21 Jan Self-parking cars impact the future for auto manufacturers
Self-parking cars are coming to American streets. In January, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved models for a vehicle that is able to park itself, stating the technology met the requirements within the Federal Motor Safety Standard. According to CNN, BMW will be the first company to unveil the technology, with its debut likely coming in 2017.
At the Detroit International Auto Show, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx spoke glowingly of BMW's plan, explaining that the first proposal the automaker had for a self-parking vehicle was rejected by the DOT. But the company went back to the drawing board and made the proper corrections, improving on safety before re-submitting their idea. Foxx encouraged other car companies to take this approach in the future, re-working their plans to improve the driver experience.
"We are taking a fresh look at current regulations to see where new interpretations can be made, and we are asking manufacturers to continue to ask us to examine our regulations," Foxx said. "And, finally, we are asking manufacturers to request exemptions where they believe automation advances can be deployed safely."
For automotive manufacturers, this innovative approach can mean a great amount of possibilities for future production. New developments are going to change how vehicles are designed and produced. It also may impact the types of parts that need to be manufactured. With changes like self-parking technology being approved for production, and other upgrades coming in the future, a manufacturing business must do everything it can to keep up with the times and be on the cutting edge of the changes within the transportation sector.
Different fixes to the same issue
BMW is not the only automaker that has been developing self-parking vehicles. According to Fortune magazine, a pair of other car companies also are working on the same type of devices, but with drastically different approaches. Nissan is creating a step-by-step procedure that will allow any type of driver behind the wheel of one of their cars to use the parking assist feature. A prototype of the design debuted earlier this year, with the hope that the feature will gain DOT approval and be available in vehicles by 2018.
"New developments are going to change how vehicles are designed and produced."
Meanwhile Tesla has created its own self-parking technology that can be used in its cars right now. The company has created software that owners of their Model S electric vehicle can download, helping the vehicle measure distances from the curb and instruct it how to find its way into parking spots.
Both tactics are different than the BMW model that Foxx praised in Detroit. In that model, the driver exits the car, though they must be within six feet of the vehicle for the technology to work. Once outside, the driver uses a remote control that triggers sensors and cameras within the car. The remote also allows the driver to stop the automatic parking process whenever they chose, CNN reported.
For manufacturers, the multiple approaches to the same issue offer an intriguing test case. By studying how BMW, Nissan and Tesla each approach their product, and which approach users find works best, it could impact what the future holds for self-parking technology and other advances within automotive manufacturing.
As the automotive industry continues to change, more new innovations will emerge. The production and sales of electric cars have grown in recent years, something that was unheard of just a decade ago. If self-parking cars are indeed the next big trend, it will represent another change for manufacturers, one that could lead to great growth if a business is ready for what the new technology needs.
Value in MES
With changes coming for automotive manufacturing businesses, having a manufacturing execution system is not only helpful, it's a downright necessity. An MES can oversee business operations, allowing a company to make smarter decisions while saving time. Given how quickly the industry changes, having an outside source to oversee production can prove to be a huge benefit.
"Having a manufacturing execution system is not only helpful, it's a downright necessity."
Atachi NGIMES is an innovative software program custom designed to help automotive manufacturing businesses. The system analyzes data in real time and helps business leaders make informed choices on what the company should focus on or how to get the greatest results. With a focus on quality processes and upgraded tracking features, manufacturing companies can analyze how technology like self-parking should be approached moving forward.
The DOT's approval of BMW's plan for self-parking cars is just the start; for an automotive manufacturer, that is exciting. The possibilities of the technology could mean a great boost to a business, but only if processes taken are in line with what customers and automakers are looking for.
Having the support of an MES like NGIMES is so important to make sure automotive manufacturers stay current on what the rest of the industry is doing.