Suppliers will make more money than the automaker brands, autonomous driving features are creeping into new models, market size is growing quickly and corporate mergers are accelerating in the driverless technology sector, and cars will be redesigned to accommodate different activities when drivers don’t have to drive.
These are just 4 of the interesting topics addressed in a recent article from the Financial Times.
“Analysts expect suppliers of radar, cameras, mapping technology and software to be among the big winners of increasing vehicle autonomy as they gradually account for a higher proportion of the value mainstream vehicles.”
“Carmakers have been gradually adding autonomous elements to their vehicles since Jaguar introduced adaptive cruise control in its XK sports car in 1996. These so called ADAS features – advanced driver assistance systems – help alleviate the tedium of driving and reduce accidents.”
“Suppliers that are able to offer a broad spectrum of autonomous vehicle technologies stand to benefit most – a belief that has sparked a wave of consolidation in the industry.” (Recently these have included deals among companies including Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen, the USA’s TRW Automotive, Japan’s Panasonic, Spain’s Ficosa, among others.)
Most entertainingly, the fundamental precepts of car design are being called into question by the changing role of the driver.
As Dominique Bonte, vice-president at ABI Research, says: “Why do we need these super-reinforced boxes of metal that can resist all types of crashes . . . if the chance of a crash is zero?”
Much more from this extensive and interesting article here at FT.com.