The rapid transformation to computer-on-wheels will require huge investments on research and development from manufacturers, he said.
Pandit expects the industry to change beyond recognition over the next decade.
According to a study by the consulting firm Roland Berger, the annual R&D spending on automotive software will more than double to $59 billion in 2030, from $26 billion in 2021.
While the huge investment figure may mean higher costs, the consultancy expects it to save $16 billion every year for the manufacturers, starting from 2030.
Pandit compared the scenario with the early 20th century period when Henry Ford democratised car ownership, and thereby, completely changed the rules of the game.
In the current environment, automakers are trying to get into manufacturing of semiconductors, batteries, fuel cells and designing software so that they have complete control over the value chain, he said.
According to him, rapid urbanisation and rising population in cities means the purchase of a personal car may be up for debate. The shift is happening from a personal car to a shared car, and more intense usage means the life of cars in terms of years will go down, he said.
“We will see more commercial usage than personal, high intensity usage, shorter launch cycles and faster replacement of cars,” he said.
Pandit expects buyers to become less brand conscious.
“There are going to be a lot of emerging disruptors as the brand won’t make much of a difference when you have to just ride a car instead of owning it,” he said.
The significantly higher valuation of tech-enabled automakers will also mean that they have more money to invest than the traditional players.
Since manufacturers will have to churn out new models quickly, they will look to shorten the time taken between prototype and production, Pandit said.
The cycle of designing and production takes at least five to seven years, which automakers would want to achieve in not more than two years, he said.
Investing in future technologies “is a matter of life and death” for manufacturers, Pandit said.
As the industry leapfrogs to a different era, Pandit said one will ask questions, such as: “Why did we try to drive vehicles when it could drive itself? Or why did we even own a vehicle when we could use one on demand? Why did we emit so much gases when electricity could drive vehicles seamlessly?”