It’s hard work keeping up with all the noise and hype surrounding the great autonomous vehicle race. Will a winner cross the finishing line next year or in five years’ time? Everybody has a different answer to this question. Will the winner come from the US, Germany, or China? This is when things to start to get really interesting.
And will the ultimate winner turn out to be a company that doesn’t even design or manufacture autonomous cars at all but operates huge fleets of them like airlines today and wrests control of the all-important consumer relationship away from the world’s top global automotive brands? This is a strong possibility – but whether the likes of Uber and Lyft will prove to be the winners isn’t clear at this stage despite what they have been claiming in their IPO documents.
So many questions and no definitive answers. Plenty of opportunities for a growing army of consultants, analysts, commentators, and analysts to establish themselves as “experts’ in the burgeoning field of autonomy, micromobility, or whatever buzzword they choose to name it. Plenty of opportunities, too, for a legion of startups and hi-tech giants alike to join the fray with a plethora of new business models, technologies, and applications that promise to accelerate the speed and intensity of the race to autonomy. And plenty of opportunities as well for companies like VIA, the one I work for, to enter this ferociously competitive race with our own unique products and solutions.
Over the past three years, we have been working closely with customers as far afield as China and Brazil to learn how we can help them to address the challenges of developing and deploying intelligent driver assistance, safety, and autonomous driving technologies. During that time, we have built up a growing family of VIA Mobile360 in-vehicle systems and solutions that we are planning to roll out on a much larger scale.
Starting with this post, I plan to share our experiences in gearing up for the great autonomous vehicle race as well as our future plans and strategies. In addition, I hope to find some time to provide some personal color commentary on trends that are making this such an unpredictable and exhilarating market. Why not buckle up and join me for the ride?