CASE is a trend that is attracting attention in the automotive industry. This article touches on what CASE is, its background, and its prospects. If you know CASE, which is said to be responsible for the future of the automobile industry, you may want to dig deeper.
Table of contents
- What is CASE
- Background of CASE attention
- Future prospects of CASE
What is CASE
CASE is one of the important trends in the automotive industry in recent years. It is no exaggeration to say that modern automotive technology is developing based on CASE, and it is probably the most important word in the industry.
This is a word taken from the four initials “Connected”, “Autonomous”, “Shared & Service” and “Electric”, and has the following meanings.
“Connected” is the word that carries the C part of CASE. This translates to “connected”, but more specifically, it refers to “a car connected to ICT (information and communication technology)”.
If you are a driver, I think that many people think of “car navigation” and “applications” when they think of a car connected to ICT technology. In particular, real-time traffic information is one of the connections with information and communication technology. CASE realizes “two-way communication”, which is a deeper connection.
For example, Daimler in Germany is developing a system that automatically grasps the availability of parking lots. Called “connected-based parking,” the status of parking lots along the driving route is displayed on the in-vehicle display. This service will be applied to future Mercedes-Benz models.
Furthermore, Toyota’s “DCM (Data Communication Module)” is being deployed in Japan. DCM is a communication device dedicated to vehicles, performs data communication with the server 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and develops a service called “T-Connect”. To do.
With T-Connect, “safety support”, “navigation”, and “device linkage by application” are possible. In addition to this, various connected technologies such as Subaru’s “STARLINK” and Nissan’s “Nissan Connect” are beginning to be deployed by each automaker.
The A in CASE stands for “Autonomous”. As the name suggests, this is a system that allows a car to drive autonomously without the need for a human driver. This is called “complete driving automation”, but it is difficult to achieve with current technology, so we are dividing it into several levels and implementing it step by step as follows.
- Level 0: non-automated car
- Level 1: A car in which an automated system assists human driving
- Level 2: Cars that drive automatically only under certain conditions
- Level 3: Vehicles capable of autonomous driving in limited areas
- Level 4: Vehicles capable of autonomous driving only in limited areas
- Level 5: Cars capable of fully autonomous driving
At present, most domestic and foreign cars sold are Level 1 and 2 cars. Level 1 provides driving assistance such as “sudden start/braking when there is an obstacle ahead”, “following the vehicle in front”, and “lane keeping”. In Level 2, all the systems of Level 1 are combined, and hands-free automatic driving is permitted on the premise that you keep an eye on it.
Furthermore, in March 2021, Honda released a limited number of 100 Level 3 cars, the Legend. Equipped with a technology called Honda SENSING Elite, it is capable of autonomous driving in three areas: national highways, urban highways, and connected highways.
At speeds of 30 to 50 km/h on these roads, automated driving is carried out mainly in traffic jams. Currently, in Japan, the system is up to level 3, but overseas, commercial vehicles such as taxis are equipped with level 4 systems.
Shared & Services
“Shared & Services” is the word for the S in CASE. This refers to services such as “car sharing” and “ride sharing”.
With car sharing, if you register as a member in advance, you can rent a car 24 hours a day. The big advantage is that you don’t have to pay for gasoline, and you can use it easily.
On the other hand, ride-sharing services have not been developed in Japan due to legal restrictions. However, the overseas market scale is increasing year by year, and it is used in many countries such as the United States, China, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Service types include “riding together”, “delivery of large numbers of people by van”, and “TNC type” matching with apps. In particular, the number of users of the TNC format is increasing, and companies such as “UBER” and “Lyft” in the United States are famous.
This is like a car version of “Uber Eats” in Japan, and it is a service where you make a reservation on the application and a general driver delivers it to your destination.
The E in CASE stands for “Electric”. It is commonly called an EV car and refers to a car that runs on electricity instead of a gasoline-powered car. In Japan, the market share is still low, but it is gradually spreading overseas.
This is because electric vehicles are systems that have a very high affinity with CASE. Gasoline vehicles, which are currently the mainstream, require various processes in “driving” and “electricity conversion”. On the other hand, electric vehicles use electricity as it is, so it is easy to link systems with “information communication terminals” and “autonomous driving systems”. Also, if you set up an electric charging spot at the station of the car-sharing service, you can charge it while waiting. Because of these great advantages, electric vehicles are considered the cornerstone of CASE.
Background of CASE attention
The background to the importance of CASE is the issue of greenhouse gases and intensifying competition with foreign manufacturers. Here, I will explain how CASE and these two problems are intertwined.
Greenhouse gas reduction target
In the issue of greenhouse gases, various countries have been obliged to reduce their CO2 emissions as global warming has become more serious in recent years. This is based on the Paris Agreement, and Japan has set a target of “-46% (compared to FY2013), up to 50%” by 2030, and has announced that it will achieve “net zero” by 2050.
For this reason, reforms in automobiles, which emit a large amount of CO2, have become essential. Therefore, the electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles mentioned above are currently under development. There are still many problems with CO2, but these cars are expected to be a solution.
Intensifying competition with foreign manufacturers
One of the reasons for the intensification of competition with foreign manufacturers is that Daimler was the one who put up CASE. As the CO2 problem surfaced, Daimler’s announcement that it would incorporate such new technology and develop and deploy it shocked many automakers. Japan is no exception.
Especially in recent years, transportation services called MaaS have begun to spread overseas. MaaS is a service that originated in Finland and aims to combine different modes of transportation such as “railway”, “bus”, “taxi”, “rental car”, “rental cycle”, and “car share” into one service.
For example, if you select a destination in the application, it will select the most suitable means of transportation from the means of transportation mentioned above. In addition, payments between different services can be done on one application. For this reason, MaaS has a high affinity with the new car developed by CASE.
Such futuristic services are being developed one after another in other countries. Currently, the penetration rate of Japanese cars is increasing worldwide, but if such technology emerges in other countries, there is a risk that they will be overtaken.
Prospects of CASE
In September 2020, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry announced the “CASE Technology Strategy Platform Summary”. This touched on the specific efforts of CASE, such as CO2 reduction measures, electrification of the power part, ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) / AD (automated driving), connected technology, basic technology, etc. It summarizes the specific direction of these technologies. This also shows how high the expectations for CASE are.
At one time, there was a trend of concern about car sharing due to the corona crisis, but now more and more companies are encouraging people to commute by car. As a result, the use of car sharing, which is completed via a smartphone app, is starting to increase again, rather than a rental car that requires a face-to-face reception.
In addition, there is also a global rise in environmental awareness as seen in the SDGs, and it is expected that electric vehicles that can reduce CO2 emissions will become common in the car-sharing industry. Electric vehicles still have a strong image of being expensive, but with the use of car sharing, they will become a familiar presence.
Furthermore, although CASE was cultivated in the automobile industry, Toyota is trying to develop this trend into urban planning. Based on the vision of “creating a better city centered on people,” we are developing a connected city, Woven City, in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, that controls mobility while maintaining social distancing.
In this way, CASE has jumped out of the automobile industry and is expanding.
CASE has various meanings, such as cooperation with ICT technology, autonomous driving, car sharing, and electric vehicles. Even in Japan, the usefulness of those technologies is being exclaimed and cannot be ignored. CASE, which has attracted the attention of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, is developing not only in the automobile industry but also in urban planning. CASE will continue to be used in various fields, including the automobile industry.