The automotive industry has always been driven by the advancement of technology. From the world’s first modern automobile invented by Karl Benz in 1879, we have seen plenty of progress on the safety, speed and production efficiency of the automotive industry as a whole. Now, we’re driving into a brand new era of growth, driven by advances in tech such as Internet of Things (IoT), 5G and cloud computing.

As one of Malaysia’s largest car makers and carrying the flag of being the national car maker, Proton has set its sights to the future; with a vision of utilizing a new range of tech to enhance its car manufacturing processes.

Image from: The Star

One such technology is the use of cloud computing to run simulations for modelling new car designs. By using the cloud’s high compute power, the time taken to generate simulations has dropped from three weeks to a mere three days. This allows engineers to produce prototypes far more rapidly and accurately through 3D modelling, confirming the exact dimensions of different parts before the process begins.

“This eliminates waste and extra costs that we have to pay if there are mistakes in the design,” Hazrin Fazail Haroon, the company’s Director of Research & Development explained.

Image from: The Star

Proton can attribute its turnaround in sales in recent years to two main factors.

For one, Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group’s purchase of a stake in Proton Holdings Bhd is proving to be highly positive as the national car manufacturer was able to tap into advanced auto technology by other automotive brands under the Zhejiang Geely flag; namely Volvo, Daimler, Mercedes Benz and Lotus to name a few. By sharing the car technologies of this potentially lucrative and technologically-advanced auto group, Proton is now able to leverage on the ecosystem and infrastructure to build cars of the future.

Secondly, by embracing technologies afforded to it, Proton’s release of the X70 model in 2018 proved to be the turning point. The Proton X70 model features voice command: using “Hi Proton” as a starter, drivers can ask the car to play a song, or check for weather updates and more through its interactive dashboard. Proton has built a dedicated smartphone app that allows you to control numerous other functions remotely. For example, you can use the app to open the boot of your X70, close the windows, or perhaps, switch on/off the lights. This app also shows you a plethora of information about your X70, like average fuel consumption, average speed, remaining fuel, electronic parking brake status.

Following the success of X70 and X50, there is little doubt that digital technology will continue to be one of key focal points for Proton moving forward. By leveraging on their available resources, Proton is looking to improve on 5 aspects in the coming years; including

energy efficiency, safety, intelligent driving, intelligent connectivity and eco-friendliness. These are important in the overall ecosystem for an automotive carmaker in this day and age, and by putting resources and time into building this, Proton is certainly on the right track.

As the next steps, Proton aims to constantly engage with the government to understand “the areas of emphasis that we need to work on, what will be the platform that can be made available, and how we are going to pursue all these initiatives together for the future,” said Yusri Yusuf, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy & Risk Management at Proton.

Proton is also looking to collaborate with players in the tech ecosystem to strengthen its tech for its key automotive value chain activities, in particular in product development, component sourcing and supply chain, manufacturing, and sales and services. It will focus on specific tech such as connectivity, new energy and electrical and electronics.

Through their efforts, we can see how Proton is turning their fortunes around and working towards their goal of being one of the world’s most reputable car brands.

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