Usage-based insurance, built-in Google connectivity, and fleet management solutions are some of the connected vehicle capabilities automakers have recently rolled out or found customers accept with subscriptions.
Rivian Automotive announced on May 11 during its latest quarterly earnings call that early owners of its R1 trucks and SUVs have achieved strong take-up rates for the company’s insurance product integrated into its connected vehicle platform. .
“It allows us to create very strong, data-driven insights into the business and, most importantly, with some of that data-driven insights, allows us to continue to evolve the relationship that we have with our client” , RJ Scaringe, Founder, Chairman and CEO, said on the call.
The electric vehicle maker has also made several over-the-air (OTA) updates with customer vehicles, adding a garage door opener, improved self-driving features, more driving modes and more driving platforms. diagnostic.
Bringing digital lives into cars
Volvo is also expanding its range of connected services. Volvo Car USA announced earlier this month that Google built-in will be installed across the 2023 lineup, which will begin arriving in US retailers this summer.
With this feature, drivers will have access to voice control through Google Assistant, navigation through Google Maps, and access to additional apps through the Google Play store. Cars will also be able to receive OTAs so that they can receive and install software updates remotely.
“As part of the Google ecosystem, Volvo cars now offer a seamless transition between digital life at home and on the phone, bringing customers’ digital lives and much greater personalization right into their cars,” said the automaker in a statement announcing the new products.
Offer connected solutions for fleets
On the fleet vehicle side, Rivian produces its EDV commercial vans that are paired with its FleetOS fleet management platform that can predictively analyze maintenance needs and manage vehicle lifecycle health.
The company has an order from Amazon for 100,000 of these commercial vans. It is now producing the vehicles and its forecast for the year 2022 is for 25,000 total vehicles produced, with VEDs accounting for about a third of that total production.
“As we ramp up production and deliveries of EDVs, we are excited about the impact our close partnership with Amazon will have on the commercial vehicle space,” Scaringe said.
Fleet solutions are also proving to be in high demand at Ford, which created Ford Pro last year to focus on commercial fleets. In addition to vehicles, Ford Pro offers software, charging, financing and other services.
“Early innings suggest the big subscription revenue, opportunity and benefit is in Ford Pro with telematics, fleet management, energy management and ADAS on the retail side,” Ford Chairman and CEO Jim Farley said in an online press conference in March.
Read more: Ford aims to produce 2 million connected electric vehicles per year by 2026
Generate margins as the parking lot grows
Like many other automakers, Rivian said it expects growing demand for connected services. Asked by an analyst on the earnings call why Rivian didn’t leave behind-the-scenes software development to others and only build customer-facing software in-house — like some other brands do – Scaringe said the company wants to take full advantage of all vehicle sensors and hardware to create a unique customer experience and continually improve it.
“More than just putting a new color on the screen, but deepening the performance of the vehicle, whether it’s autonomous driving, performance attributes or digital features or digital capabilities of the vehicle,” Scaringe says. “We believe in the importance of both developing and controlling the entire stack.”
Along with insurance, FleetOS and other software services, Scaringe said Rivian leverages its digital infrastructure on both the consumer and business side.
“The long-term 65% gross margin opportunity offered by our software and services portion of the business ultimately allows us to quickly build and grow margins over time as we consider the cumulative effects what our growing parking lot can produce,” Scaringe said. .