From silicon valley to Detroit, several players are chasing the self-driving technology. Be it Tesla, Uber, Google, Apple, or OEMs.
This technology will need hundreds of millions of $ in investments by these companies, and is told to become workable by 2020.
But, will this technology make a good business?
Following aspects need to be considered to form a view:
- Competition: High. Big names are already chasing this technology
- Technology Diffusion: Easy. For instance, key people from Google’s car project have left to either join other companies or form their own start-ups which later get acquired (e.g. Otto by Uber)
- Adoption: Slow. There will always be a perception of risk associated with driver-less cars, and the usage will be possible in limited circumstances only
- Regulation: Uncertain. There liability and regulatory issues involved in letting a 3000 pound car steer itself with no human at the controls remain huge
Self-driving cars will prove to be a cool technology, but bad business–due to high competition, quick diffusion, and slow adoption.
* A hypothesis is different from a foresight. When we are at the hypothesis stage, we remain open to collecting more evidence and testing our view. A foresight is a view of which we are contextually certain.0