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Five key learnings when exploring the possibilities for an automated vehicle fleet

22 November, 2018

One of our customers in the transportation business is undergoing a larger digital transformation, aiming at introducing and implementing new enabling technologies. The company is starting the shift from a traditional vehicle fleet to an automated vehicle fleet. This includes working with several of the popular technical concepts such as Autonomous cars, Mobility, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Big Data.

The end goal is clear – to introduce electrified self-driving vehicles to all the company’s locations! However, getting there is a bit more difficult as they currently have a fleet of 1000 vehicles many driven on fossil fuel or gas. Moving to mostly automated and electrical vehicles seemed to be really challenging. And how do you even start that transformation? In our experience, this is where many organizations get a little bit too excited, wanting to do it all at once and expect to get there quickly. Our five key learnings when introducing new enabling technology concepts in this project are:

  • Have high ambition but a realistic approach
    Having a high ambition and a stretched end goal makes your team and organization motivated and inspired. With that said, it is important to have a realistic approach toward your project. What is possible to do today and within the next six months? Start with the resource and competencies you have and build on them and let the project grow as you become more mature and knowledgeable.
  • Start with something that isn’t threatening
    New “high-tech” solutions can be frightening and be met with both skepticism and insecurity regarding, for example, safety aspects both from your own organization and your customers. What we did was to start off with something familiar and relatively safe to gain trust and show that it works.
  • Try out different things in small scale
    When entering a new technology area that still is under development, you can’t go right the first time. Try out different technologies, suppliers, and functions to learn what is working and what is not for your organization. We are doing several Proof-of-Concepts to build knowledge and try things out in small scale. We are not introducing solutions with a big bang implementation.
  • Partner up
    You are the expert of your business, but that doesn’t make you the expert on new technology or the latest innovations. Make sure to partner up with others! The willingness to share learnings and expertise with each other is high, especially in new and innovative areas. Maybe you can offer the customer base or a test area that the ones developing the technology are missing? Universities and research institutes are great partners when entering new technology areas.
  • See it as a learning journey and involve the whole organization
    Why go into an area with untested and new technology? Why not just wait until someone else has tested and developed it? See the technology investment in your organization as something more than just that. See it as an investment in your staff, appreciate the value of the knowledge and culture it will build and – perhaps best of all – draw on the strength it gives the organization, knowing they can lead the way and shape the future and not just follow others.
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