According to Breno Kamei (photo below), Director of Portfolio, Research and Competitive Intelligence for FCA-Latin America, creativity and perfect understanding aligned with consumers' aspirations are powerful tools to innovate. "The better informed and connected consumer is changing rapidly. In order to expand our boundaries, by identifying opportunities for change for the future, we must always connect the company's strategic challenges to new technological, social and behavioral trends", adds Kamei.
FCA's continued investments in connectivity and the pursuit of the "focus on customer's focus", betting on the development of digital solutions, were key elements for good year-to-year performance. In 2017, Fiat launched its first customer application. Owners of the Fiat Argo, Toro and Cronos models have access to services such as 24-hour assistance, call center chat and pre-scheduling of services and reviews in the palm of your hand. The development and evolution of the app has enabled FCA to accumulate important learning experiences, including Artificial Intelligence solutions, in order to deliver the best customer experience.
In the process of innovation, our highlight is the newly created Manufacturing 2020, a lab created with the concept "testbeds" (concept tests) in the Automotive Plant in Betim (Minas Gerais-Brazil). In order to point out the most relevant trends in the future of Industry 4.0, robotics solutions, virtual simulation, Internet of Things (IoT), Additive Manufacturing, Augmented Reality, among others, are put into practice. As of this year, 2018, there are 49 ongoing concept tests. A further 35 will be added to reach the goal of 84 projects for the year. The area works on three fronts: "Experimentation" for concept tests; "Training" for the development of human capital; and "Partnerships" which allows us to connect with suppliers, universities, startups and public authorities.
Just like our Manufacturing 2020, the SIMCenter was also idealized in the context of open innovation. In partnership with the university PUC Minas, it is the first Vehicle Dynamics Simulation Center in America. The space offers the ultimate in world-class simulation technology. In addition to the driving experience in total driver immersion, it aims at generating innovation and research focused on the safety of vehicles, people and road systems. The system, the first of its kind in the world, consists of a platform that performs all the movements of a real vehicle through nine simulation actuators; a cockpit equipped with an audio system reproduces the sounds of the engine and the reaction of the tires with the ground; and a curved screen with a viewing angle of 230°.