Digital technologies are surpassing the more traditional methods of running engineering companies. As industrial automation begins to infiltrate engineering sectors, companies are drastically changing the way they operate to keep up.
On the 26th of September 2019, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) opened a new automotive creation and development center in England. The center will bring JLR’s engineering, manufacturing, designing, research, and development teams all under the same roof.
“We are now an IT company,” said JLR CEO Ralf Speth.
“We have to go away from the old way of doing things.”
The overarching theme of the facility is automation, with JLR’s entire manufacturing process now being automated, delivering a clear message that JLR is changing with the times.
Hardware has also taken a backseat at the heart of the manufacturing process, as the company has shifted its focus to new and improved smart-features within their vehicles. The challenge of creating new software is now their new priority as “100s of millions of lines of code” are currently in development.
At the launch of the site, JLR’s head of engineering, Nick Rogers, said that the number of traditional mechanical engineering staff is beginning to dwindle as the number of software, mechatronics, and electrical system engineers they require for their manufacturing process increases.
The center cost nearly one billion dollars and will be employing around 13,000 engineers, officially making it the largest car creation center in the UK. And automation is not the only trend that is making JLR rethink its future.
“Megatrends like urbanization and sustainability are fundamentally changing the automotive industry. At Jaguar Land Rover, we not only participate - we are shaping future mobility. Our vision is for a world in which zero-emission vehicles, public transport, and self-driving pods will form one smart integrated and networked transport system,” said Speth.
Ralf Speth says that mobility needs to become a human right in the future. However, that gives automotive companies a mandate of making mobility as safe as possible.
Land Rover has conducted real-world tests of innovative connected and autonomous vehicle technology, and have been developing in the space for the last four years. Recently, they took a self-driving Range Rover around one of the UK’s most challenging road layouts.
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JLR is predicting that autonomous vehicles will be the answer to solving road accidents in the future. They have dedicated themselves to Destination Zero, committing to achieving zero accidents, zero congestion, and zero emissions. JLR also intends to have all of its vehicles powered by electronic means by 2020.
Jaguar Land Rover is now a picture of an innovative company that is keeping its finger on the pulse of what consumers not only want but demand.
Gibbs, Nick. “Jaguar Land Rover Is an IT Company Now, CEO Says.” Automotive News Europe, the 30th of September 2019, europe.autonews.com/blogs/jaguar-land-rover-it-company-now-ceo-says.