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Mobility Ecosystems  - Current State of Play for 21 Key Players
September 2017

The automotive industry is undergoing a major transformation which impacts the way its 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. Collaterally, it changes the way they interact with other players, whether inside or outside the traditional space. Incumbents are building new ecosystems with new cooperation and coopetition models. They are also shifting their technical expertise and industrial base to adapt to this revolution. We will analyze the ecosystems that 21 key players have built in order to create full technology and service stacks that will eventually allow them to offer electric, autonomous and connected MaaS. We will also look at the challenges they are addressing and the outcome that should be expected.


The automotive industry was initially rather vertically integrated, until OEMs spun off big chunks of their in-house supply base in the 1990s (GM’s Delphi, Ford’s Visteon, PSA’ Faurecia, …). This allowed OEMs to reduce in-house engineering teams while increasing pressure on costs — purchased parts represents about 70% the cost base. This created a rigid series of supplier-customers relationships (OEM-Tier 1, Tier 1-Tier 2, …) which has  only provided incremental innovation. The transformative megatrends we observe today are triggered (or exacerbated) by players outside the traditional sandbox of OEMs and Tier x suppliers, e.g. Tesla for EVs, Uber for new mobility solutions or Google for autonomous driving and a number of startups related to the connected vehicles.


Taking a radical turn, incumbents have been investing in a number of startups, performing pilots or proofs of concepts with others, partnering with software, hardware, data and internet companies, collaborating with competitors, joining open source platforms, and in doing so, testing all sorts of alternative business models. What does this look like?


Following is a comprehensive, but non exhaustive, analysis of the ecosystems assembled by the most active carmakers (8), auto Tier 1 suppliers (6) as well as tech companies and other new players (7) in the mobility space. This analysis covers partnerships related to electric vehicles (EV), autonomous driving (AD) and connected vehicles as well as MaaS and the vehicle itself. An asterisk* indicates the company has a financial stake in this player.


The Carmakers



Daimler has developed one of the most comprehensive ecosystems among all carmakers. They jumped early in MaaS, first organically (Car2Go), then externally, recently co-leading a $92m round in peer-to-peer car sharing company Turo. AD is also a key focal point.

  • Electric: Chargepoint*, Hubject*

  • Autonomous: Bosch, Here*, Intrix, Momenta*, Quanergy*, Baidu

  • MaaS: Uber, Careem*, Via*, Turo*, Volocopter*, Flinc*



BMW focused the development of its ecosystems on EV charging and autonomous vehicles. They created an open AD development platform, in line with previous initiatives. BMW’s efforts in MaaS seem to remain mostly in-house (DriveNow/ReachNow). 

  • Electric: Chargepoint*, Hubject*, StoreDot*

  • Autonomous: platform joined by Intel/Mobileye-Delphi-Continental-FCA, Bosch, Intrix, Nauto*

  • Connected: IBM, Zendrive*

  • MaaS: RideCell*, Moovit*


Volkswagen Group

The VW Group has built its ecosystem mainly on autonomous driving and MaaS. This is in line with their intent to operate fleets of fully autonomous ride-sharing vehicles in several cities globally as early as 2021, using their Sedric series of vehicles.

  • Electric: Hubject*

  • Autonomous: Here*, Intel/Mobileye, Bosch, Intrix

  • Connected: Mobvoi*, Parkopedia

  • MaaS: Gett*, Didi, SilverCar



Building on being the first mover and leading the global EV market, the Alliance continues to focus its ecosystem development on a broad electrification offering, including charging networks, integrated home-vehicle solutions and second lives for EV batteries.

  • Electric: EVGo, The Mobility House, Gireve, EnergiDienst, Green Charge Networks

  • Autonomous: ChronoCam*

  • Connected: Microsoft

  • MaaS: Karhoo, Transdev



Constrained by its size and financial resources, PSA has focused its ecosystem on MaaS. They consolidate various mobility solutions under the in-house program Free2Move. More recently, PSA has partnered with AD startups to launch pilots.

  • Autonomous: nuTonomy, AImotive

  • Connected: Parkopedia

  • MaaS: Communauto, KooliCar, TravelCar



Ford made a particular effort to build an ecosystem which will allow for an accelerated development of both autonomous driving ($1bn committed to ArgoAI) and shared mobility (just partnered with Lyft). Several internal initiatives support this latter effort, eg bike-sharing.

  • Electric: Deutsche Post

  • Autonomous: Velodyne*, ArgoAI*, CivilMaps*

  • Connected: Parkopedia, Pivotal*

  • MaaS: Chariot*, Swiftly*, Lyft



GM made focused but significant investment in startups, including $1bn in Cruise and $500m in Lyft. The two are being assembled to eventually offer automated mobility on demand. This appears to be a rather narrow ecosystem.

  • Autonomous: Cruise*, Nauto*

  • MaaS: Lyft*, Feezu*



Toyota is a late comer to both EV and AD. They recently sold their stake in Tesla after deciding on an accelerated EV development program. The company has not been keen on partnering for tech, though a $100m was created in July to invest in AI and robotics.

  • Electric: ChargePoint*, Mazda, Denso

  • Autonomous: Nauto*, Luminar

  • Connected: IBM, Parkopedia

  • MaaS: Uber*, Grab*

The Tier 1 Auto suppliers



The autotech giant already enjoys a broad spectrum of in-house tech and expertise.  Bosch has nevertheless been on a partnership binge this year, in particular focusing on AV and associated tech.

  • Electric Hubject*

  • Autonomous: Nvidia, TomTom, Daimler, BMW, Baidu, Sony, ChronoCam*, TetraVue*

  • Connected: Sensoro*



ZF broadened its safety-related product scope when they acquired TRW in 2015. Recently, ZF focused its ecosystem development on AD, established a JV with e.GO Mobile to develop a robotaxi and partnered with Faurecia on autonomous vehicle interior.

  • Autonomous: Nvidia, Ibeo*, Astyx*, Baidu

  • Connected: IBM

  • MaaS: e.GO Mobile

  • Other: Faurecia (for AV interior)



Addressing the chassis/safety, interior and powertrain markets, Continental seems to develop its ecosystem on both EV and AD. More partnerships should be expected as the company is opening an office in Silicon Valley, aiming for over 120 people by year end.

  • Electric: Schaeffler 

  • Autonomous: BMW AV platform (along w/ Intel/Mobileye, Delphi and FCA), Baidu, Elektrobit*, Advanced Scientific Concepts*

  • MaaS: EasyMile*


France’s 2nd largest supplier is leveraging both EV and AD megatrends though few partnerships have emerged. Valeo has announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research center in Paris, which is likely to attractits own ecosystem.

  • Electric: Siemens

  • Autonomous: Gestigon

  • Connected: Cisco (parking solution), Carzapp*, CloudMade*

  • MaaS: Navya*



The Detroit-based supplier spun off its engine component business last May to focus on advanced electronics. Delphi’s ecosystem parallels this new focus, most partnership being in the AD space and connected solutions.

  • Autonomous: BMW AV platform (along w/ Intel/Mobileye, Continental and FCA), BlackBerry, Quanergy*, Innoviz*, LeddarTech*, Renovo, Baidu

  • Connected: Automatika*, Movimento*, Otonomo*, Control-Tec*

  • MaaS: Transdev



The company’s seating and interior businesses will be transformed by AD while its exhaust business will suffer with EV. The visible ecosystem is limited but points to more electronics in vehicle interior and a (long term) shift from internal combustion to fuel cell.

  • Electric: Stellia (for Fuel Cell EVs)

  • Connected: Parrot*

  • Other: ZF (for AV interior)

Tech companies and new players


Google / Waymo

Waymo has a limited ecosystem as all the necessary bricks for automated MaaS are being developed in-house, except the vehicle itself. The solution can be offered as a complete package or installed on vehicles built on Waymo’s specs. Waymo may also invest in Lyft.

  • Autonomous: full hard- and software stack, mapping and navigation in-house, Intel

  • Connected: in-house

  • MaaS: in-house (Waze), Lyft

  • Vehicle: FCA



Intel paid $15bn for Mobileye in March and has reportedly spent $1bn in AI over the last 3 years, part of which went into startups. The chip giant is also investing in or partnering with companies dealing with AD sensors, mapping or even working with Waymo on AD.

  • Autonomous: Mobileye*, Here*, Waymo, Itseez*, AEye*, ChronoCam*, VW Group, BMW AV platform (along w/ Delphi, Continental and FCA)

  • Other: Movidius* (AI), Nervana* (AI)



Driving autonomy has been a deeply strategic endeavor for Uber. Yet, they have focused on developing the necessary tech in-house after spending about $700m on Otto last year. Key partnerships ought to be with vehicle manufacturers, either cars or trucks.

  • EV space: ChargePoint (for vertical take-off and landing vehicles)

  • Autonomous: Otto*, deCarta*

  • MaaS: Didi*

  • Vehicle: Daimler, Volvo, Toyota



The #2 ride-sharing company in the US has accelerated over the past months, taking advantage of Uber’s difficulties. Lyft also recently created a new division to develop AD tech and just partnered with Waymo to strengthen this development.

  • Autonomous: nuTonomy,, Waymo 

  • MaaS: Didi

  • Vehicle: JLR



The largest global ride-sharing company has invested in other regional ride-sharing players, in particular in S-East Asia and India. 

  • MaaS: Grab*, Ola*

  • Other: Apple ($1bn investment in Didi)



The Chinese internet giant has received the blessing from the local government to spearhead the development of electric mobility in order for China to gain energy independence. This is clearly visible in Tencent’s mobility ecosystem. 

  • Vehicle: Tesla*, Nio*, Future Mobility Corp*

  • Autonomous: Here*

  • MaaS: Didi*



The Chinese internet search giant follows a similar path as Tencent, though clearly focusing on AD. The Apollo autonomous driving platform aims at developing an open source AD stack. Baidu boasts 70 partners, including big names in the auto industry.

  • Vehicle: Nio*

  • Autonomous: Velodyne*, Continental, Apollo open source AD platform (incl. Bosch, Daimler, TomTom, Continental, Delphi, ZF, Ford, Nvidia, Microsoft, Grab)



As shown above, the automotive industry — and the mobility sector at large — is undergoing not only a profound technological shift, but also a radical transformation in the way its players operate. Who could imagine 3 years ago competitors, whether at OEMs or suppliers, collaborating to develop open source platforms? Who could anticipate that large incumbents could engage directly with months-old startups staffed with 10-20 people? The incumbents will not go back to their vertical relationship structure anytime soon, but neither will they give way to newcomers. This is truly an exiting transformation, the outcome of which is yet to be built.

Marc Amblard

Also published on LinkedIn (

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