Skip to Content

How to set yourself up to redesign the car around the user
What steps should you take when designing a better Mobility Experience?

Mike Welsh
18 Jan 2024

The old way of designing cars works for old car designs. But the car of the future will require some changes to existing methods, along with some entirely new approaches. Cars used to be designed around engineering possibilities, but thanks to digital technology, they can now be designed around the user experience. So, what will that take?

In the previous blog, we covered the key ingredients of the vehicle user experience. Here, we’ll discuss how to redesign the vehicle for that user experience.

Step 1: Plan new use cases and business models

Change how you think about the car. It’s no longer a machine to get people from A to B, it’s now an environment where people spend time and benefit from experiences.

The vehicle that rolls off of the production line can be thought of now as a Minimal Value Product – a product which can increase its value through software additions across its life cycle. For automotive companies, correctly implementing this business model is partly a financial engineering challenge – which will also require a change in mindset for both vendors and consumers.

Step 2: Build the in-car tech to enable these new use cases

The in-car software and hardware architecture to support these new services will fall into three categories:

  • The software and processing power to run information and entertainment displays, as well as repurpose a glut of ‘big data’ into meaningful information. This will likely include processing data from onboard sensors, and from external devices.
  • The communication technology to allow the vehicle to exchange information with external devices, as well as selecting the right protocols (Wi-Fi, cellular modems, etc.) to deliver this.
  • An ecosystem that allows the car to safely access third-party apps, including processes for app certification.

Step 3: Verify

All of the above needs rigorous testing and verification. Mostly, this will involve running new services in a simulated vehicle environment to check they function as intended.

Some services may need road testing. But for ones that don’t touch vehicle controls, or risk causing distractions, it is usually fine to conduct ‘real-world testing’, by launching beta versions, gathering user feedback, and using this data to continually improve products.

Step 4: Create a software-driven culture to outpace the competition

The move to digital services is forcing traditional automotive companies to rethink how they build and launch services. The digital culture of rapidly iterating digital products must reconcile itself with the more traditional, measured and safety-conscious automotive approach.

Step 5: Evolve your supplier ecosystem

Carmakers will need to expand their list of suppliers. Gone are the days when a Tier 1 knew everyone and could handle everything. This brave new world will encompass specialist providers in telco, silicon, software development and XR, as well as emerging technologies, like the metaverse.


Mike Welsh

T&I Director Capgemini Engineering
Michael is responsible for defining and executing the technology strategy and roadmap across the ER&D Automotive Portfolio. He is also currently the Offer owner for Mobility Experience which includes Intelligent Cockpit, Vehicle Communication and Mobility Services.