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Steve Bell

Director, Forecasting & Data Analysis

Arlington Heights, IL

Steve Bell is an accomplished strategy and technology analyst with Informa Tech Automotive Group. His team are focused on the development of the automotive landscape, ecosystem and value chain. His coverage at Wards Intelligence and TU-Automotive focuses on connectivity-based technology transformation (4G, 5G, V2X, Satellite, Mobile Edge computing, AI, IoT, cybersecurity and blockchain) on vehicles, development and production and adjacent areas such as smart cities.

For the last 5 years he was a Senior Analyst with Heavy Reading and focused on IoT in the mobile network domain specifically the growth of 4G and 5G in two verticals; Industrial IoT and connected and autonomous vehicles. For the last 2 years he has also served as analyst in residence at TU-Auto.com providing insight on the future of this emerging industry.

Steve joined Heavy Reading in 2014 after an extensive executive career in industrial applications and then Telecoms with Motorola in Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. He is also an entrepreneur having founded two companies: one an analysis and advisory firm the other a digital city services platform focused on parking.

Steve is a frequent webinar producer and respected and sought after speaker at industry conferences.


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Outlook Q4 2021 Smart factory – Connectivity Enhanced Vehicle Production

Automotive OEMs are either retooling their factories or making plans to retool their factories with connectivity as a central feature. As OEMs move away from the production of ICE to electric or hybrid vehicles the factories need to be not only retooled but rethought as flexibility and adaptability become more significant success factors than scale.

Working on EV systems and architectures that are rapidly evolving means that traditional approaches to minimize vehicle production costs may not be appropriate. Low-cost sources of power in addition to availability of workforces with appropriate skills can mean moving factories from traditional regions to new greenfield shovel ready locations.

The opportunity to combine greenfield sites with the promise of 4G/5G private networks to deliver sustainable, flexible and cost-effective manufacturing is high on the priority list of many OEMs. Especially since great connectivity is an essential capability to exploit the benefits of AI, robotics, AR, cloud computing, digital twinning, 3D printing and automation.

Against this background we conducted a connectivity survey in the first half of 2021 to understand how the industry was approaching factory connectivity, what is important and who was influencing the direction. The presentation by Steve Bell, Principal Analyst – Connectivity, Wards Intelligence will address some of the results from an upcoming report. 

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David Wallace

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