According to AlixPartners LLP, an American consulting company, over 50 major competing companies are now trying to win the race to put the first driverless car on the road. However, not all of them will be lucky enough to come to the finish line. In fact, AlixPartners LLP study predicts that only a few couples of them will boast their results in the end within the next decade. The company’s global vice chairman and managing director John Hoffecker said it in his speech to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit. He also claimed that dozens of billions of dollars will be spent in vain or lost because they will be invested in the wrong firms.
Producers of traditional cars make promising but challenging deals with different technological giants like Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc. Their choice is obvious because those are the players who generate a great deal of money and eagerly fund autonomous driving technology development. Four years at most – this is the time span during which the car companies like General Motors Co., Volvo Car Group, Daimler AG and others promise to produce and put on the road a fully-functional driverless car. The same way like Tesla Inc. became the first company in electric car manufacturing, every car producer tries to win the race to become a bellwether in the world of autonomous cars and set standards in the branch.
Of course, many of those who are doomed to lose the race will be constantly trying to catch up with the technology having spent fortunes on the race for the first place. This mostly concerns well-standing car companies which eventually will have to pay for the technology to those who will have won the competition. AlixPartners also said that those who win will have a big lead.
In the course of the past year alone, different companies created 195 partnerships to make progress in autonomous driving production. In addition, over 200 high-tech companies interested but not involved in the car-making business before decided to get in the game.
It is almost impossible to predict the winners of the race because there will be a lot of changes during the next decade in the industry, argues John Hoffecker claiming that electric and autonomous cars will supposedly prevail in the nearest years. Autonomous cars production costs will drop 78% by 2025 as well, and electric vehicles will be equal in price with conventional ones.
During the race, those in the lead will replace each other with a drastic speed, actually overnight, according to AlixPartners.