Enabling Transformational Mobility
Through Strategic Consulting
Focused on Connected &
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CAV News Digest - Vol. 5 No. 2 - October 2021

Barry Einsig



Software as a Service Business Models are Rapidly Changing the Mobility Industry 


As I write this, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, has just announced GM’s intention of doubling its annual revenue to $280 billion by 2030 as part of a digital push to be seen more like Tesla. This growth is, in part, due to GM’s transition to electric vehicles and their ability to digitize new in-vehicle systems and create new business models.


The real growth of profitability, safety, and consumer satisfaction will come from the connectivity, automation, and the digitization of vehicles. These advancements will enable GM and other vehicle manufactures, and the complete OEM ecosystem, to offer Software as a Service (SaaS) as a feature of their new vehicles, enhancing the consumer experience and potentially providing over-the-air safety and mobility system updates. From a software standpoint, this will allow vehicles to stay current much longer, similar to how your Smartphone, Smart TV, computer, or other household connected devices currently receive updates. For example, right now, my in-home router network security software says I have 42 devices connected to my home network and most I do not have to worry about when they are updated. 


The reason to talk about SaaS is that there is a lot of relevant discussion about Mobility Data and its value, or the connectivity and applications. However, there is not a lot of discussion about how business models must evolve to meet the needs of consumers of connectivity, applications, and data systems. Many confuse SaaS as being a technology when, in actuality, it is a business model. SaaS requires new thinking and a deep understanding of how the industry will utilize the digitization of its assets to develop new business models. 


Although automotive manufacturers make large-scale public announcements that capture everyone’s time and attention, there are also other types of companies that are new to the Mobility Industry or have been trusted partners within the industry for decades. These other companies are developing products and solutions for public and private sector customers in the Mobility space. The development of these products and solutions are driven by market needs, including states starting to build Mobility Data platforms. The next step is to develop SaaS models for all surface transportation stakeholders. A secondary driver is the national and international standards development and testing through programs, like the FHWA’s CARMA Program and global standards like SAE J2735. The CARMA Program includes an open-source software platform that enables testing and evaluation of cooperative automation concepts to improve safety and increase infrastructure efficiency. The Program also includes the ability to collaborate with other stakeholders.


As the industry moves forward, it is important to remember that SaaS is a business model and not a technology procurement. Therefore, it is important to remember that SaaS requires long-term planning for budget and staffing in order to address continuous updates, new solutions, new stakeholders, operations and maintenance, and technology refreshes for continuous improvement.


In addition, similar to other technology systems like Smart Homes, Smartphones, and computer systems, SaaS enabling technologies that target vehicle systems need to focus on Open-Source tools and data so that they can be utilized by all surface transportation stakeholders. Moreover, developers of new technologies and systems within the automotive ecosystem must know what they will be working with and that the software will work as expected. 


There is a tremendous opportunity and a very bright future for the Mobility industry, and we need to begin the digital journey now through planning, organization development, business model structure, budgeting, and open-source prioritization. If I can help with your connected mobility project and/or application, please reach out to me at beinsig@econolite.com, or via:




Thank you and I look forward to talking with you more in our next issue.


Mission Statement

1. CARMA Proof-of-Concept Transportation System Management and Operations Use Case 1 - Basic Arterial Travel-Stop-Controlled Intersections


The Story: CARMA, an initiative led by the FHWA, recently published this document that serves as a concept of operations (ConOps) for a transportation systems management and operations (TSMO) use case on arterials. The document is focused on SAE International Level 3+ automated driving systems (ADS) with and without connectivity and cooperation.


The Takeaway: This project, FHWA Cooperative Automation Research: CARMA Proof-of-Concept TSMO Use Case Testing, will extend the research from Prototype II (693JJ318F000225) by enhancing CARMA Platform to enable further capabilities of CDA participants to interact with the road infrastructure.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

2. GM Says It Will Double Annual Revenue By 2030 To $280 Billion In A Digital Push


The Story: The automaker announced the new revenue target, along with fatter projected operating profit margins of 12% to 14%, on Wednesday ahead of investor presentations in which it detailed how the company plans to hit those targets through traditional automotive operations and new software- and data-focused businesses meant to provide a “clear strategy” to persuade investors to value the company more like a technology start-up such as Tesla, which is valued at more than $750 billion, compared with $79 billion for GM.


The Takeaway: The revenue goal is based on a rolling average of about $140 billion for the automaker in recent years, a company spokesman said. GM’s revenue last year was nearly $122.5 billion, down 10.8% compared with 2019 thanks largely to factory shutdowns at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Its operating profit margin was 7.9% in 2020. “When you look at all of the investments we’ve been making for five years plus, that’s what positions us today to really be in execution mode,” GM CEO and Chair Mary Barra told reporters during a briefing ahead of the event. “We have great confidence in our ability to grow revenues.”


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

3. Toyota's Woven Planet Acquires Vehicle Operating System Developer Renovo Motors


The Story: Toyota subsidiary Woven Planet Holdings has made its third acquisition in less than a year in its bid to invest in, develop, and eventually bring future-of-transportation technologies like automated driving to market. This time, it’s Renovo Motors, the automotive operating system developer based in Silicon Valley that made its first big splash in 2015.


The Takeaway: Woven Planet, which earlier this year acquired mapping startup Carmera and Lyft’s autonomous driving unit, Level 5, is interested in Renovo’s vehicle operating system and how it might help speed up its own efforts. Renovo developed an operating system designed to run apps in vehicles related to automated driving, maps, and other mobility services that might be delivered to riders. The operating system, called AWare OS, works a lot like how Google’s Android allows app developers to launch services in the smartphone market. This middleware, which is designed to be flexible without compromising security, provides a platform that other companies can use to deploy software.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

4. Spoke and AWS Collaborate to Save Lives of Bicyclists, Motorcyclists, Scooter Riders, and Other Mobility Users


The Story: Spoke, a mobility platform for safety and rich rider experiences, announced a strategic relationship today with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deliver first-of-its-kind connectivity to bicyclists, motorcyclists, scooter riders and other mobility users on the roadway, ensuring they are "seen" by cars and can "see" vehicles and drivers around them.


The Takeaway: Spoke uses Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) direct communication, a technology for safety and mobility applications that provides drivers with instant, highly accurate alerts 10 times a second from their vehicles, so that they can take action and avoid crashes. C-V2X could reduce the number and severity of unimpaired crashes by up to 80%. For instance, drivers could be alerted that a bicyclist is in their blind spot when they are making a right turn or cyclists could be warned that a vehicle is passing another vehicle and coming into their lane.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.


5. What Inclusive Mobility Means to VW, and the Future of Transportation


The Story: Automated vehicles promise to improve safety, but their potential goes far beyond that. Automated vehicles can also help to overcome mobility barriers for a key population – people with disabilities who need more personal mobility options.


The Takeaway: “Our mission is to help improve transportation and the quality of life for everyone, especially people with disabilities. We work on specific features of hardware and software design to ensure that Volkswagen’s future vehicles and services can be used by as many people as possible,” said Christian Lorenz, Senior Director Intelligent Cockpit and Body at Volkswagen Group of America.


Want to read more? Visit the source here.

About CAVita


CAVita is a strategic consultancy focused on connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) that was formed in 2015 by seasoned and highly respected ITS industry executives Abbas Mohaddes and Peter Sweatman to provide public and private companies, municipalities, and organizations with the deep expertise required to successfully navigate and take advantage of transportation’s evolution.


Now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Econolite, CAVita maintains extensive contacts with decision-makers in vehicle and infrastructure technology, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), mobility systems for people and freight, technology companies, CAV deployment and testing consortia, leading research universities, and broader parts of the ecosystem including telecommunications, data analytics, logistics, Internet-of-Things (IoT), and insurance. Furthermore, CAVita’s Econolite affiliation affords unparalleled access to a broad array of engineering resources, ITS expertise, and deployment capabilities.


CAVita’s clients include some of the transportation industry’s leading organizations, such as the two largest transportation research institutes, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). Other clients include the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), and numerous private companies.


Contact CAVita today to discuss how we can help you accomplish your connected and automated vehicle goals!

CAV News Digest is a production of CAVita, LLC, an Econolite company.


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