Concentration, Funding and Vertical Integration in the AV Space
Significant fund raising rounds at increasing valuations are singling out a few autonomous driving system developers. This results in faster tech development, more pilots and a few acquisitions to increase control over their products. These select companies are also aggregating an increasing number of light vehicle and heavy truck OEMs, around them — these focus on EVs and software development.
Contract Manufacturing: Asset-Light Approach to the Auto Market
Contract vehicle manufacturing results in lower barriers to entry into the automotive market, offering access to capital-intensive assets and expertise. Its combination with contract engineering and possibly the use of white-branded electric skateboards enables new players to enter the market, which will provide more product diversity and greater competition. Sony and possibly even Apple will use this path to market.
The Software-Defined Vehicle: Enabling and Delivering its Benefits
Pioneered by Tesla, the software-defined car is deeply transforming the automotive industry. It brings about a broad range of benefits such as improved user experience throughout a vehicle’s life, shorter development / deployment cycles and new revenue streams. But the industry must reorganize itself and make strategic make-or-buy decisions while accounting for the “intrusion" of software-native tech companies.
CES 2021: Notable Announcements Despite Going Digital
Although digital, CES 2021 brought its share of interesting announcements. However, the serendipity associated with the usual format was sorely lacking, the random discovery of new products and services being very difficult. In the mobility / autotech space, key announcements mainly related to digital cockpit and in-cabin experience, electrification, and to a lesser extent autonomous driving. See analysis below.
OEMs Double Down as EVs Hit Tipping Point
2020 will be remembered at the tipping point for EVs. Europe sees EV sales tripling to 8-10%, China is getting back on the growth path, and the USA is expected to reverse a negative trend. Triggered essentially by CO2 regulations, the momentum is fueled by more better and cheaper EVs launched by traditional and emerging OEMs, and increasing consumer appetite.
Concentration in AV Tech Accelerates
OEMs have by and large given up on developing autonomous driving tech in-house, reshuffling their priorities. Now they rely massively on partnerships with tech companies. This has a significant impact on the startup ecosystem supporting this industry. But the issue for OEMs is bigger than autonomous driving: it is about software capabilities.
Going Full Electric: The e-Motorcycle Experience
The electric vehicle market is hot, particularly in Europe, but motorcycle electrification is off to a slower start than EVs. Nevertheless, companies like Zero produce very convincing e-motorcycles for the pleasure they provide, their CO2 footprint and their cost of ownership. My personal experience going full electric on both 4 and 2 wheels has made the shift from gas to electrons irreversible.
Europe leaps ahead of China in EV Sales
The crisis is reshuffling EV cards among the 3 majors markets. EV-focused incentives in Europe have a very significant positive impact on sales, whereas China and the USA are getting behind. This will benefit local OEMs’ mid-term competitiveness and the planet above all.
The Crisis Reshuffles the Deck in the AV Space
The current crisis will impact the development and deployment of AVs on multiple fronts. Industry consolidation is unavoidable — and healthy — which will allow strong players to emerge. Goods transportation, from intercity to the last mile, will become the leading target in the mid-term, whereas more efforts will be placed on deploying ADAS / Level 2 solutions in the passenger vehicle space. AV-related startup founders will need a very convincing value proposition to raise their first money!
Urban Mobility’s Unique Chance to Help Fight Climate Change
Covid-19 has profoundly impacted most aspects of our lives, including how and how much we move. As we deal with the crisis and prepare for a new normal, all stakeholders must take advantage of this unique opportunity to tackle global warming while we reboot mobility. In Europe, cities, countries and the EU are putting new policies in place to better align urban mobility with the Paris Accord.
(New) Future of Mobility: Likely Winners and Losers
The Covid-19 crisis will deeply impact the mobility space as a result of drastic budget resizing and re-prioritizing, as well as behavior changes. Some segments will likely get a boost, while many others will suffer. We will see consolidation, company shutdowns and more collaboration as a way to deliver on critical projects with constrained budgets. This article provides an analysis of what is likely to happen in electrification, shared mobility and autonomous driving.
How will the Covid-19 Crisis impact the Electrification of Mobility?
The coronavirus is causing a major health and economic crisis. It will also impact the way we consume mobility and possibly whether our next vehicle is electric. Confinement is raising awareness about clean air. Governments may launch EV-focused incentives to restart the auto industry. But EVs’ energy cost benefit has shrunk due to lower oil price. What net impact will the crisis have on EV sales?
The Future of Trucking
Passenger vehicles grab most headlines when it comes to the mobility revolution. Nevertheless, trucking is undergoing a profound shift which, by and large, parallels that of personal vehicles. Whereas electrification will happen just as fast for urban logistics as for cars, it will take longer to gain traction for long distance trucking. Autonomous driving will likely emerge faster for specific trucking applications than for cars, leveraging the same overall technologies.
Electric Skateboards - A Faster Way to Bring EVs to Market
Electrified rolling chassis, or “skateboards,” are designed around a unique architecture compared with their traditional siblings to address increasingly demanding CO2 standards. Whereas large OEMs can justify the development of such platforms (e.g. VW Group’s MEB), others cannot. New players are jumping on this opportunity to offer modular skateboards on which others can build a wide variety of vehicles to transport people and goods. Who are these players and what are they offering?
Autonomous Vehicle Landscape
This is the 6th edition of the AV Landscape co-produced by Marc Amblard, Orsay Consulting and ReadWrite Labs. It contains over 400 companies distributed across 15 domains covering hardware, software and applications.
Mobility Trends at CES 2020
What are the highlights from this year's CES on the mobility front: trends, presentations by OEMs and suppliers, and more! Whereas autonomous driving took a back seat this year, in-cabin experience along with digital cockpits were at the core of many corporate booths along with a few interesting concepts. There were also a few surprises!
The Profound Disruption of Last Mile Delivery
The increasing pressure to eliminate vehicular emissions in urban areas combined with the fast rising volume of parcel deliveries and the emergence of autonomous driving technology are bringing about new delivery models and modes. They will be clean and eventually much cheaper. This profound transformation will enable new players to enter the delivery space.
Tesla Leads in Energy Efficiency by 10 to 30%
Tesla has built a very significant lead in electric vehicle technology, thanks in part to their focus on EVs for the past 17 years and their deep vertical integration. As more incumbents are joining this fast growing segment, the gap is clear. New battery EVs launched by incumbent OEMs are 10 to 30% behind Tesla in terms of overall energy efficiency as measured in kWh/100km/ton or mi/kWh*ton.
Why Amazon Is Investing Massively in Mobility Tech
Amazon shipped about 6 billions parcels last year. They are increasingly bringing their delivery business in-house to realize the two hour delivery promise, and possibly achieve better economics as volumes increase. But the e-commerce giant must also steer towards the electrification and autonomy of their fleet, as well as the development of new delivery modes. This is why Amazon has recently invested hundreds of millions of dollars in tech and startups.
New Products Accelerate EV Sales Growth
Plug-in EV sales continued to grow at a significant pace in the first semester when the overall light vehicle market dropped in key regions. There is no doubt the accelerated introduction of new EVs will boost this growth, as we have observed recently with the Tesla Model 3. Among the latest of a slew of new products is the Volkswagen ID.3, presented this month at the Frankfurt IAA. The Golf-sized sedan is likely going to have a significant impact on market development. To what extent do governmental initiatives and the fast increasing EV product range across various market segments drive the growth of plug-in EV sales?
Wave of Concentration in the Autonomous Driving Space
Google (now Waymo) has been betting big on AV tech for many years. Starting around 2015, this has triggered a wave of initiatives and investments, both at incumbents and in startups. Now that the AV hype has peaked, a wave of concentration is bringing about unexpected partnerships between OEMs, Tier 1s and tech-native companies. These concentration hubs represent billions in investment and still have years of work ahead of them. What is actually happening and why?
Will the Future of Mobility be Sustainable?
Most current mobility solutions deplete our natural resources, damage our planet, create social inequities and some are financially unsatisfactory. The future of mobility must be sustainable. New solutions have to be designed with the clear objective to generate positive environmental, social and economic impacts on our communities. What can be done?
SoftBank: Building a Global Mobility Juggernaut
SoftBank is leveraging its $100B Vision Fund to create a grand scheme for the future of mobility. The Japanese conglomerate, founded 40 years ago by visionary and (now) billionaire Masayoshi Son, started to invest in mobility in 2014. It has built significant momentum with massive positions in companies related to shared mobility, autonomous driving and supporting tech, e.g. over $11B in Didi and $8B in Uber. SoftBank is an active investor which leverages its significant stakes to steer portfolio companies towards an integrated web of global autonomous mobility solutions.
Rail: A Key Component of the Mobility Mix
About 200 years after they were first introduced, rail lines have evolved to cover various use cases, i.e., urban or intercity settings, passenger or freight. Today, rail transportation represents a significant share of the modal mix in Europe, Japan and China, particularly as metros and high speed trains. Electric rail transportation is an integral part of the solution to address congestion and global warming, and must be part of long term mobility planning. Is it the case?
A Deep Dive into the AV Ecosystem
Tremendous efforts are being undertaken to enable autonomous mobility, whether for people or for goods. These efforts are evidenced by the development of a broad and dense ecosystem. It is comprised of tech giants, startups and established OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers which develop the hardware or software solutions necessary to bring AVs to market. What are the key building blocks of this ecosystem? What are the dynamics of the various segments?
Utilities and Oil Majors Join the EV Wave
In 2018, about 2.1 million plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) were sold. This may represent only 2.2% of all light vehicles sold globally last year, but it increased almost 80% vs. 2017. EV sales growth will remain strong thanks to both a wave of new EVs and continued incentives, whether financial or operational. This should be enough for all forward-thinking utilities and oil majors to prepare to break from the status quo. What is at stake? What actions are the key European and US players taking?
CES 2019: A Focus on Mobility
At CES 2019, the key trends in the mobility space included autonomous shuttles, occupant understanding solutions, on-board services, an array of often AI-assisted UX/UI enhancement as well as the progressive deployment of AVs. This articles outlines some of the most interesting tech showcased in Las Vegas
How Nio, Byton, Lucid, Rivian and others Emulate Tesla
Incumbent OEMs are efficient organizations, but they move incrementally. They are heavily challenged by Tesla and a number of more recent emerging electric vehicle OEMs, which have developed into agile, software powerhouses. They are free from multiple legacy issues that slow down incumbents, have access to mounds of capital and are allowed to lose lots of money. Who are they and how are they fairing?
Shared Micro-Mobility Goes Mainstream
Consumers expect access to mobility when and where they want, without commitment, as they are decreasingly interested in car ownership. The fast development of the sharing economy is forcing traditional players, OEMs in particular, to truly embrace their proclaimed ambition to pivot from selling cars to providing mobility. Likewise, companies offering shared mobility based on a single mode are racing to deploy across other modes in order to gain a first mover advantage in new markets.
Plug-In Vehicles: The Future in Charging
Sales of plug-in electric vehicles (pure EVs and plug-in hybrids) reached 1.1 million units in 2017 and are growing at about 50% year on year. They will represent 2.2% of global light vehicle sales this year, and create a fleet of 5.4 million plug-in EVs by end 2018. Charging this fast growing installed base requires a paradigm change. It’s being addressed through increased network density, higher charging speed as well as new, more convenient, charging options. This article sheds light on the market, network growth, new solutions and the players.
Mobility Revolution Triggers Corporate Restructuring in Auto Industry
The on-going revolution in the mobility space translates in a significant dichotomy in the corporate world between business as usual and the construction of the industry’s future state. This is particularly visible with regards to R&D expenditures, the timing of future revenue, business and technical risks as well as business models and associated margins. As a result, several incumbent players have or are planning to engage in massive reorganizations. This article looks at the drivers and the facts behind these historic corporate transformations.
Driver & Passenger Understanding: The Next Frontier
Few solutions have been developed so far to assess real time traffic risks around vehicles and even fewer to understand the behavior of people inside them. Safety, comfort and onboard e-commerce solutions can be enhanced by leveraging sensors, AI, onboard compute platforms and connectivity. Let’s look at the different value propositions and some of the enabling solutions.
Connected Services Are Revolutionizing the Mobility Experience
Connected vehicles is one of the four megatrends driving the ongoing mobility revolution. Supported by various underlying technologies, connectivity enables a myriad of new value propositions ranging from safety and autonomous driving, to vehicle diagnostics and maintenance, to convenience services and entertainment. This article looks at some of the features we can expect from increasingly connected vehicles, and some of the companies behind them.
Autonomous Driving — The Current State of Play
Autonomous driving remains a very hot topic in the mobility space. Startups and investors are increasingly focusing on the opportunities this game changing tech generates in the mobility ecosystem. Incumbent OEMs and suppliers as well as mobility operators continue to raise their game to keep up with the new players. Meanwhile, the legislative framework evolves so as to maximize benefits for society. And what about autonomous trucks? Here is an overview of the state of play.
Vertical Integration Among Carmakers and Mobility Services
The progressive shift from individual car ownership to shared mobility is no longer challenged. As a consequence, incumbent OEMs engage in mobility services and new mobility players get involved in specifying / sourcing their vehicles. This results in deep corporate transformation and multiple strategic partnerships. The search for recurring revenue from mobility services as well as for lower operating costs will continue to drive both sides to some sort of loose, vertical integration.This article analyzes what is happening.
China Leverages Silicon Valley’s Mobility Ecosystem
China is home to the largest automotive market. The on-going mobility revolution is a major opportunity for China to strengthen this leadership through the establishment of new players. the levers to do so include restraining market access and using large domestic financial resources to leverage foreign talents and acquire foreign assets. Silicon Valley is the main target for this effort. This article analyzes how this plays out.
Mobility Ecosystem: a Look Back at 2017
The mobility ecosystem is undergoing a full blown revolution along 4 megatrends, i.e. electrification, driving autonomy, connectivity and shared mobility. In 2017, we saw a drastic transformation in all 4 dimensions. Significant investments, new roles between incumbents and incoming players, pilots for new tech or business models, etc. This article looks at the most significant events of last year.
Highlights from CES, Detroit Auto Show and AutomobiliD
Automotive, and mobility in general, have become a focus point for tech giants and startups alike. Electrification, driving autonomy, connectivity and shared mobility were at the heart of this year’s CES more than ever, as well as at Detroit’s recently created mobility tech event, AutomobiliD. The Detroit Auto Show gave us an idea of how OEMs will pay for it. What are the key takeaways?
Commercial Vehicles go Electric, Autonomous, Connected and Shared
Mobility is currently undergoing a profound transformation, specifically with electrification, driving autonomy, connectivity and sharing. Whereas passenger vehicles are the most commented applications, buses, heavy trucks and light commercial vehicles are also increasingly adopting these four megatrends. Here is how.
An Inside Look at Silicon Valley’s Mobility Ecosystem
SV is home to a dynamic combination of education, research, real life evaluation of all sorts, development, partnerships and investment. Startups, large tech companies, industry incumbents, universities, incubators and VCs work together to imagine, develop, test, finance and scale new tech or business models for tomorrow’s mobility.
Why EVs Will Soon Proliferate: OEMs’ Plans, ICE Bans and Infrastructure
The electrification of mobility is at an inflection point. Battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales are up about 50% vs 2016. The forthcoming proliferation of increasingly appealing EVs (6 battery EVs in 2012, 15 today, over 50 in 2022), new regulations that force the internal combustion engine out, the deployment of the charging infrastructure and the fast greening of electric generation create an ideal set of conditions for EV sales to boom.
Mobility Ecosystems - Current State of Play for 21 Key Players
The automotive and mobility industries are undergoing a major transformation which impacts the way players operate. Deeply transformative megatrends, namely the emergence of electrified, autonomous and connected vehicles, along with Mobility as a Service (MaaS), are forcing incumbents to revisit their business model. This article reviews 21 ecosystems built by key players in order to create full technology and service stacks that will eventually allow them to take full advantage of the megatrends.
Will New Tech Lead to Sustainable Mobility?
Mobility is undergoing a profound transformation with the deployment of electric and autonomous vehicles as well as new mobility solutions. To what extent does this make mobility more sustainable, ie more socially inclusive and protective of our planet?
Who Will Pioneer Autonomous Mobility on Demand (AMoD) and How?
Carmakers, large tech companies and many startups are investing billions to develop autonomous driving, but the emergence of fully autonomous vehicles on all public roads is still many years away. Nevertheless, autonomous shuttles are undergoing multiple real life tests and will start commercial operations soon. How will this work? Who are the players behind?
How Key Success Factors Converge for Significant EV Sales Growth
Early attempts to launch electric vehicles failed for at least three reasons: a very narrow product offering, limited performance combined with a high price, and a scare network of slow charging stations. These pain points are being progressively addressed and should be removed within the next 5 to 10 years, allowing for a sound and lasting development of the overall EV ecosystem. The article reviews how we are progressing on these three dimensions.
The Blurring Line between new Mobility Services and Public Transit
The development of alternative mobility solutions, in particular ride-sharing, ride-hailing and car-sharing, continues to deeply transform the urban transportation landscape. The forthcoming emergence of driverless vehicles will further rattle the status quo. The line between new mobility solutions — mostly private — and public transit will become blurry. What do we observe today? What can we expect for tomorrow?
Autonomous Driving: the Current State of Play
Autonomous driving represents the most important disruption in mobility since we moved away from horse-pulled carriages. What is the current state of play in autonomous driving? Who are the key players? What are some of key technical and regulatory challenges? In what settings are AVs likely to be deployed first?
Electric Mobility’s Ecosystem: Structure, Players and Trends
Several major car manufacturers anticipate that up to 25% of their 2025 global sales will come from battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), with many new models to be introduced between 2020 and 2025. The three key conditions for customers to massively switch to EVs are (1) the price of EV battery packs, (2) the time needed to “fill up” and (3) the density of the charging infrastructure. The removal of these roadblocks give way to the emergence of a new ecosystem. What are its components, its main players and success factors?
Cards Reshuffled in Mobility, but CES Showed Incumbents Fight Back
Electric mobility, autonomous and connected vehicles and new mobility solutions are maturing quickly. Tech companies are eager to use these disrupting innovations to grab part of the mobility business. In addition, a drop in individual car ownership is clearly foreseeable. Consequently, traditional carmakers’ revenue and profits from selling and maintaining cars are being threatened. They are forced to redefine their business model and adapt at warp speed. How are tech companies moving in? What strategic options do carmakers have given their current positioning and resources? CES 2017 gave us some indications as to how the mobility deck of cards is being reshuffled.
How the New Types of Mobility Solutions Compare
Car ownership, public transit and classical car rentals are increasingly challenged by alternative mobility solutions. They leverage the omnipresence of smartphones, the development of data analytics and affordable technologies and surf on the wave of the collaborative economy. They potentially result in a much higher utilization of vehicles. They should also contribute to the sustainability of the planet and generate economic benefit for both vehicle owners and customers. What are these new services? Who deploys them? ...
Car Manufacturers Pivot to Provide Clean Mobility Services
The growth experienced by the U.S., European and Japanese markets since the low point of 2009 is mostly behind us. At the same time, new players are exerting increasing pressure on incumbents, introducing disrupting products and services that the latter are incapable to compete against in the short term. In addition, emission regulations are increasingly stringent. As a result, traditional OEMs are forced to radically and hastily transform themselved, pivoting from vehicle-focused to mobility-focused strategies. What is exactly taking place? ...
2016 Paris Motor Show: Massive Shift towards EVs
The world’s most attended motor show witnessed a significant shift in global OEMs’ strategy towards electrified and autonomous vehicles, i.e. EVs and AVs. The pressure applied by new players combined with increasingly stringent emission standards has forced OEMs to rethink their strategy. Where do they each stand? What did they present and announce in Paris? What will be the bigger impact of these strategic shifts on their business and ecosystem, e.g. on people, industrial assets or the service network? ...
New Players Are Revolutionizing the Mobility Sector
Two new types of players are disrupting the mobility sector: service providers (ride-hailing, car sharing) and technology providers (autonomous driving, connectivity, ...). There are all increasingly interacting with the traditional players. Who became partners? Who has acquired whom? What will be the likely distribution of roles among them in the automotive space? Who will control the new, recurring cash flows from rides and own the high-value customer relationships? ...