Magnus Gunnarsson, head of Connected Vehicle Business Development & Portfolio at Ericsson talked to Annie Turner about advances in connected cars and the obstacles to making multimodal traffic a reality.

Annie Turner: Lots of people are disappointed by the slower than expected take-up of IoT for transport-related applications. What do you think the causes are and do you think it will accelerate now, and why or why not?

Magnus Gunnarsson: From a connected vehicle perspective, I genuinely think this is the wrong perception. The connected vehicle is already a reality. Automakers are massively investing in digital services. New business models (car sharing and mobility as a service) are transforming traditional ownership models and value chains. Automated (self-driving) and connected safety technologies are around the corner.

AT: Where do you see the biggest opportunities for IoT in transport in the next two to three years?

MG: The biggest opportunities for IoT in transport are in connected vehicles, and specifically, commercial and passenger vehicles.

Magnus Gunnarsson

AT: How much do think that will change if we look further forward, five to seven years, say?

MG: Over the next seven years, the vehicle will be increasingly software defined, getting regular system updates over the air (like Tesla today). In seven years’ time, the electric vehicle will be mass-produced by major automakers, and consumers will start changing the perception of vehicle ownership and usage from product to service – Uber is just the start.

In seven years’ time, we will have the first self-driving commercial vehicles on the road.

Vehicles will be connected and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) equipped, reducing the number of accidents and ultimately, road fatalities.

AT: How integral is 5G to the successful deployment of IoT in transport?

MG: The 5G technology roadmap and technical capabilities match the advances in vehicle connectivity, and will support features such as self-drive and connected safety services. We believe that all new vehicles will be ultimately be connected.

Annie Turner

AT: Do you think intermodal (sometimes called multimodal) transport will become more important? Why you think that?

MG: My observations are that for multimodal transport to truly work, we will need multimodal ticketing and revenue-sharing systems, as well as data-sharing between different actors in the value chain, such as train operators, bus companies, city authorities and passengers).

I understand many of these actors are heavily locked into legacy systems, indicating that the true multimodal transport system will take time and efforts, and investment to realise. In contrast to the automotive industry where the automotive companies are leading the way, there is not a clear leading ecosystem actor to define that way forward. I’m sure multimodality will be a reality, but it might take longer than expected.

Magnus Gunnarsson, head of Connected Vehicle Business Development & Portfolio at Ericsson was interviewed by Annie Turner, editor of IoT Transport.

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