Mobility Today: Top Market Trends & Where Digital Olfaction Fits In

By Fanny Turlure

Oct 1, 2019

Nearly every major auto player today is reevaluating their business model as a result of digital disruption. For the first time in 100 years, when we saw the transition from carriage to car, the automotive industry has reached an inflection point as a result of C.A.S.E (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electrified) technologies.
But it’s not just technological advancement that’s driving us into a new mobility era. We’re also experiencing an increase in urbanization, with the United Nations even predicting that 68 percent of the world’s population willlive in urban areas by 2050. That not only results in greater pollution and congestion, but alters how consumers think about the future of mobility, further exemplified by the following key trends:
Humans can sense an average of 1 trillion odors, but can’t often distinguish between them. Unlike color and sound, smell does not fall along a clear spectrum, making it hard to compare various odors. But Aryballe is helping to change this by evaluating characteristics of individual scent molecules and testing them against a database of known smells using a combination of biochemistry, advance optics and machine learning.

Its first product, the NeOse Pro™, launched at CES 2018, delivers this unique olfaction technology in an easy-to-use, handheld unit.

Going green

The electric vehicle (EV) market is predicted to reach $570 billion by 2025, with Volkswagen alone saying it will spend $40 billion on EVs and self-driving technology by 2022. The fact is, consumers are demanding greener vehicles due to the increasing recognition of the effects of global warming, and automakers are paying attention.

Affordability is key

The cost of car ownership is rising. Not only do cars require regular maintenance and insurance fees, but oil prices are rising. Yet, cars sit unused 95 percent of the time. But consumer sentiment continues to shift, and more and more people are becoming ready for shared vehicles –and shared cost. While it’s a much smaller market than EVs and self-driving vehicles, car sharing is still expected to hit $11 billion by 2024, with each shared vehicle having approximately 100 unique drivers by next year

Safety is not only expected, it’s demanded

Protection in vehicles has gone from seat belts to eliminate injury in an accident, to working to prevent accidents altogether with the introduction of things like anti-lock braking systems (ABS). Today, we’re seeing efforts to start even earlier in the process, and predict user behavior. Audi introduced active lane assist, which observes the road ahead and helps the driver to stay in perfect control. And of course, the goal of any autonomous vehicle is to estimate driver intentionandalso have a good readout of the whole environment in which the vehicle is moving.

While autonomous vehicles (AV) are certainly one of the main shifts taking place in the automotive industry today, with market size expected to grow to $550 billion by 2026 –10x
its market size today –AVs will still be limited to specific areas, especially as the question of liability continues to get solved. However, a dream just a few years back is now reality, and automotive players are taking note

The Internet of Cars

Each of these trends has drastically changed the structure of the automotive industry itself, and a new era, what we call the Internet of Cars, is upon us. In addition to the trends listed above, we are seeing greater connectivity and the introduction of sensors inside vehicles, spurred by the promise of 5G.

But amidst all this connectivity, one thing is missing –digital olfaction. 5G and the increasing web of sensors offers the potential to enhance driver comfortand safety, especially when it comes to smell. Just think, what if you could sense a change in body odor and automatically adjust the temperature inside the car? Or in line with consumer safety demand, identify when a car needs to be taken in for maintenance, or might have a fuel leak? Integrated digital olfaction sensors would allow automotive providers to remotely access data inside vehicles in real time and better understand the events impacting not only the smell of a car, but the comfort level of the driver and passengers

Stay tuned for our next blog post as we dive deeper into the specific use cases for digital olfaction in mobility, and how it will further improve the rider experience.

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