Automakers have a choice: Become data companies or become irrelevant – TechCrunch

Automakers have a choice: Become data companies or become irrelevant – TechCrunch:

New mobility giants like Lyft and Uber are built on data. Existing data and technology-focused companies, like Samsung (acquiring Harman), Intel (acquiring Mobileye), Google (with Maps and Waymo) and Apple (with Maps and Titan), are building mobility products. This makes perfect sense given the scale of the transportation and mobility sector.

Larger OEMs, like BMW, do not want to cede control to large technology companies. Key for automakers will be finding a way to gain access to data expertise without giving away their proprietary position in the market.

Smaller OEMs may be okay ceding some position to technology companies that could provide ADAS, autonomy and data management solutions (e.g. Aurora, Waymo) as they would likely struggle to build on their own. Ceding this position would relegate those automakers down the automotive hierarchy, but perhaps bring them greater volume in the future. For example, Waymo is developing its technology stack on Chrysler and Jaguar vehicles.

Automakers overwhelmed by this prospect may want to consider an acquisition, as they did for self-driving technology with Argo AI and Cruise. For instance, Ford acquired TransLoc and Autonomic to develop internal capabilities. General Motors took a substantial stake in third-party data platform Wejo. Automakers could also attempt to build these capabilities on their own. Toyota is developing a $1 billion data center.

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