In early November 2017, Waymo announced that while it will continue its tests in Washington, California, and Texas, it was ready to start ferrying consumers in its fleet of driverless minivans in Chandler, Arizona. Later the same month GM presented their roadmap for autonomous vehicles and details about the mobility services it intends to offer using such vehicles starting in 2019. These larger scale efforts follow a year during which incumbent OEMs, automotive suppliers, global ride-hailing companies, large technology companies, and startups have been demonstrating autonomous vehicles of many form factors targeting a variety of next-generation mobility applications. Automotive OEMs are making important decisions about the role they want to play in next-generation mobility. These decisions will organize automotive OEMs to five categories.
In the previous post I described a new value chain that will connect companies providing on-demand personal mobility services and three emerging models for this value chain. This value chain is the result of the consumer shift from a car ownership-centric transportation model to a hybrid model that blends car ownership with vehicle access through a combination of on-demand mobility services and public transportation. It is also based on the stated intent by the providers of certain of these services to adopt Autonomous Connected Electrified (ACE) vehicles. Various acquisitions, partnerships, including the recently announced partnerships between Waymo and Avis, and Apple and Hertz, and investments by automotive industry incumbents and by companies offering, or intend to offer, on-demand mobility services point to new ecosystems that will be developed around this value chain. In this post I provide a deeper analysis of the emerging value chain and explore investment opportunities in startups that will participate in it.