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Autonomous Vehicles: Divergent futures

Autonomous Vehicles: Divergent futures

Autonomous vehicles, also known as self-driving cars, are set to change transportation in such a profound way that the implications for manufacturers and suppliers are only just emerging.

In the twentieth century, the automobile transformed human mobility and how we live. Now, in the early part of the twenty-first century, the automotive industry stands at the cusp of revolutionary change thanks to autonomous car technology.

The advent of autonomous vehicles means that the car and its interaction with humans – at the micro and macro level – is fundamentally changing. Over the next ten years vehicle manufacturers and suppliers alike will have to consider the changes that self-driving cars present and adapt. Those companies who fail to change will eventually disappear.

Extract: “The consequence, therefore, is likely to be not one but several futures as the technologies of autonomous and connected cars permeate societies around the world. Indeed, it might be argued that one point of contest is whether autonomous cars need to be connected, in that ultimately there is a question of whether the car or the infrastructure is in control.”

This compact report establishes three potential futures for autonomous vehicles:

The cocoon car
The commodity car
The eternal car

Once established, the author, Professor Peter Wells, Director at the Centre for Automotive Industry Research, sets out the implications of these visions for both OEMs and suppliers.

The report also identifies examples of innovation and collaboration between suppliers and tech firms, and explains how there is opportunity in uncertainty.

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Introduction by Dave Leggett, editor,

Executive summary

The contest to define autonomous cars

Government backing
Industry gold rush
The investment challenge of the bigger picture
Is society ready?

The technologies of autonomous and connected cars

An idea a long time in the making
The example of ABS brakes: the dawn of digitisation
The example of ABS brakes: the crucial role of supplier
Sensors: the core technology for autonomous cars
Assistance, not control
Information overload versus ease of operation
The burgeoning market for car-related apps

Visions and timelines: The fractured future of the automotive industry

Autonomous… or controlled?
Ten years to become the norm?
Vision 1: The cocoon car
Vision 2: The commodity car
Vision 3. The eternal car

The importance of place

The uncertain impact on urbanisation
A new industry or a reborn old one?
More cars or fewer?

Participating in the smart mobility ecosystems of tomorrow

Uncertainty also means opportunities
New portfolios of competence required
Participation in early projects helpful
It’s not just about technology
Winners and losers?
Components and systems under threat
The potential growth segments
Keeping informed: A key requirement for suppliers

Examples of innovation and collaboration

Continental AG and Cisco
Continental AG and IBM
ZF Friedrichshafen
Bosch and TomTom

The shift in balance of power

Who owns the customer?
Who controls the vehicle?

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