Prof.John Paul MacDuffie
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
「Why ‘Autos Plus Tech’ Is the Best Path for Automated Vehicles」
For more than a century, the business of moving people has been dominated by the automobile, with major automakers manufacturing vehicles and selling them to consumers. It has always been a capital-intensive business with extremely low margins. Now this business is on the cusp of dramatic technological change. A new vision has emerged where mobility is a service, enabled by automated vehicles (AVs) that are accessed on demand and operate without the need for human drivers. The new entrants — which include tech giants Google and Apple, ride-hailing pioneers Uber and Lyft, and suppliers such as Nvidia and Mobileye — have technological expertise, ready access to engineering talent, and deep venture-capital pockets on their side. Many observers, including prominent Wall Street analysts, think tech challengers from Silicon Valley will have the upper hand over auto companies.
In our view, however, that outcome is by no means assured. The most important question isn’t “Who will win?” but “How do you win?” Having studied the history of supply chains, the dynamics of competition and value migration, and the diffusion of new technologies in the automotive industry (and other manufacturing sectors), we think the future of mobility isn’t autos versus tech, but autos plus tech, based on collaborations that weave together products, services, and business models to meet the needs of individual users across wide-ranging use cases.