Reskilling mobility workforce in the age of electronics and software

The future is focused on Big Data, extending vehicle life, enabling predictive safety and maintenance activities, and enhancing battery lifespan.

By Nagesh Basavanhalli, Greaves Cotton Limited calendar 21 Feb 2024 Views icon8178 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Reskilling mobility workforce in the age of electronics and software

As the automotive industry charges forward into an era marked by groundbreaking technological advancements, the influence of electronics and software on automotive and mobility solutions has never been more significant.  A transformative synergy has emerged between cutting-edge software solutions and advanced hardware components, fuelling innovations in electric and autonomous vehicles, AI-powered navigation, connectivity features, and sophisticated driver assistance systems.  The seamless integration of software and hardware showcased at events like CES shapes the future of mobility, connectivity, and safety in the automotive landscape.
 
Germany's automotive giant, Volkswagen, a prominent industry player, is making a substantial Euro 44 billion commitment to upskill its workforce as it pivots towards electric vehicles (EVs). In the United States, automotive leaders like Ford and General Motors heavily invest in clean technology. These American companies collaborate with community colleges and technical schools to create regionally focused training programs tailored to specific needs. Renowned for its technological prowess, Japan proactively addresses the challenge through initiatives such as the "Electrification of Vehicles for a Carbon-Neutral Society" strategy. This concerted global effort underscores the industry's dedication to staying at the forefront of technological progress and shaping the future of mobility innovation.
 
Critical insights from global technology trends highlight the rising complexity of technology, constantly changing job roles, intense global competition, and growing customer expectations.  Reskilling is essential, covering various subjects like designing complex electronic systems, understanding semiconductors and chips, controller hardware, software programming, communication protocols, cybersecurity, and more.  Digital technologies such as ADAS, Navigation, Bluetooth, 5G/6G, IoT/Telematics, and Data Analytics leveraging cloud-based processing are crucial.  The future is focused on Big Data, extending vehicle life, enabling predictive safety and maintenance activities, and enhancing battery lifespan.
 
Navigating the intricacies of the evolving mobility landscape is not just a necessity but a compelling global imperative.  The transformative potential transcends borders, and the collective impact of comprehensive skilling initiatives has the power to thrust organisations to the forefront of worldwide mobility innovation. Amidst the clean tech revolution, driven by strides in electronics and software, an extraordinary opportunity emerges with the increasing participation of women in the workforce.  It is strategically necessary to provide reskilling opportunities to empower women and the younger workforce. This becomes a powerful equaliser, harmonising the industry's landscape and guaranteeing a diverse and innovative workforce, propelling it to unprecedented heights.  As vehicles metamorphose into sophisticated, interconnected systems, reskilling the mobility workforce becomes not just advisable but imperative.  This evolution underscores the urgent need for a workforce adept at navigating the complexities inherent in these cutting-edge developments.
 
With one of the world's fast-growing automobile markets, India understands the importance of having a skilled workforce to keep up the momentum.  The government has introduced programs like the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to support training initiatives.  Integrating India's Semiconductor mission, schemes for Advanced Cell Chemistry (ACC), and critical Automotive technologies create a significant platform for local manufacturing and skill development.  Global tools like advanced simulation software and PLM/ALM systems help speed up product development.  Skills in validation testing, service and repair, and charging software and hardware are crucial for the workforce.  Swappable battery technologies are also on the horizon, and the government is actively involved.  Skills in various areas are essential to embrace the future of electric vehicles successfully.

In the era of mobility evolution driven by electronics and software, reskilling the workforce is a global imperative. Significant players like Volkswagen, Ford, and General Motors are investing heavily in upskilling initiatives, aligning with the clean tech revolution. Recognising the transformative synergy between software and hardware, industry leaders are preparing for the complexities of interconnected vehicle systems.  Amidst this, the increasing participation of women in the workforce presents a strategic opportunity that demands a proactive approach to reskilling. The urgency for diverse and innovative skills is underscored by global technology trends, emphasising the importance of adapting to evolving job roles and customer expectations. 
 
As the industry navigates these complexities, a call to action emerges—organisations worldwide must prioritise and invest in comprehensive reskilling initiatives to ensure a skilled workforce that propels mobility innovation to unprecedented heights in the age of electronics and software.

Nagesh Basavanhalli, Non-Executive Vice-Chairman of Greaves Cotton Limited. Views expressed are those of the author.

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