Collaborating towards future mobility


Vinay Sharma

Principal – Intellectual Asset Management

Strategy Consultant - Technology Research and Advisory | IAM 300 | Patent Agent | Attorney

"As the automotive industry witnesses the incorporation of parallel domains and technologies, it should just be a matter of time before leading industry players aim for collective success and collaboration. With so many technologies now in the “disruptor” space, the future automobile is no longer the product of one unique industry. The automotive industry might soon become an amalgamation of several industry segments and subsegments – including telco, energy and hi- tech - the future dependent on collaboration more than the competition."

The automotive industry is undergoing rapid transformation, and players need to reinvent themselves to navigate through these waves of change.

Rapid transformation is already making its presence felt as the consumer mindset alters. More and more people view the car as a convenience rather than a thing of stature. The modern consumer wants ease and benefits sans high risks and maintenance expenses.

The modern car would hence be quite different from what we know today. If we study the market trends, there is a high chance that the modern car will be built on sustainability, and will be electrified, connected, autonomous, and shared.

However, is it at all possible to shape the modern car single-handedly?  

We strongly believe the modern vehicle will require a collaborative and collective effort. The word " collaborative “ underpins future success and is perhaps even the defining word of the industry’s future.

This isn’t a pipe dream. Multiple collaborations and joint ventures already exist or are in the early stages of realisation. These collaborations and joint ventures will play a critical role in enabling future mobility.

A Brave New World

These collaborations are also fuelling new mobility business models. The 2019 alliance between Toyota and DiDi Chuxing (DiDi) enables Toyota to expand its Mobility as a Service(MaaS) model in China. As a part of the agreement, announced in July 2019, Toyota will invest US $600 Million in DiDi and a joint venture to augment the ride-hailing business model. This partnership will leverage the advanced capabilities of Toyota's proprietary Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to provide quality automobile maintenance support and safe driving guidance to ride-hailing drivers.

Another exciting example of collaborations that could redefine mobility is "YOUR NOW".

The joint venture between BMW Group and the Mercedes - Benz Group AG will shape four apps that revolve around digital mobility solutions in Europe and America.

Taxi rides and chauffeur services via FREE NOW to car sharing, vehicle charging, and mobility planning via SHARE NOW, CHARGE NOW and REACH NOW, respectively. This joint venture will have a lot to offer.

The apps - FREE NOW for taxi rides and chauffeur services, SHARE NOW for car sharing, CHARGE NOW for vehicle charging and REACH NOW for trip planning – are the future of the industry.

In 2019, Ford and Volkswagen announced their investment in develops self-driving technologies. Both Ford and Volkswagen have invested in the company, allowing them to integrate's technology into their own vehicle fleet. Ford intends to build a purpose-built commercial vehicle by integrating solutions.

In 2021, Volkswagen announced its plans to initiate trials of its self-driving electric vans. The plan is to use VW vans as commercial robotaxis by 2025 eventually.

These examples underscore how collaboration is the way forward. As technologies mature and EVs become more prevalent, the space will witness more joint ventures, collaborations, and partnerships.

Alliances will shape the future of mobility.

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