AT THE TIPPING POINT
By TA News Bureau:
Those who shy away from disruptive innovation have no chance to survive the hyper competitive global market. Well-known futurologist Matthew Griffin, who is described as the ‘adviser behind advisers’, says technology-enabled trends such as autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things, Smart Cities, robotic revolution to wearables are witnessing exponential growth. These technologies will create over $26 trillion of new value, he says while emphasising that every trend offers opportunities for disruptors that lead to new ones to create more innovative industries. Those who have once scoffed at driverless cars are now seeing that humanity is creating a new generation of creative and intelligent machines. Successful organisations will become more inventive and go for ruthless execution of disruptive ideas. In this interview to Tyre Asia Griffin, who is also the Founder and CEO of the London-based business management consultancy 311 Institute, prognosticates the future of the tyre industry as he looks at the sweeping changes happening in mobility
These are exciting times. It is an accepted fact that dominating the market is never easy. But it is significantly easier to dominate a newly created market that has no natural competitors. It calls of constant innovation and disruption. There is an infinite number of ways to disrupt status quo of business and discover a niche. For this there has never been a better time than now, vows well-known futurologist and thought leader Matthew Griffin.
In an interview to Tyre Asia, he gives an insightful analysis of how to gain from disruption by building successful organisations that are powered by creativity and the guts for execution to disrupt status quo in a constantly changing business environment.
We will continually see more new impactful technologies that help accelerate, enable and underpin new disruptive cultural, industrial and societal trends like in mobility, he asserts.
As a futurist Griffin, who is working with accelerators, investors, governments, multinationals and government regulators around the world, says powerful emerging technologies are helping fuel cultural, industrial and societal changes.
Forecasting major developments that he expects in the tyre industry in the next one or two decades, he says: “I think there will be several but whether they materialise will depend on the incumbents’ appetite to reinvent the wheel,” he says.
“There are two areas that are ripe for re-development and innovation. The first is in the materials themselves. We’ve seen huge advances in material design, especially in nanotechnology. So it’s likely we will soon see new ultra durable materials emerge that are suitable for the vehicle industry at price points that are manageable.”
Turning to the wheels themselves if the incumbents collaborated closely with the car manufacturers then today we already have the technology to create electro drive wheel systems that aren’t connected to the car, instead they’re held in place, spin, and are controlled by electromagnets. And the fact they don’t have any moving parts will make these systems more reliable and less costly to manufacture and maintain.
Commenting on autonomous vehicles, which will be the key influencing factor in shaping the global tyre industry, Griffin believes most present players would love to embrace and pursue the status quo. It is so because the status quo is their core market.
“If the tyre industry is going to get shaken up, then it’s likely going to have to be from outside the industry. And with the current pace of innovation in the auto industry, it could come from the car manufacturers themselves, perhaps for example, Tesla whose founder, Elon Musk, loves to fiddle and reinvent things,” he says.
Griffin is the CEO of the 311 Institute based in London and is recognised as one of Europe’s foremost disruptive innovation and new mass market creation experts. He works extensively with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, the Global 250 and government institutions to help them create new uncontested markets and realise higher value by building accelerator communities and innovation centres of excellence, predicting and leading industry trends and innovating new and alternative routes to market.
Griffin says in the case of autonomous vehicles, the biggest impact that they will have on tyre design will be as a result of the fact that car and truck companies can experiment with the vehicles’ shape, firstly because they’ll be electric which means you can move the engines and drive trains around, and secondly if you don’t need a driver then really all you need is a cube, or container, on wheels.
“Moving on one step from there, we’re now seeing the emergence of auto stabilising platforms and technologies. So who says that in the future a cube shaped vehicle will need four wheels – when the stabilisation technology gets good enough you might need just one… or two,” Griffin remarks.
There are still some ways to go in the development of ‘intelligent’ tyres, which are currently based mostly on TPMS to monitor tyre pressure. “As new sensor technologies, and new manufacturing technologies, come onto the market there’s no reason why we can’t begin embedding new types of sensors into tyres – for example, tyres that monitor road surface conditions, or the structure of the road in real time and transmit that data in real time to other road users, public sector bodies and autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle fleets.”
While some of these capabilities could be provided using artificial intelligence and machine vision, those systems won’t be as accurate or as capable., Griffin points out. Speaking from his experience and sharing his broad industry knowledge and lateral thinking, he is helping global enterprises build new differentiated multi-billion dollar revenue streams.
Griffin thinks the tyre of the future will have no rubber from Hevea brasiliensis which is produced in South Asia. “It’s more than likely – the majority of organisations are embracing synthetic materials because of their lower environmental footprint, but Havea brasiliensis still has some legs left on it.”
“For example, in Europe we now have new gene editing techniques that have allowed scientists to remove plants’ ‘natural sunblock’ which has dramatically improved their photosynthesis efficiency. The result? Plants that grow 30 per cent bigger, faster!”
So using gene editing and genetic engineering there’s absolutely no reason why we couldn’t grow bigger trees, with higher yields, in a smaller acreage for less cost. So don’t rule the trees out just yet they’re still hard to beat! He reminds that changing the world is always disruptive.