Every stakeholder in the automotive industry today is at a tearing hurry to develop technologies that are needed to meet rapidly developing and stringent regulatory norms, be it for safety, emission or efficiency. There is pressure on everyone to innovate, develop and deliver technologies and solutions that would hold them in good stead, especially with mobility requirements and demands changing around the world. The speed at which is this is happening has never been seen before in the auto sector.
Vehicle makers and large Tier 1 suppliers are at the forefront of this change, but the role the start-up ecosystem is playing in this transformation of the mobility sector has made everyone stand up and take notice. So high is the demand for innovative solutions, and so large is the scope of development work that many automakers have realised not every solution would come out of their own laboratories. Welcome collaborations.
A case in point is the stream of new-age collaborations we have seen in the last few months. Take the example of the joint effort by Mobileye, Intel and BMW to develop an autonomous driving platform that can be used by other automakers. Continental joined hands in June, while in mid-August we saw this collaboration get a new partner in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
It is estimated that the number of people living in cities will double in the next three to four decades, while the number of people living in the country side will go slightly down. That’s going to put tremendous pressure on the urban landscape of cities across the world. It is true even when we talk about the foreseeable future.
Many senior executives we have spoken to in the last few months have conceded that the industry would indeed need to work with non-automotive technology partners for some of the critical, high-end technologies that the industry would need to adopt. That might mean passing over some control to the technology partners, but automakers aren’t averse to that thought either.
The annual conventions of SIAM and ACMA this year are expected to deliberate on many of these areas. Transforming mobility is a necessity, and it would be interesting to learn what captains of the Indian automotive industry think about it.
Deepangshu Dev Sarmah
New Delhi, September 2017