Embrace digital technology to ride into the future
Digital disruption has affected most businesses, including motorcycles and e-scooter manufacturers.
Digital technology has changed how products are being built, said Mr Alex Teo, managing director and vice-president of Siemens Industry Software for South-east Asia.
His company helps businesses navigate the competitive landscape to manufacture products efficiently via Siemens' digitalisation technology.
Being the first to market products can make a difference between success and failure, he told The New Paper last month.
Siemens has also partnered Japanese motorcycle giant Yamaha and Vietnam's VinFast in the e-scooter field.
Mr Teo said: "Part of the reason (Yamaha) works with us is because it wants to accelerate its innovation cycle. The automotive market is about how fast you can create new models. If you are launching just two models a year, you are going to lose out on market share."
Their collaboration was announced this year at the Paris and Tokyo motor shows, where Yamaha showcased the MOTOROiD, a self-driving and self-balancing motorcycle.
Video clips on YouTube show the self-starting Yamaha MOTOROiD approach its owner simply at a wave of his hand.
Mr Teo said: "It is not a typical motorcycle. It has a system of systems embedded in it. You need a robust solution provider to partner it and manage that part of the design complexity."
So what will the motorcycle of the future look like?
According to him, there will be electric motorcycles that interact with humans in ways that are not seen today, such as "sensing your command".
Artificial intelligence will play a big part. Expect vehicles to be safer with hard-to-tamper software and will understand riding patterns.
Mr Teo said mass customisation will be key.
And manufacturers will be able to track the performance of a vehicle, which is vital for research and development.
The difference between a combustion engine vehicle and an electric one is that the latter is "really nothing but a giant computer on wheels".
Mr Teo said: "You can download software, upgrade firmware and change the behaviour (of the vehicle). It basically works like a smartphone."
Realising the future requires today's manufacturers and businesses to change their mindsets.
Instead of building prototypes in labs, testing them and proposing newer ones when failures happen, adopting a digitalisation strategy will see a drastic improvement in terms of cost and time-to-market of about 25 per cent, said Mr Teo.
Siemens helps businesses, such as Yamaha, by capitalising on simulation software that uses a digital "twin" or prototype of a product, a manufacturing process or even a product's performance.
Testing a product and verifying the manufacturing process is all virtually done even before a company lays a brick on the production floor.
"Companies are deploying all this technology... against the competition because they can figure out cheaper ways of doing things... That's the way we help (them)," said Mr Teo.