Automotive Trends:  Part One, “KITT – Can You Pick Me Up Outside the Theatre?”

Automotive Trends: Part One, “KITT – Can You Pick Me Up Outside the Theatre?”

Photo: Thomas Desmet and Marco Kunz, both Product Owners at R3PI, discussing automotive trends.  

The way we travel is fundamentally changing before our eyes. New systems of transportation are allowing us to be hypermobile and vehicles are becoming more intelligent, cleaner and safer. These improved vehicles will help us to responsibly utilize the space we have in crowded cities, for example, and hopefully solve many infrastructural problems.

For most of us, owning your own vehicle is incredibly convenient, but this convenience is costly. In the future, your vehicle could become an earning asset, not just a depreciating one.

These three factors, we believe, are driving change in the industry:

Urbanization and sustainability – the need to utilize vehicles better and reduce the amount of pollution from vehicles.
Flexibility and seamless travel – the need to have transportation available anywhere, and the need to move seamlessly from A to B.
Technology, specifically software – more sensors provide more data and combined with more computing power and applications create more abilities to support the driver with the ultimate goal of making the driver redundant and maneuvering the vehicle along roads autonomously.

At Solera’s innovation hub, R3PI, we think a lot about how these changes will impact the automotive industry. We asked our experts to discuss a few trends they think will change the way we think about cars today.

Product Leaders Thomas Desmet, Marco Kunz and Pascal Stucki develop and launch new products for Solera and its customers. These guys spend their days thinking about the next big thing in automotive tech. We’ll be sharing some of their key insights in a three-part series: Automotive Trends.

Part 1 is all about market share and new opportunities for players in the OEM space. Be on the lookout for Parts 2 & 3, but for now, enjoy!

Part 1: Competing for market share and new income opportunities in the OEM space

Most autonomous driving projects are happening in tech firms, often in partnership with the automobile industry to combine the collective knowledge into hardware and software products.

Take the UBER and Toyota cooperation as an example, where Toyota, Denso invested $667 million to jointly work on autonomous driving, despite burning through significant cash.

“This is super capital-intensive R&D,” according to Desmet. And we’re not talking about small projects—recently Uber’s self-driving venture was valued at over $7 billion. Just for comparison, in its 15 years, Tesla is valued at over $60 billion, surpassing the 100-year old German OEM giant BMW and Daimler, valued at approximately $55 billion.

Also, tech veteran Microsoft is looking for its share of the pie, providing the cloud-based Azure autonomous driving platform to early cooperation partners including VW, Renault and Nissan.
While Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle is reported to drive most miles without human intervention.

Stucki notes the emerging competition is something pretty exciting to watch. “Matching the best software developers with the leading hardware providers creates a lot of potential in a market that’s just waiting for disruption.”

Two examples of this match made in heaven come to mind: A. Microsoft Office is enabled in non-Microsoft devices, and B. OEMs provide both hardware and software, as we see with Apple and Tesla.

“We believe that we will see both in the future, where traditional OEMs are more likely to rely on software providers,” says Stucki.

Tesla is taking autonomous vehicles further—the company recently announced that it can run robotaxis in the Tesla model 3. 

This is where it becomes interesting, says DesmetIn comparison to other vehicles, a Tesla can make money for you and be considered an investment rather than a commodity.   

If you consider the future, in a world where everything is available for peer-to-peer rental, anything you own, from your clothes to your apartment, could make money for you when youre not using it, adds Stucki. 

Following British designer Vivienne Westwood’s words, “Buy less, choose well and make it last, Desmet twists it: “Buy less, choose well and let it make money for you. 

Tell us what you think! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Solera and American Red Cross Sound the Alarm on Fire Safety

Solera and American Red Cross Sound the Alarm on Fire Safety

Solera to sponsor Red Cross’s Sound the Alarm event in the Kentucky area for smoke alarm installation and fundraising for lifesaving services

WESTLAKE, Texas, April 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Solera Holdings, Inc. (“Solera”), a global leader in intelligent data and software as a service (SaaS) to manage and secure the automotive, light and heavy truck fleet, home and identity ecosystems, today announced its partnership with the American Red Cross (“the Red Cross”) to sponsor Sound the Alarm, an outreach program to raise funds for and supply proper fire safety equipment to at-risk communities throughout the United States.

Sound the Alarm events will be taking place in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands over two weeks this spring, from April 27 to May 12. With the assistance of local fire departments and other volunteer networks, as well as local community volunteers, participants will install free smoke alarms, resolve home fire hazards and help families create escape plans.

“Every day, seven people tragically lose their lives in home fires across the U.S.—often, because they don’t have working smoke alarms and a plan to escape safely,” said Jennifer Adrio, chief executive officer, for the American Red Cross Kentucky Region. “Hundreds of families have been kept safe from devastating fire by these smoke alarms, and the Red Cross has verified 57 lives saved in the Kentucky Region, since the inception of the program in 2014. We’re proud to partner with companies like Solera who value action and caring for your community.”

Many fire fatalities can be prevented with functioning smoke alarms. The Red Cross started the Home Fire Campaign to reduce fire-related injuries and deaths by 25% and since 2014 has installed over 1.5 million smoke alarms and reached 1.3 million youth through its fire preparedness trainings.

Ron Massey, Head of Human Resources for Solera, said, “Our mission as a company is to make vehicles, roads and homes safer, and the spirit of the Red Cross aligns perfectly with that mission. This event is giving families everything they need to build a sustainable home environment that will keep them safe for many years. We want to help keep communities thriving without the fear of losing a home to fire.”

To learn more about events happening in your area or to donate to the program, please visit redcross.org/sound-the-alarm.

About Solera

Solera was founded by Tony Aquila with the mission to digitalize and empower mobility transactions across the critical 54 and 250 lifecycle touchpoints of a car, truck and fleet, delivering true transparency and knowledge to all stakeholders. Today, Solera’s leading digital technologies manage and protect life’s most important assets: our cars, trucks, homes and digital identities. The company processes more than 300 million digital transactions annually for approximately 235,000 partners and customers in over 90 countries. For more information, please visit solera.com.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

SOURCE Solera Holdings, Inc.

Related Links
https://www.solera.com

Media Contact:
Olivia Griner
Global Director, Public Relations and Analyst Relations
olivia.griner@solera.com

Welding Remains a Hot Topic in Automotive Repair 

Welding Remains a Hot Topic in Automotive Repair 

April is National Welding Month and to celebrate, we’re taking a closer look at this integral step in the vehicle manufacturing and repairing process. 

To make this month even sweeter, Solera is in the middle of a major construction project on our new CESVI LIV North America center, a research and training site for automotive professionals. Welding courses, hands-on training and specialized curriculum will be available throughout the year at the center. See the news coverage of our groundbreaking here.   

Outside of large manufacturing outfits, welding is still a human process that requires a high level of skill and technical proficiency. But as the industry’s workforce ages, the need for expert welders increases. Here’s your guide to why the world needs Grade-A welders, and what industry partners can do to promote this coveted skill.  

The auto industry relies on welding expertise 

Welding is critical for collision repair. The various types of welding require different levels of skill and technical expertise, even on a single vehicle. For example, the 2018 Honda Accord has 66% spot welds, 27.3% steel MIG welds and 6.7% MIG brazing, according to Identifix. That’s three separate techniques to master. Many shops do not have the capacity for high-powered, industrial equipment such as lasers or robotics. Repairing a vehicle after its been damaged in an accident takes a skilled welder with an eye for precision.  

Training is a top priority 

According to I-CAR, 69% of technicians lack welding training or certifications. There’s a major gap in welding education, and an even greater gap in representation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 2% of all welders are women. Meanwhile, the profession is seeing an increase in demand. Luckily, welding training is becoming more accessible with trade programs and specialized courses offered through industry partners.  

Solera is piloting its own research and training center, its first in North America, to educate and equip the next generation of automotive repair professionals. With state-of-the-art resources and innovation labs, the CESVI LIV center will be at the helm of vehicle repair knowledge and safety implementation, acting on the data and findings from hands-on, real-time experiments and road tests. The most valuable course for students will be the welding inspection course, where technicians will learn how to determine if welds are quality or not based on OEM specifications and the American Welding Society standards.  

If you’re a great welder, you’re probably a great partner 

Patience is a virtue; we all know that. What we didn’t know is that to be a good welder, you need to have lots of patience for your craft. Welding is a skill that will develop over time, much like any other. Technicians are challenged to follow the design of the vehicle as closely as possible when working on a repair, so closely studying welding techniques is critical to a quality overall fix. You won’t be the world’s best welder on your first try—you do need to put in a lot of hours in the shop to be decent at welding, and there’s always more to learn. Staying humble and eager to improve are essential to building up your skill.  

3 Steps to Ensure Your Summer Road Trip is the Safest and Smoothest of the Year

3 Steps to Ensure Your Summer Road Trip is the Safest and Smoothest of the Year

April is National Car Care Month and to celebrate, we’re rounding up our hottest tips on keeping your vehicle running in top condition. On deck this week: three steps to ensure your summer road trip is the safest and smoothest of the year. 

Between the hot weather, long distances and bumper to bumper traffic, a summer road trip can be tough on your car. Not to mention the ice cream and hot dog spills wreaking havoc in the cabin.  

If you’re planning on hitting the road soon, here’s how to make sure you have a safe and successful trip.  

#1: Check your tire pressure and tread wear. If you notice your tire pressure is looking a bit low, stop by the nearest gas station to fill up to the recommended level. This number can be found either on a sticker inside the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. Passenger car tires are typically between 32 to 35 psi.  Examine the tread of your tires and feel around for bulges or damage. Whether you’re on the road for pleasure or aiming for speed, flawed tires can severely impact your efficiency and gas mileage. Proper tire pressure and tread are the wind beneath your vehicle’s wings.

#2: Check your fluids. The coolant and power steering are usually in easy to reach places—be sure to check your levels and fill up accordingly. And don’t forget to bring a few gallons of spare gas in an approved container. One or all of these things may be the difference between making it to the nearest service station or being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

#3: Make sure the spare tire is full of air and you have all the tools necessary to change your tire. See #1 for the lecture on proper tire pressure. Be sure you at least have a jack, lug wrench and a spare tire traveling with you in the event of a flat. Phones these days are equipped with flashlights, but it never hurts to stow an actual flashlight in the glove box for nighttime fixes. An emergency warning device, like a reflective sign, will warn other drivers and keep you safe on the roadside 

If you think your car needs to be looked over by a professional, consider scheduling a roadworthiness checkoften called a safety check or a used car inspection. You’ll never regret spending the extra time making sure your car is safe to drive long distances. As always, the internet is a wealth of information, and you’ll find some useful videos to guide you.  

By following these steps, you can make sure your car is as ready for a summer road trip as you are. And don’t forget to follow along on social all throughout April to catch our car care tips and tricks!  

Groundbreaking for Revolutionary Automotive Research and Training Center in North America Scheduled for February 21, 2019

– Will showcase an innovative blend of both industry research and expert training

– CESVI LIV NA will feature the latest repair and maintenance tools, equipment and processes for U.S. automotive and insurance industries

WESTLAKE, Texas, Feb. 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Solera Holdings, Inc. (“Solera”, “we” or “our”), a global leader in intelligent data and software as a service (SaaS) to manage and secure the automotive, light and heavy truck fleet, home and identity ecosystems, will host a groundbreaking for its research and training center, CESVI LIV Center of North America (CESVI LIV NA), on February 21, 2019.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 15580 Highway 114, Justin, Texas at 12:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. Attendees will learn about the development, mission and strategy of CESVI LIV NA from Chris Mullen, Executive Director of CESVI LIV NA, and Tony Aquila, founder, Chairman and CEO of Solera.

Focused on providing factual, credible and documented research, CESVI LIV NA will curate data on reparability, diagnostics and procedures. The center will also disseminate this research throughout training and deliver expert consultancy on advanced technology trends.

Research will span the automotive insurance, collision repair, vehicle manufacturer and vehicle owner industries. CESVI LIV NA will provide insight and deliver tools to reduce repair costs within the North American claims environment. Additionally, CESVI LIV NA will integrate OEM repair procedures into consultation and training that promotes best practices in vehicle service, maintenance and repair.

“This center will add value to the automotive insurance industry. Our research, consultation, technology and training will provide data and insights into the most efficient and effective repair processes; which will then support better residual values and create more cost-efficient automotive repairs ensuring safe vehicles get back on the road,” said Chris Mullen, Executive Director of CESVI LIV NA.

With the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that an average of 76,000 mechanics will be needed each year between 2016 and 2026, the center also addresses the acute shortage of skilled automotive technicians. Once completed, the research-to-action facility, believed to be the first of its kind in North America, will enable mechanics, collision technicians, and assessors of all skill levels, from entry-level to master, to earn additional certifications and gain hands-on training for real-world scenarios on the sophisticated vehicles on the road today.

“Combining research and training makes this center the first of its kind in North America,” continued Mullen. “When technicians, students and other interested parties enroll in CESVI LIV NA, they will be able to participate in industry-leading training that is influencing industry standards through research-driven courses that are continuously being updated and evaluated based on the latest trends.”

CESVI is a network of independent research and training centers available in Europe, Asia and Latin America that are dedicated to improving performance in a holistic approach for all stakeholders addressing many of the 54 points of a vehicle’s lifecycle. With the help from Solera and over 30 years of success, CESVI brings the best global practices fully customized for the North American market through CESVI LIV NA.

For more information about the CESVI LIV NA center, visit www.cesviliv.com.

About Solera

Solera was founded by Tony Aquila with the mission to digitalize and empower mobility transactions across the critical 54 and 250 lifecycle touchpoints of a car, truck and fleet, delivering true transparency and knowledge to all stakeholders. Today, Solera’s leading digital technologies manage and protect life’s most important assets: our cars, trucks, homes and digital identities. The company process more than 300 million digital transactions annually for approximately 235,000 partners and customers in over 90 countries. For more information, please visit www.solera.com.

Cautions about Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the anticipated activities of the CESVI LIV NA facility, including but not limited to, providing, data, insight, training and tools to reduce repair costs within the North American claims environment; integrating OEM repair procedures into consultation and training to promote best practices; supporting better residual values and creating more cost-efficient automotive repairs; enabling collision repair stakeholders to earn additional certifications and gain hands-on training; and providing value and efficiencies to the vehicle collision and vehicle service, maintenance and repair industries. These statements are based on our current expectations, estimates and assumptions and are subject to many risks, uncertainties and unknown future events that could cause actual results to differ materially. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in our business and CESVI LIV NA’s business, including, without limitation: the failure to realize the expected benefits of the CESVI LIV NA research and training center; continued adoption of CESVI LIV NA’s and the Solera group’s products and services; effects of competition on product and service offerings and pricing on CESVI LIV NA’s business and the Solera group’s business; our ability to obtain additional financing as necessary to support our business or operations; and rapid technology changes in our and CESVI LIV NA’s industry. Solera is under no obligation to (and specifically disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Solera Holdings, Inc.

Related Links
https://www.solera.com

Media Contact:
Olivia Griner
Global Director, Public Relations and Analyst Relations
olivia.griner@solera.com