This IDC Manufacturing Insights blog comments on some of the recent announcements by Automotive OEMs as they shore up their connected vehicle strategies and alliances to remain competitive in a disruptive market.
The idiom "odd bedfellows" can be attributed to William Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights/poets of all times, in his final play, The Tempest. It is a useful term in the context of what has been unfolding in the automotive industry in the past year, as OEMs, suppliers, technology companies, and communications providers form a myriad of alliances and commingling that is somewhat dizzying in its velocity. Here are few of the most recent events that continue to redefine the connected vehicle ecosystem and how automotive OEMs are positioning themselves:
- Ford and Blackberry. Earlier this week, Blackberry Ltd. signed an agreement to work directly with Ford Motor Co. to expand Ford's use of Blackberry's QNX operating system for connected vehicle development. This is the first partnership for Blackberry directly with the OEM, rather than its typical partners, the Tier 1 automotive suppliers (for example, Panasonic Automotive, who supplies an infotainment system to Ford).
- Toyota and Getaround. Last week, Toyota confirmed it had made an investment in U.S. car-sharing company Getaround. This announcement brings Toyota into a now-crowded room of automotive OEMs that have acquired, invested in, or partnered with car-sharing and ride-sharing companies. To name a few: GM and Lyft,
- General Motors and IBM. Last week, GM announced it will be putting IBM's artificial intelligence software, Watson, to use in a new service branded OnStar Go. The technology will be used to follow drivers' habits and deliver personalized marketing services. Exxon Mobil, Mastercard, and Parkopedia are the first brands that announced their inclusion in the platform.
- Maven and Uber. In an interesting development, Uber announced a partnership with General Motors' car-sharing service, Maven. The pilot program in San Francisco will enable Uber drivers to rent GM vehicles at a discounted rate. The interesting part is that General Motors already has a very strong partnership with Lyft, a competitor to Uber, and has made a $500 million investment in Lyft to further develop that company's ride-hailing services. And, Uber has received a strategic investment and auto leasing deal from Toyota earlier this year.
There is no doubt that these recent developments in the connected vehicle landscape cast a spotlight on how automotive OEMs are transforming to meet the market demands for new "mobility" models. At IDC, we talk about Digital Transformation, and how businesses from all sectors need to transform the way they operate to deliver value to the market. In automotive, this is playing out in warp-speed, with all major global automakers undergoing operating model transformation to respond to market dynamics. This transformation will change everything, from how they design and engineer vehicles to what product-service models they deliver to the market.
IDC Manufacturing Insights is closely following these developments, and my colleague Jeff Hojlo recently wrote a blog on his attendance to SAP Best Practices for Automotive. We will continue to lend insight around the automotive OEM ecosystem in the coming months through our new Worldwide Connected Car Ecosystem for Manufacturers report series. Stay tuned!