What`s the need?
The companies form partnerships, to fill gaps in their product portfolio or services. It saves them the pain and risk of rushing into a new market segment alone. The same holds true for companies trying to create a name for themselves in the autonomous car market. In order to flourish in this increasingly competitive automotive market, both suppliers and OEMs will have to move from the reactive stand to a proactive position based on market feedback and customer inclination. The partnerships in the autonomous industry will become increasingly important as conventional auto suppliers look to fill gaps in their capabilities, which in turn will allow them to deliver complete and fully functional autonomous/ADAS systems. Strategic partnerships will play a pivotal role in closing technology gaps, majorly around the important control points of raw data fusion, data processing and machine learning.
Attaining a prominent position in this new autonomous and connected space will require a vital reassessment of the working model in order to compete effectively, which will be very different from traditional OEMs environment. This environment will also have new opportunities that will enjoy the advantage of the connectivity of ADAS and AD cars and the data which the cars record. All of this will make these ADAS and AD cars part of the autonomous frontline of the Internet of Things. As automakers depend on suppliers to supply complete integrated systems, the makers of those systems will have to develop their own understanding of customers, that what the costumers want and how much they are willing to pay for today and in the future.
We have been tracking partnerships in this space for past two years and have put below our assessment.
- August 2015-BMW, VW and Daimler partnered to buy Nokia`s Here maps. This one`s quite obvious, an autonomous car can’t run on its own unless there is a database of streets.
- March 2016-General Motors acquired Cruise Automation. This was done to add armoury of autonomous tech to the second biggest car manufacturer in the world
- Aug 2016-Ford and Baidu invested $150 million in Velodyne Lidar, to mass produce LIDAR sensors at a competitive price.
- September 2016-Daimler partnered with Matternet, a start-up building autonomous delivery drones for future drone development. This was more targeted towards customers using Mercedes vans for last mile delivery services.
- October 2016-Apple partnered with ride-hailing company Didi. We have to say, not many saw this coming but it was more targeted towards Apple getting more access to the Chinese market in terms of mobility.
- February 2017-Renault-Nissan partnered with Transdev to explore potential of autonomous on-demand taxi services
- March 2017-Bosch partnered with NVIDIA to develop AI powered Self-driving car computer i.e. the brain of an autonomous car.
- April 2017– Bosch partnered with Daimler i.e the two European giants collaborated to develop an autonomous fleet of on-demand taxis
- May 2017– Microsoft partnered with Baidu to expand its positioning outside China
- Sep 2017-Ford partnered with Lyft. This was expected, given all the big names in the auto industry were collaborating with tech start-ups to foray in on-demand autonomous taxi space.
- January 2018-VW and Hyundai partnered with Aurora. They both want to use Auroro`s self-driving technology in their cars by 2021
- February 2018– Continental partnered with NVIDIA. Both parties will leverage their expertise to develop semi-autonomous vehicles by 2021 i.e. Continental’s sensor technology and NVIDIA’s AI software and central computer will be combined to develop the AI for semi-autonomous cars.
- March 2018– Lyft partnered with Magna. Magna will be manufacturing Lyft vehicle’s self-driving system, outfitting them on multiple OEM products which will obviously be a part of Lyft`s fleet.
- March 2018– Waymo(Google) partnered with Jaguar. The plan is to install Waymo`s self-driving system in Jaguar`s compact SUV, the I-pace and launch a self-driving car ride share service by 2018 Dec.
- April 2018– Nvidia announced partnerships with, ZF, Uber, Volkswagen and Baidu. The driverless car system created by the three companies will use various technolgoies from each other. The central computer will come from Nvidia, cameras and sensors from ZF, and the autonomous software platform from Baidu .
From what it looks like, everybody`s rushing to grab a slice of the red-hot autonomous car market. The market seems so lucrative to all that they seem to have forgotten the bitter and in a few cases even a century old rivalry among them. The biggest question that still remains unanswered is , does the market for autonomous cars actually exist and if it does, by when can we expect us to feel fully secure giving the command of our life to a computer.
The entire information has been sourced from our report titled “Global Self-Driving Car Hardware Market 2018-2023”