Automotive Industry Themes: Autonomy, shared mobility, solid state batteries, vehicle light weighting and M&A

Automotive Industry Themes: Autonomy, shared mobility, solid state batteries, vehicle light weighting and M&A


The automotive industry is being pushed and pulled in multiple directions at present, effected by powerful global trends. Auto makers are rushing to develop new technology and get their products aligning with tough new regulation, while at the same time trying to remain profitable in difficult trading conditions. Some of the biggest themes in the industry are autonomous vehicles, solid state battery development, vehicle light weighting, shared mobility and mergers & acquisitions.

Key Highlights

The leader is Googles pioneering Waymo, with more than nine years and 10 million miles of autonomous driving experience behind it and with Googles industry-leading software and AI at its disposal. Tesla claims parity with Waymo with its Autopilot, while Ubers aggressive advance has been somewhat slowed by the fatal March 2018 accident in Tempe, Arizona. Baidu Apollo, Nvidia DRIVE, Aptivs NuTonomy, Intels Mobileye, GMs Cruise, and NXP are all in serious contention. A clutch of AI start-ups are developing innovative technology, including Aurora in the US and Horizon Robotics in China.

This emerging field of energy storage devices seeks to replace the potentially volatile liquid electrolyte in todays lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries with more stable solid materials. If perfected, these batteries promise greater storage, faster charging times, enhanced fire safety and reduced production costs compared to current Li-ion technology. They are yet to reach widespread production, however, due to difficulties in identifying the ideal chemical blend and production method. Nevertheless, the number of companies working in the field, and the amount of money being invested indicate that solid-state batteries are likely to be the energy storage method of choice for electric vehicles (EVs) in the future. GlobalDatas estimates expect worldwide fitment of advanced batteries to jump from slightly less than 6m units in 2018 to more than 65m by 2033. Of these fitments, a growing proportion could feature solid-state technology.

Vehicle light weightings importance to the automotive value chain has been de-emphasized recently due to the emergence of the CASE (connected, autonomous, sharing and electrified) framework for the industrys megatrends. As the industry tries to adapt to much heavier powertrains and the demands of Co2 reductions, automotive manufacturers are needing to get creative in order to reduce the weight of their products.


- Examine the key themes in the automotive industry
- See how these themes are changing the nature of the industry and the players themselves
- understand the pressures that the automotive players are adapting to
- See future opportunities and get a picture of future development

Reasons to buy

- What mergers and aquistions opportunities are emerging?
- Who are the leading players in autonomous vehicles?
- Who are the leading shared mobility players and how will this affect car ownership?
- Why could solid state batteries help to energize the EV industry?
- Why is lightweighting so important to manufacturers at present?

1.1. Autonomous vehicles continue to be one of the primary goals for the industry
1.2. Solid-state EV batteries could help solve density problem
1.3. Vehicle light-weighting is a major target for the industry
1.4. Shared mobility could reduce car ownership
1.5. M&A in the automotive industry is a trend that wont go away
2.1. Autonomous technology attracts a lot of attention
2.1.1. Building automobile brains is the key prerequisite to autonomy
2.1.2. Sensor development is difficult and companies have their own strategies
2.1.3. Computer vision alternatives to LiDAR
2.1.4. Computer chips are fundamental to any new vehicle regardless of autonomy
2.1.5. 5G is believed to be the next step in connectivity development
2.1.6. Rising competition from industry outsiders
2.2. Regulatory issues are paramount
2.3. Technology challenges are significant
3.1. Solid State technology is has around for centuries but has yet to be perfected
3.1.1. Benefits of solid-state batteries include size and weight
3.1.2. Challenges for solid-state include mass production issues
3.1.3. Designing for mass production is getting closer
3.1.4. Electric vehicles are the key catalyst for this technology
3.1.5. CO2 and fuel economy are the main market forces driving EVs and therefore battery tech
4.1. Vehicle mass reduction remains a strategic pillar for the industry
4.2. Some major steps forward have been made by modern manufacturers
4.3. Multiple new models have achieved significant weight reduction
4.4. A number of tactics are used together to achieve weight reduction
4.4.1. Thinner, lighter glazing is a big part of the reduction process, using technology like Gorilla Glass
4.4.2. Increase in plastic and composite use is helping to reduce vehicle weight
4.4.3. Advanced materials have always been used in car design but even more so now
4.4.4. CO2 and fuel economy are one of the main regulatory pushes for the auto industry
5.1. Shared mobility takes on multiple forms
5.2. Market size and growth forecasts are very significant
5.3. Service level management is critical to the industry
5.4. Urban level work to reduce congestion will further the industry
5.5. The user level experience has to be excellent in order for service to spread
5.6. Leading players in shared mobility have multiple strategies
5.6.1. Baidu, the Chinese technology giant has long been involved in shared mobility
5.6.2. BlaBlaCar is a leading carpooling service with an aggressive business strategy
5.6.3. Didi Chuxing carries more passengers than any other service
5.6.4. Uber is the big name in ride sharing with profitability issues
5.6.5. Lyft is Ubers main competition in North America
5.6.6. Waymo is a leading self-driving research company
6.1. Dynamic and elongated supply chain creates opportunities
6.2. The need to pursue economies of scale is compelling
6.3. Companies move into position for emerging technologies
6.4. The logic behind selective deals and JVs is strong
6.5. OEMs and tie-ups mean the industry is getting more complex
6.5.1. Renault-Nissans Alliance was once a pillar of a new way of doing business
6.5.2. BMW and Daimler have good communication on issues of joint interest
6.5.3. Ford and Volkswagens alliance has been more fluid and hasnt borne fruit at present
6.5.4. Toyota and Suzuki, Toyota has always been keen to use other players for their strengths
6.6. Further big deals are on the cards if the conditions are right
6.6.1. Groupe PSA and Jaguar Land Rover
7.1. Further reading

List Of Figures

Figure 1: The autonomous vehicles technology stack
Figure 2: Lithium Ion batteries versus Solid-State Batteries
Figure 3: Gross bookings of Uber($m)
Figure 4: Leading vehicle manufacturers by volume 2016&2017

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