This guest post written by Avi Reichental, founder and Executive Director of XponentialWorks. From faster, more affordable electric motorcycles to an autonomous shopping cart that follows you like a well-trained pet – mobility was on everyone’s minds at CES 2020 last week. But it wasn’t just the vehicles themselves that stole the show, it was also the CASE (Connectivity, Autonomy, Shared mobility, Electrification) technology that is enabling this next generation of mobility products.Hyundai Motor Co. displays an electric air taxi in partnership with Uber Technologies Inc. at CES … [+] 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. Photographer: Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg© 2020 Bloomberg Finance LPHow do global consumers feel about CASE? Are they willing to pay a premium to cover automakers’ investments in this technology? And how is the auto industry transforming itself, to integrate CASE technologies into vehicles? These were just some of the subjects being discussed at the show. Here are some answers:Paying for CASECarmakers have a problem: consumers have gotten used to snazzy new technology that’s integrated into their new vehicles at no extra cost. Think of proximity sensors, for parking or safety, or retractable side mirrors. None of these are priced separately, although they are valued. By this logic, consumers think, neither should carmakers charge a premium for high-value gadgetry. I especially like Toyota’s AI-driven in-car agent, which is being developed in partnership with Israeli startup Intuition Robotics), or even for game-changing power tech like supplemental solar roof charging for electric vehicles.The Mercedes-Benz AG Vision AVTR concept car sits on display at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., … [+] on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. Photographer: Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg© 2020 Bloomberg Finance LPResearch from Deloitte, released at the show, backs this up. For example, up to 70% of consumers in Japan and Germany would not be willing to add an additional $500 to the sticker price in order to get Tesla-style autonomous vehicle functionality. In the US, 75% of consumers wouldn’t kick in an extra $500 for infotainment features, no matter how cutting-edge. And in Korea, upwards of 60% wouldn’t pay extra for connectivity features. See the trend?Yet R&D for CASE is costly. And demand among consumers remains high – because it is precisely these features that can still differentiate brands and models when traditional differentiators become commodities (think gas mileage or air bags). And if consumers aren’t willing to foot the bill, who will? Because the fact is that high development costs are one of the key reasons automakers are showing lower financial results.According to Deloitte, one way carmakers are tackling the “who’s gonna pay for CASE” challenge by acquiring technology startups and setting up joint ventures or joint development frameworks like Ford’s Israel research center, opened in 2019. Yet even these significant steps may not be sufficient. So what else can carmakers do?New CASE, New and Innovative ProcessesAt CES 2020, the buzz was not only about CASE itself, but also about CASE manufacturing processes, and the technology behind these processes.A touchscreen is seen on the steering wheel of a Byton Ltd. M-Byte electric sports utility vehicle … [+] (SUV) during the CES 2020 event in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020. Photographer: Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg© 2020 Bloomberg Finance LPFor example, one way carmakers are lowering costs and raising efficiency is through lightweighting – making vehicles and their components less heavy by using innovative, lighter materials. As I explained in a recent blog post, the industry’s primary impetus to lightweight is simple – less material, lower production costs, more profitability. Deloitte concurs, quoting a General Motors source who claims that “lightweighting is vital to meet fuel-economy regulations and achieve longer ranges for our electric vehicles.” To make lightweighting happen, automakers are turning to advanced generative design tools. Generative design uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to rapidly explore nearly infinite design options for any given product – like the soundproofing meta-material Nissan debuted at CES. Another angle of attack carmakers are taking to lower CASE overhead is means of production. Additive manufacturing, which came of age in automotive prototyping, is today mainstream on the production floor. Just look at Rinspeed’s modular MetroSnap electric vehicle – which boasts over 30 3D-printed parts, many printed on the show floor at CES. And additive manufacturing production is ready to scale today. Companies like Nexa3D, which debuted an ultra-fast large format 3D printer at CES, offer flexible manufacturing at speed, cost and performance that can easily support the industrialization of Rinspeed’s prototype. The Bottom LineThe CASE for the future of mobility was on full display at CES. The innovation is there. The ideas and prototypes are there. Now, we just need the automotive industry to collectively leverage the power of generative design-driven lightweighting and cost-effective additive manufacturing to bring these ideas to consumers at a price point they can embrace.