How Ride Sharing and Autonomous Vehicles Impact Customer Usage and Reliability

Presenter: James Wasiloff, CEO, Autonomite, LLC, Farmington Hills, MI, USA

Keywords: Lean Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, Autonomous Vehicles

Industry: Automotive, Defense/Military, Software

Level: Intermediate


A challenge from the paradigm shift associated with contemporary ride sharing scenarios and the introduction of autonomous vehicle technology is the emergence of a radically new, highly accelerated “24/7” customer usage profile. This discovery of an “order of magnitude” increase in the duty or usage cycle of an autonomous vehicle is worth exploring.

Voice of the Customer data indicates current passenger vehicle usage cycles are typically very low, 5% or less. Meaning, out of a 24-hour day, the average vehicle is actually driven only 70 minutes or less. Therefore, approximately 95% of the day, the vehicles lay in a dormant state. In a fully mature Autonomous Vehicle environment with structured car sharing, the daily vehicle usage rate could grow to 95% or more.

Considering this twenty-fold increase in vehicle usage rate, vehicle system life, measured on a time scale, will experience a significant degradation effect. This hypothesis needs to be explored and validated at vehicle, system, subsystem and component levels.

- How can advanced quality engineering methodologies such as Design for Reliability, Design for Six Sigma, Axiomatic Design, Taguchi, Shainin and Structured Innovation be strategically implemented to deliver a “step function” increase in vehicle useful life?

- Will vehicle engines or propulsion systems need to be replaced at a historically high rate, perhaps every six months for passenger cars?

- Will innovations in long life mechanism designs, advanced nanomaterials, and technologies be needed to extend vehicle life to meet these challenges?

- How can aging parameters (time, cycles, miles) be characterized and synthesized concerning anticipated vehicle failure mechanisms in the new autonomous domain?

- Are all contemporary vehicle, system, subsystem and component reliability life targets, models and analysis methodologies invalid or technically insufficient?