BUSINESS REFLECTIVE OF FUTURE THINKING
(FUTURE OF CARS)
22nd, April, 2013
I am a student, currently pursuing a master’s degree programme in Business Administration. Part of the Business Administration course entails knowledge about the management of either a business or a non-profit organization, and developing strategies to ensure maximum growth and development of the organization. This includes ensuring growth and stability of the organization for increased profitability. Nonetheless, for growth and development of an organization to take place, an administrator must ensure high product innovativeness. Therefore, by introducing new products, or improving on existing products to increase their efficiency and appeal, this attracts more customers. However, there are a myriad of factors to be considered before developing innovations in a company, including the sustainability aspect of new products and technology.
Overall, there are many changes in the world, as well as in the business world. These have mainly been realized because of the advanced changes in technology, which in turn influence the economy of a country and the global economy as well. Various industries today also exhibit great changes in their practice and products, compared to past decades. In this presentation, the main focus is on the car industry, which has not been left behind, with regard to technology. In the world of technology today, new inventions are developed to increase efficiency. Similarly, in the car industry, major new technologies are unveiled on a regular basis. These might be concerned with improving safety of cars, usefulness of cars, cars’ entertainment and luxury aspects, or for purely innovative reasons. Most of the new car innovations are exciting and have improved efficiency in various aspects of cars.
The first car was invented in the year 1769. Today, this first car cannot be compared to the present supercars, in terms of technology and efficiency. As a result of increased technological advances in cars, today’s cars are more safe and reliable than they were in past years. In the car industry, technological advancement is key, therefore, it is expected that this industry will produce more technologically advanced cars in the future (Christidis, Hildalgo & Soria 2003). However, different factors will influence the extent to which technology is adopted in the car industry in future. These include the availability of fuel and level of pollution by cars. With regard to fuel, the car industry, compared to the pat years, has increased the number of cars that it manufactures, and reduced the cost of cars, thus making cars to be affordable to many people. This therefore, has led to high consumption of fuel, and it is feared that in future, fuel might become scarce, since it is being exhausted today at a high rate. Additionally, the car industry is regarded as one of the top industries that highly contribute to global warming. Most cars today use petroleum, which emits Carbon dioxide gas on combustion. Therefore, in future, the car industry might consider fuel economy and reducing global warming, when it develops new car models, as these factors will promote sustainability (Macrel & Cooper 2011). In order to analyze the future of cars with regard to technological improvement, this paper will employ different tools and techniques of foresight.
The initial thinking about the future holds that there is so much unpredictability in the future. It is therefore, not possible for people to perfectly figure out what the future holds, since a myriad of factors, which are beyond human control, influence the events of the future. Human beings have different expectations about the future. Although no human being can peer into the future, these use their minds and imagination to create a picture of the future, which might be unrealistic. Overall, people expect positive things to happen in the future. However, these expectations might not be in line with what the future really holds. This therefore, might lead to disappointments, when the future brings events, which do not measure up to people’s expectations. Nonetheless, times change, and the future is different from the present. However, change is gradual, and therefore, it is important that human beings keep realistic expectations about the future. Similarly, in the car industry, there have been technological advances over the past years. People are optimistic about the future of the car industry. However, in order to ensure relevant and realistic prediction of the future of the car industry, we might consider using tools and techniques of analysis, including trend analysis, systems thinking, and scenario planning.
This is an important technique used to predict the future. Trend analysis predicts the future by basing on the past events or data. Therefore, the events that took place in the past might give business administrators a hint or an idea of what might happen in the future. In the car industry, the trend analysis might be used to predict the future of cars. The main elements that have shown and continue to show a trend in the car industry are related to fuel and global warming.
During the initial years of car manufacture, people worried about the safety of cars, as well as the space manufacturers created in cars. However, as years went by and as more people owned cars, the cost of fuel rose and became considerably high. Therefore, more people changed from prioritizing safety and space in cars, and instead, wanted car manufacturers to consider fuel economy. Therefore, cars had to be manufactured such that they could consume less fuel. In addition, global warming in the world has been on the increase, thus environmental bodies raised concerns about pollution. The car industry was considered to be a top contributor to global warming, due to the dangerous emissions from car fuel. Today, there are concerns that the high fuel consumption by cars and other industries threaten to lead to exhaustion of fuel in the world. This has led to the ever-increasing prices of fuel. Compared to the past, fuel today has soaring prices. In addition, the world today experiences the highest rate of global warming as compared to the past years (Mercedes-Benz Technology n.d).
Car manufacturers in the car industry have therefore, attempted to address the issue of fuel prices and global warming. This is through manufacturing fuel economy vehicles, which consume less fuel. In future therefore, it is expected that the car industry might eliminate petroleum as a fuel used in vehicles, and replace it with less costly fuel, which is also environmentally friendly. The most preferable fuel will be Hydrogen. This is environmentally friendly as it does lead to the emission of Carbon dioxide gas, which is harmful to the environment, as in the case of petroleum, which is used today (Green-Car-Guide.com n.d). In addition, Hydrogen is highly available, therefore, hard to be exhausted, compared to petroleum, whose sources are already dwindling. Therefore, using trend analysis, it is clear that the priorities of car buyers have been shifting every year. In early years, buyers were interested only in the external and physical appearance of vehicles. Later, this interest shifted to fuel economy, and today, people are interested in cars that are environmentally friendly and consume fuel in an economic manner (Tverberg 2012). Therefore, although trend analysis might not predict the future of cars perfectly, at least this offers an insight into the future adoption of Hydrogen and dropping of Petroleum, due to the various outcomes of Petroleum, which are not appealing to consumers of the car industry (Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, & Duncan 2012).
In systems thinking, a system is considered as a whole with component parts, which make it. These component parts in a system influence each other from time to time. Therefore, these interrelate in a system. The various component making up the system, are important in predicting the future.
Unlike trend analysis, the efficiency and capability of systems thinking to predict the future is limited. Systems thinking technique is more capable of problem solving. In this case, this thinking will regard problems as affecting all the component parts of the overall system. Therefore, problems are not viewed as affecting specific components of the overall system. Therefore, this thinking tries to understand one component part of the overall system in the context of its relationships with other component parts, and in the context of other systems, and not in isolation.
With regard to the future of the car industry, systems thinking technique lacks great outcomes as in the case of trend analysis. This is because it does not base on scenarios, thus it is impossible to predict the future. Nonetheless, in this case, the car industry might be compared to a system. Component parts might include fuel efficiency, climate change, and technological advancements, among others. As mentioned systems thinking technique is appropriate for major decision-making and problem solving. Therefore, with regard to the identified component part of the car industry, these might be used in problem solving and major decision making in the car industry. These might be used to determine the future cars, since they will be incorporated in the planning process in the car industry.
Scenario planning involves visualizing about the future, and predicting what events are more likely to happen in future. In addition, this visualization includes the effects of the future events, as well as how to respond to them and what benefits they present. In this technique, in order to understand and predict the future, one has to understand the driving forces, which influence the world today. However, these driving forces must be specific to the business or company. These help in widening the knowledge about the business environment of the company, therefore, allowing for easy prediction of the future of the business. Unlike systems thinking, which is appropriate for decision-making and problem solving, scenario planning helps in strategic management, thus is incorporated in a company’s planning process.
In the car industry, using scenario planning, two major forces influencing the industry can be identified. These include the economy and climate change. Fuel prices and fuel used in the car industry is a major determinant of the economy. Overconsumption of fuel by cars today has led to the possibility of fuel exhaustion in the near future. On the other hand, the car industry is a major industry contributing to environmental pollution, due to the emission of dangerous gases through the combustion of fuel by cars. Therefore, from these factors in the car industry, new scenarios can be developed. Thus, the car industry might have the options of solar panel cars, electric cars, Hydrogen cell cars, and hybrid cars. These might come in handy to address the problems emerging in the industry, with regard to climate change and economy (Kanellos 2013). The main advantage of this technique is that it offers a wide range of options for a company to choose from, during its planning process.
It is important to determine the future of cars and the car industry, since these play a major role in the world. The future foresight tools used in predicting this future might not be capable of giving a concise and perfect prediction. However, these help to give an idea into what the future holds for the car industry. The trend analysis technique could be the most effective prediction tool, as this bases on past events and trends to predict the future. However, systems thinking and scenario planning techniques are also important, as these help to determine the future, in their own capacities. While systems thinking is important in decision-making and problem solving, scenario planning is core in strategic management, therefore, applied to a company’s process of planning. Therefore, this brings out all these future prediction techniques as important and effective in their own capacities.
Nonetheless, all the tools of future thinking have pointed out to the fact that future cars will consider the factors of fuel consumption and the environment. This is agreeable, since concerns today are raised over environmental degradation by emissions from cars. On the other hand, since many people own car, the global fuel consumption has increased, and it is expected that in future, fuel might be exhausted. Therefore, consumers of the car industry are more interested in cars that will consider these factors. Thus, it is more likely that Hydrogen cell cars might be the cars of the future, since Hydrogen is the most appropriate replacement of petroleum. However, this is just a prediction, hence it might be real or not.
Christidis, P., Hildalgo, I. & Soria, A 2003, “Trends in Vehicle and Fuel Technologies;
Scenarios for Future Trends,” European Science and Technology Observatory, Viewed 22 April 2013 < ftp://ftp.jrc.es/pub/EURdoc/eur20748en.pdf>
Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, & Duncan C 2012, “What’s the ‘hydrogen
economy?” The Guardian, 11 October, Viewed 22 April 2013
Green-Car-Guide.com n.d, “Future fuels: 69% of vehicles will still run on petrol in 2015,”
Viewed 22 April 2013 < http://www.green-car-guide.com/future-fuels-69-of-vehicles-will-still-run-on-petrol-in-2015.html>
Kanellos, M 2013, “Why Hydrogen Cars Could Still Be the Future,” Forbes, 30th January,
Viewed 22 April 2013 < http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkanellos/2013/01/30/why-hydrogen-cars-could-still-be-the-future/>
Macrel, F. & Cooper, R 2011, “British scientists ‘invent artificial petrol’ that could cost just 90p
per GALLON (and there’s no carbon),” Daily Mail, 29 January, Viewed 22 April 2013 < http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1351341/Relief-pumps-Revolutionary-hydrogen-fuel-cost-just-90p-GALLON-run-existing-cars.html>
Mercedes-Benz Technology (MBtech) n.d, “Trend Analysis: Connected Car 2015,” Viewed 22nd
April 2013 <https://www.mbtechgroup.com/fileadmin/media/pdf/consulting/downloads/Trendanalyse_Vernetztes_Fahrzeug_2015_EN.pdf>
Tverberg, G 2012, “The Devastating Economic Impact of Constantly High Oil Prices,”
OilPrice.com, Viewed 22 April 2013 < http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/The-Devastating-Economic-Impact-of-Constantly-High-Oil-Prices.html>
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