From mechanical to electronic platforms: The telematics revolution in the automotive industry

Type de publication:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 4, Number 1, p.62-73 (2004)



Over the past 20 years or so Fordist production methods of car construction have by and large been replaced globally by the Japanese lean production system. Out of this has grown modularisation as platform engineering was adopted in the drive to control costs and yet maintain brand identities. Much of this was dependent upon mechanical technologies. More recently, as a consequence of developments in electronics, computer and communications technologies both within and without the automotive industry, the balance has shifted more towards the use of electronics in automobiles. This paper looks at possible developments in the use of telematics in cars and argues that the future lies increasingly in alliances between the auto producers and the electronics, computer hardware/software and communications industries. However, despite this there remains a degree of consumer resistance to paying for electronic devices and services, and it is suggested here that a considerable consumer education drive is required if the telematics revolution is to take place as forecast earlier.

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