Category

Automotive

The Omnibus (Honore Daumier, 1864)

I Want to Say One Word to You: Batteries!

By | Automotive, Electric Vehicles | No Comments

Electric Cars: Not So Fast

The future of personal and commercial mobility is undoubtedly electric. But thus far, sales of electric vehicles have been disappointing. A hefty price tag and lack of charging infrastructure continue to stall broad adoption, especially in regions that are afflicted by air pollution and should see high demand for EVs.

Internal combustion vehicles will continue to dominate the new vehicle market for the next five to ten years. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) estimates that by 2030, EVs will make up 44% of all new vehicle sales in Europe, 41% in China, 34% in the US and 17% in Japan. India,  owing to a shortage of charging infrastructure and a lack of affordable EV models, will trail these regions, with only 7% of total sales.

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Count von Count

How Many Autonomous Cars Will be on the Road in 2025?

By | Autonomous Cars, Connected Cars, Electric Vehicles | No Comments

Like Sesame Street’s Count von Count, industry analysts have a compulsive love of counting things.

One favorite item to count has been Internet of Things devices or “things.” This metric has proven elusive, and, as I opined numerous times before, mostly irrelevant, because the mere number of IoT devices deployed globally does not signify the business value they provide. In other words, more devices do not mean greater business value.

Conversely, connected and automated cars (CAVs) is a good example of more-is-better. More connected, safer, and, eventually, autonomous cars will improve the efficiency of urban transportation systems and reduce private vehicle ownership, thereby preventing crashes, easing traffic congestion and reducing carbon footprint.

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Elegant Gathering in the Apricot Garden (Xie Huan Ca. 1437)

Made in China 2025 and Intellectual Property Protection

By | Electric Vehicles, Mergers & Acquisitions, Supply Chain | No Comments

China IP Protection Practices Snapshot and Predictions

Product companies and research organizations have long complained about theft of intellectual property (IP) and lax enforcement of intellectual property rights in China. Forced technology transfers have been another major grievance of foreign companies setting up local operations in China.

Despite the potential risks of IP leaks and bureaucratic limitations, the lure of the enormous Chinese consumers market is impossible to resist and for some companies it may very well represent an essential component of their long-term growth strategy.

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The Tortoise and the Hare (J.J. Grandville, 1855)

The Race to Automate Driving: Is Japan’s Silent Strategy the Tortoise to America’s Hare?

By | Automotive, Autonomous Cars | No Comments

In a recent tweet, Lex Fridman, a research scientist working on human-centered artificial intelligence at MIT, said: “all of us working in autonomous vehicle research want nothing more than to save lives.”

While AI scientists and engineers share this noble goal, they often differ dramatically in the path they take to reaching it. 

Companies such as Uber’s Advanced Technology Group, Tesla and General Motors’s Cruise take an approach many will consider maverick, perhaps even cavalier: they deploy vehicles equipped with newly-developed autonomous operation capabilities on public roads and test them under real-world conditions, driving millions of actual miles and many more virtual miles using advanced simulation software. Design engineers monitor the performance of the robotic software and update the algorithms inside the vehicle, sometimes remotely and in near real time.

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Airplane Over Train (Natalia Goncharova, 1913)

The Automotive Industry: On the Road to Autonomy — Automotive Industry Snapshot and Predictions

By | Automotive, Autonomous Cars, Connected Cars, Electric Vehicles, Strategy, Uncategorized | No Comments

Value Chain Disintermediation: Electronics and Software are the New Automotive Supply Chain Kings

The auto industry’s century-old drive to gain efficiencies, accelerate production output, reduce waste and recoup working capital through lean techniques has also led to a strong cultural bias towards inside innovation and complex love-hate relationships with a network of select suppliers of mostly mechanical and electrical subsystems.

But today, electronics and software are the key to brand differentiation, customer affinity and market competitiveness. Electronics manufacturers are quickly becoming the new kings of the automotive value chain as the center of gravity is shifting from complex mechanical systems and passive safety features to sophisticated electronics and software. New entrants and outside innovators are redefining the traditional roles in a value chain structure that has changed very little in decades and are changing the familiar landscape.

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