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Who will win the driverless revolution?

Automotive companies need to consider new business models as users shift to shared ownership and consider comfort and ease of transportation over the driving experience

 

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Lux reckons few companies will have a "significant" technology advantage
Lux reckons few companies will have a "significant" technology advantage

The race to dominate the driverless car market is well underway but only a handful of automotive companies’ endeavours are viewed positively in a new study from Lux Research.

 

Determining Who’s in the Fastlane for Autonomous Vehicles: A Comparison of Automotive OEM Plans for Driverless Cars report found that few automakers offer significant technical differentiation so innovative business models will be the key to success.

 

Lux Research evaluated 12 carmakers and offered a ‘positive’ rating based on three key criteria: demonstrated capability; investment; and partnerships. Each manufacturer was also awarded a so-called ‘Lux take’ based on details such as strategy, roadmaps, partnerships and investments.

 

The carmakers found to have shown significant progress were: Daimler Trucks compared to the rest of the trucking market; BMW, Daimler Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Toyota, which have all “showcased significant technical advancements over their direct competition in the market”.

 

The report also warned that the rise of autonomous cars presents carmakers with the challenge of retaining ‘recurring revenues’ that could otherwise accrue to software makers and car dealers, alongside monetising their own data streams. Automotive companies need to consider new business models as users shift to shared ownership, and consider comfort and ease of transportation over the driving experience, it said.

 

Aspiring to become ‘mobility providers’ where money could be earned from services like ride-sharing rather than simply sales of cars would also help them to succeed in this rapidly changing marketplace.

 

“The company with the best business plan will win the race toward autonomy,” said Kevin See, Lux Research director and author of the report. “Few companies will have a significant technology advantage, so winners will need to capitalise on novel business models from car sharing and ride-sharing to monetising their own data.”

 

 

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