The only digital ecosystem designed to power our connected future

Automotive Blockchain Platform

OEM / Dealership Solutions

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SHIFTMobility streamlines how cars are sold and services rendered with automated digital documents and completely contactless customer engagement – all backed by our future-proof blockchain platform.

SHIFTMobility Platform Features

Leverage innovations in cloud computing, Big data, blockchain, and connected vehicle technology. Harness demand from connected vehicle apps, commerce, diagnostics, and service intelligence.

Mobile

Commerce

Connectivity

API Services

Integration Hub

Security

Blockchain Platform

Digital Transformation

Data Platform

300k

Service centers

1.7B+

Annual Shop Visits

170B+

Auto Part Sales

14

Vehicle Dealerships

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2021-02-12 15:11:46

Will 2021 Be the Automotive Industry’s Renaissance?

2020 was a tough year for the automotive industry. Already mired by years of tech-adoption flux and now down 14.5% overall, businesses throughout its ecosystem were ill prepared for the initial sales drop off and ensuing race to the digital realm. Compounding matters was a vulnerable supply chain that led to manufacturing and sourcing issues during a most critical time; selling cars is tough enough during a global pandemic, but becomes nigh impossible with none on the lot. For the optimists among us, however, it could have been far worse. This end-of-decade crisis could very well be the catalyst required to force progress by giving organizations no choice other than to finally adopt the technological innovations other industries have long turned to their advantage.

With the industry now rebounding due to a combination of aggressive incentives, contactless purchasing options, and EVs within reach of every budget, we’re witnessing the beginnings of a renaissance of sorts. Frost & Sullivan estimates a “brisk 8% year-on-year rise in sales in 2021.” Past blogs have discussed the benefits of digital platforms as well as how dealerships can benefits from a comprehensive digital strategy, but today’s market shift is more than the sum of these parts. Major players are making moves and picking sides on the hunt for market share. Google Cloud recently solidified a deal with Ford, muscling out former partner Microsoft and their rival Azure cloud platform.

Of interest, this deal includes Google license fees for every Ford and Lincoln car sold starting in 2023. Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, stated that their partnership with Ford is strategic because “it links all the elements: The experience people have in the cars while they’re driving, the experience they have in the front office, the transformation of manufacturing and supply chain, and the modernization of the IT system.” Ford is similarly optimistic, opining that “we can create these new retail experiences for customers buying a vehicle, when a customer owns a vehicle you get all sorts of opportunity with connected data for the services we can create for them.” It’s clear that within the successful automotive business of tomorrow, the customer experience will transform from a firm handshake to a digital signature.

Across the pond the world’s second largest automaker, Volkswagen AG, is mounting its own challenge to Apple and Amazon by developing its vehicle software in-house. “Volkswagen has bundled its software competence into a newly formed unit Car.Software.Org, which employs about 5,000 and develops the VW.OS operating system.” Apple is also rumored to be eyeing a possible entry into the market, though details remain scarce. Shell, too, has seen the writing on the wall and has cut a deal to acquire ubitricity, the UK’s largest public electric vehicle charging network. From in-vehicle connectivity solutions to full on driverless cars and EV infrastructure, these investments all have one thing in common: they all view enhanced connectivity as the entry point. Indeed, Tesla’s meteoric rise demonstrates that deep technological investment remains the primary driver for success. “Every one of these areas can undergo fundamental changes, and those changes will be decisive in determining which startups will flourish and which collapse in the coming years. Interestingly, the one thing that will likely remain constant is data, cloud, and software…” As information from connected vehicles becomes more accessible, the tools to capitalize on this data will become increasingly valuable. By leveraging connected solutions that communicate directly with vehicles in motion, businesses across the automotive spectrum can finally make use of the data they’ve been so diligently collecting – by marketing to drivers whenever their vehicles malfunction, need repairs or break down.

For an industry where convenience and choice reign supreme, the leap to digital is the logical progression. Recall for instance that during the 1960’s drivers had to trek to dealerships for a lengthy oil change, though beginning in the 70’s were able to swing by a dedicated quick lube location and be out within minutes. The same evolution applies today with regards to vehicle service and purchases, as evidenced by the rise of digital-first dealerships such as Carvana. With vehicles being bought online in record numbers, customers undoubtedly expect the same frictionless experience when it comes to maintaining them. Technology, from AI and chatbots to V2V connectivity are fast becoming the primary drivers for the entire automotive sales cycle and beyond.

The Automotive industry has the raw material necessary to drive radical innovation in our data-driven economy; Internet-enabled cars and a mobile-savvy consumer base provide all the information necessary to capitalize on our “new normal”.

Following the shock of the global pandemic and consumer reluctance for shared mobility services and in-person shopping, digitization has become not only the goal but the means to salvation for businesses struggling to stay afloat in a sea of change. It is these connected digital platforms that can deliver the means to capitalize on changing consumer preferences, optimize the supply chain, and exploit digital channels. Evolve or die - there is simply no other choice.

Interested to see what the future looks like? Contact us.

SHIFTMobility Inc.

Sources:

https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2021/01/hindsight-is-2020-a-tough-year-for-car-sales/

https://www.noln.net/articles/4988-shell-acquires-ev-charging-network?utm_campaign=10MMCD210125003&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&oly_enc_id=5801H1477178C5Y

https://thenextweb.com/shift/2021/01/27/why-microsofts-self-driving-car-strategy-is-quietly-brilliant-syndication/

https://www-forbes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.forbes.com/sites/sarwantsingh/2021/01/27/top-10-global-automotive-trends-2021/amp/

https://www.industryweek.com/technology-and-iiot/article/21153095/whats-fueling-the-ev-drive

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-01/google-snags-ford-cloud-partnership-in-coup-over-microsoft?utm_source=google&utm_medium=bd&cmpId=google

https://www.aftermarketmatters.com/national-news/edmunds-analysts-predict-top-three-trends-that-will-shape-2021-auto-industry/

Volkswagen plans to challenge Google with own autonomous car software

https://www.aftermarketmatters.com/national-news/paving-the-way-for-opportunity-in-2021/

https://www.vehicleservicepros.com/service-repair/battery-and-electrical/article/21202267/the-trend-toward-bevs?utm_source=MA+Service+eNews+%26+Alerts&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CPS210202017&o_eid=3089F9029434J0B&rdx.ident%5Bpull%5D=omeda%7C3089F9029434J0B&oly_enc_id=3089F9029434J0B

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2021-01-18 20:55:13

Safe at Any Speed - Connected Cars, Cybersecurity and Blockchain

Whether by key or once ubiquitous (and extremely annoying) Viper aftermarket alarm, securing your vehicle and its contents is just common sense. Fast-forward to 2021 and while this advice holds true, connected cars have added a multitude of additional vulnerabilities.

Recent innovations in connectivity have birthed bleeding-edge features such as GM’s Supercruise and Tesla’s Autopilot, the latter doubly notable for being deployed as an over-the-air (OTA) update. However, by allowing our vehicles to steer themselves or manage our homes we’re transmitting and exchanging significantly more personal data than ever before. So, while sharing information between vehicles, mobile devices, and infrastructure promises to add an extra layer of safety to our drives, it is not without risk. It stands to reason that if a laptop can be vulnerable to cyberattack or malicious activity, so can a car – and for the operator of a conveyance weighing thousands of pounds, confidence in the machine is paramount.  A recent analysis concluded that “nearly a trillion connected cars are projected to be on road by 2030, many current connected vehicles have grown to 15-20 threat surfaces with new features and connectivity being added.” As IoT continues its march of progress, both automotive organizations and their software peers must leverage their collective know-how to protect vehicles from such attacks, manipulation, or unauthorized access.

Our last blog discussed the dominance of today’s culture of convenience, and while paying to charge up your EV or ordering groceries directly from a vehicles infotainment screen is indeed a big step forward in this regard, the ability to deliver increasingly personalized services hinges on access to Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including credit cards, home addresses, and sensitive metadata. “Connectivity has the power to transform but is not without its risks. In automotive, cyber security threats are real, OEMs are facing a unique level of challenge given the increasing complexity of the product (e.g., the exploding amount of ECUs, lines of code, and level of connectivity), an extremely fragmented supply chain, and the integration of all these systems that can compromise any specific countermeasure.” To address the unique security challenges presented by the emerging V2V and V2I ecosystem many businesses are finding salvation in blockchain technology.

Similar to how Volvo made vehicle safety not only commonplace but a sellable feature with its introduction of the three-point seatbelt in 1959, automotive data security will be our generations addition to safe driving - and it is blockchain that can deliver the currency, platform, instantaneous communication, and security necessary to support this effort. As vehicles take their rightful place among IoT, the utilization of shared real-time data from connected ecosystems merged with a concurrence of technologies and enhanced digital experiences will drive the next phase of growth within automotive industry - and its application is tremendous; from real time monitoring, end-to-end transaction tracking, mobile-enabled dealerships, advanced supply chain logistics, and much more.

“In an age of privacy concerns and rapid evolution in vehicle technology, our automotive blockchain platform will ensure the security and integrity of customer and vehicle information while maintaining the intrinsic benefits of a globally connected ecosystem. As pioneers in this field, all our solutions use blockchain to secure, distribute, and validate transactions across all our constituents. We now look forward to offering the infrastructure necessary to drive blockchain adoption across the industry.” Pavana Jain, CEO and Founder

Powered by Blockcurr and Ethereum, SHIFTMobility’s Automotive Platform is the industry’s first and only blockchain-based hub for all information and transactions that touch a vehicle. The system facilitates transaction processing with enhanced data security, auditability, and transparency across all its platform tiers, thereby improving trust amongst anonymous participants. It incorporates digital identity to authenticate users, performs transaction verification, provenance, as well as record asset and value exchange on a distributed ledger. While other organizations are busy debating the implementation of blockchain through emerging consortiums, our platform is currently deployed in leading automotive businesses. By leveraging the enhanced traceability provided by our end-to-end technology, businesses can more accurately plan operations, drive efficiency, mitigate the strain of demand fluctuations, and institute the security required by our increasingly connected world. Learn more

SHIFTMobility Inc.

Sources:

https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/industries/automotive%20and%20assembly/our%20insights/shifting%20gears%20in%20cybersecurity%20for%20connected%20cars/shifting-gears-in-cyber-security-for-connected-cars.ashx

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevetengler/2020/09/01/the-top-twenty-unspoken-automotive-cybersecurity-questions-and-their-risks/?sh=751900ff457d

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2021-01-15 15:41:21

Rewriting the Auto Industry’s Future with Digital Platforms

With San Francisco’s annual International Auto Show shelved due to pandemic concerns, a very public illustration of private industry concerns was laid bare to everyday consumers for whom a decades-long holiday tradition had been cancelled. Unfortunately, when it comes to partaking in seasonal cornerstones or even routine daily affairs, Americans have had to make some adjustments as of late. Minor grievances aside, businesses across the United States are fighting for their very survival, and by this point most realize that simply cutting expenses and riding out the crisis does not a business plan make. To hold fast, companies must get proactive and understand that the culture of convenience is now king. The changes we’ve reluctantly become accustomed may or may not be here to stay, but the digital investments made to counter today’s economic slump will be crucial to long-term salvation.

Already comfortable with online commerce from decades of normalization, consumers are pleased with the automotive industry’s newfound love of convenience. J.D. Power found that “43% of car buyers tell us that they are willing to complete the entire purchase process online—without ever visiting the dealership”. Enthusiasts, too, have relished the new and specialized parts catalogs made available online, in turn boosting digital channels sales to record levels as they prepared their garaged beauties for the next time tires would hit asphalt. Leveraging e-commerce for car parts is not solely the purview of diehards, though, with joe average and scores of DIY buyers opting for the same experience. It appears that automotive consumers of all stripes have tasted the ease of online shopping, and it is sweet.

For those whose passion is strong but mechanical skills weak, new entrants eager to capitalize on rolling lockdowns and socially-distanced retail experiences will come directly to them to get their hands greasy. The days of “night-owl” key drop boxes are long past - the auto shop now comes to your driveway, giving “home delivery” an entirely new meaning in the process. And business is booming. One mobile mechanic provider, Seattle-based Wrench, has seen a “300% year-over-year increase in revenue for its repair business” from the onset of pandemic. Similarly, YourMechanic recently reported “twice the number of its usual bookings after sending out emails announcing a no-contact car repair service”.

The initial pandemic scare resulted in consumers clutching their wallets close to chest, subsequently boosting mobile repair services for those seeking to save capital by maintaining their current ride versus buying new. However, the pendulum will eventually swing back as dealerships solidify COVID-friendly procedures, perfect the contactless experience, and consumers regain confidence. Luckily, the Automotive industry has the raw material necessary to drive radical innovation in our data-driven economy; Internet-enabled cars and a mobile-savvy consumer base provide all the information necessary to capitalize on our “new normal”. The only piece missing for large-scale implementation and adoption is a platform to run it all. BMW is off to a solid start by launching its data hub collaboration with Amazon’s Cloud Computing division, created to give the German mark a heads up to possible supplier issues and sourcing problems. But quickly identifying internal processes ripe for efficiency is just the tip of the iceberg.

Depending on the make, some vehicles can accept wireless software updates that can make them better than they were when purchased. “Today, most automaker’s OTA updates improve a vehicle’s infotainment system (maps, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth compatibility), which, in our view, does not add material value to a vehicle. On the other hand, Tesla’s OTA updates improve infotainment systems, along with range, autonomy features, braking/acceleration functions, and safety systems.” With features such as these, it’s easy to see how the industry will soon move towards adopting software-hardware like margins. And while it’s true that legacy OEMs currently trail Tesla with in-car technology, it won’t be the case for long.

Just as vehicles and technology have continued to coalesce, Silicon Valley is now lending its expertise to automotive manufacturers. Contrary to the likes of Tesla or digital vehicle retailers such as Carvana, OEMs and dealership groups benefit from decades of brand identity and superior geographic reach, which could form a powerful symbiosis when paired with digital providers. As one such innovator, SHIFTMobility’s end-to-end secure auto retailing and service aggregation platform brings together OEMs, Dealers, Customers, and supply chain entities to digitally transform the user experience of purchasing and selling vehicles, parts, services, and accessories. If you’re ready to explore the only digital ecosystem designed to power our connected future contact us.

SHIFTMobility Inc.

Sources:

https://www.geekwire.com/2020/mobile-auto-repair-startup-wrench-thriving-amid-pandemic-especially-work-fleet-vehicles/

https://loupventures.com/teslas-software-advantage-is-clear-profitable/

https://www.fenderbender.com/articles/15932-plan-on-these-technology-trends

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