Large automakers are acquiring start-ups, not to remove the competition from their way but to absorb their technology and talent. This is helping car manufacturers stay up to date with technology, and crucially advance toward autonomous technology.
In response, smaller companies are adopting a “plug and play” approach, says Brian Solis, Principle Analyst at Altemeter. This means soft and hardware tech is being designed to be easily fit into existing car models, and also means the company can exist as a supplier rather than waiting to be bought out.
Level 5 autonomy will barely resemble the cars we drive today, and carmakers have set 2021 as the date to achieve this. In the meantime, Google, Intel, Microsoft and Udacity are joining the suppliers contributing to autonomous development and UX design.
Faraday Future, Fiat Chrysler and Ford are not missing out on the action. The latter’s CEO Mark Fields said the company was “rethinking” Ford’s entire business model to become a service provider rather than car seller. This is likely to be a trend that traces the same market penetration timeline as autonomous driving.
Data sources: Altimeter, Audi
Image sources:Naples Herald, Auto Week