new developments and validation methods, new players, new customer groups and business models. It will change the game. If we look at mobility studies from 2013, we think that this should have been happened much faster. We at Zielpuls will help our customers to prepare the own organization for this new challenge and work as a catalyst to bring these new technologies to the customer.

we.CONECT: What sets you apart from similar service providers in the industry?

Zielpuls: We at Zielpuls are holistic thinking. Our business is the link between strategy and realisation. On the one hand, we help to start the development immediately, but the second important thing is to start the change management in the internal organizations and way of collaborate. We bring these two workstreams together.

we.CONECT: In your opinion: What are the big hurdles towards autonomous driving (autonomy level 5) that need to be surpassed by different stakeholders? How should they be resolved?

Zielpuls: The first prototypes will be available fast. The critical aspect is: How to get safety, security, privacy and sustainability to these systems? And in a way that is cheap enough to be available for everybody? For that on a short-term focus is the test data acquisition and the test and validation strategy for autonomous systems a hurdle. We have to work hard for test automatization and simulation of the complete system to handle this.

On a long-term view there are massive disruptions how mobility will change. Long-term success needs massive change of the actual mobility-supplier. There will be new business models associated with a new definition of the car. As an example an additional value will be the transport and pick up of children or personal delivery services, your finance consultant will pick you up at home and bring you to your work. As a benefit he gets your time for his service and product presentation.

we.CONECT: According to your expectations: How will autonomous driving technology change the existing automotive market landscape?

Zielpuls: By going from ownership to usership, there will be much more different cars and use cases in the world. The market will grow with new user groups. New players will enter the market. By lowering the entry barrier by using a car as a service, mobility will be assessable to new customer groups like children, people with no driving license or retired persons. Developing a car and production will be much easier for new players in the future and less heavy-industry focused.

we.CONECT: With smart cities beginning to roll out in the near future, how do you see the car markets in less developed cities/countries or regions being effected?

Zielpuls: There is a non addressed market for mobility as big as todays car market. So I think, that the markets in less developed cities will grow rapidly hand in hand with people’s increasing need for mobility without owning a car. Take the market for consumer goods in emerging nations as an example. The big players had problems selling their products in 100 units like laundry detergent. So they offered successfully single portions which people could afford.

we.CONECT: Do you think this is being overlooked by the OEMs & Tier 1s to a certain degree?

Zielpuls: The OEM’s are not focusing on the new market groups without a driving license. So new players can easily enter the market. The next seven years will build the fundament for the new mobility business. Every gap you don’t allocate will be filled by a new company. They will have to change from a car manufacturer to a service provider for their own cars. Additionally they need solutions in fleet management, billing systems and different service provisioning.

we.CONECT: What project would you like to work on next in this sector if given the opportunity?

Zielpuls: We would like to work on the step from level 3(4) to level 5. From the strategy to the realization. We want to take our customers on a journey into the future: We want to push new technologies and services quickly to pilot customers, incubate them in mass market products and parallel push the own organization to speed and bring together development of industry and sectors across the board.

we.CONECT: With the automotive industry moving into a new era, what do you think the car makers are not focusing enough on and how could this be a problem?

Zielpuls: It is all about (development) speed and talents.

By moving into a new era, the car manufacturers have to focus on multiple aspects at the same time. On the one hand side, the development of the “classical” car has to go on and more and more new systems have to be integrated (electric, connected, autonomous, service orientation, new interior, etc.). On the other hand side, complete new cars and architectures have to be developed in parallel. These cars will have a big adding value in the software, new engine systems and a complete new architecture. To have success, this architecture has to be opened for new technologies and platform systems. One important thing is to open the systems engineering and think in collaboration. No player in the market has enough financial power to play in all technology fields as a star. The star will be, who brings all technologies to one service together and can offer this to the customer.

we.CONECT: What do you believe would be a solution to this? And what can Zielpuls offer to OEMs & T1s to work towards this solution?

Zielpuls: A spin-off company in an attractive location and environment can be a possible solution. They attract high educated employees. Zielpuls is such a kind of company. We can help the car manufacturers to develop new state of the art solutions, we go with them on their new way and we’re building new organizations.

About the Interviewees:

Markus Frey: has been managing partner of Zielpuls GmbH since its foundation in 2008 and is responsible for Finance & Controlling and Information Technology. At the same time, he is Managing Director of the Zielpuls subsidiary in China with offices in Shanghai and Beijing. Before becoming an entrepreneur, he worked as a consultant for several years and worked for clients in the automotive and logistics industries. His consulting focus at Zielpuls lies in the areas of IT strategy and digitalization. In particular, Mr. Frey advises in the fields of autonomous driving, driver assistance systems, new mobility concepts, smart connected products and digital transformation. Mr. Frey made Zielpuls GmbH known to technology groups from more than 30 markets worldwide for the sustainable implementation and acceleration of internal development processes.

Arnd Zabka: has been a Managing Partner at Zielpuls GmbH since January 2018 and is responsible for the further development of the technology cluster “Connected and autonomous driving”. Before joining Zielpuls, he worket for Altran. Mr. Zabka has 17 years of consulting and project management experience in the areas of automotive electronics development, HAF, ADAS, infotainment, connected products and e-mobility.

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