Supply chain impact

Tier 1 suppliers also face a huge range of options and challenges in this new landscape. To become leaders in assistive and autonomous technology, Bain1 says suppliers will need to develop new capabilities, especially in certain aspects of software engineering, such as raw data fusion and machine learning which enable vehicle systems to analyse data from multiple sensors and make correct decisions in the absence of a human driver.

Suppliers will also need to embark on M&A as well as strategic partnerships and alliances to ensure they have access to important technologies and skills. Above all, it says they will have to change the way they operate, becoming more agile and maintain a flexible approach to strategy while strengthening their own technological culture.

As the chart below shows, this race to gain the technology and IP needed to be leaders in the AV field is gathering pace among both Tier 1 suppliers and OEMs. What is also striking is that it appears they have – for the time being at least – stolen a march on the tech giants, with only Google just scraping into the top 10.

Autonomous Car Patents

1: Bain – An Autonomous Car Roadmap for Suppliers

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