the future is closer than it seems


The future transportation value stack will be very different from the existing automotive industry. It quite remarkable that only two companies, Google and Uber, are present in all layers of the stack that are necessary for creating a dominant transportation-as-a-service platform.

The car hardware (the body, the power train, the wheels) increasingly becomes a commodity. Modern cars are good-enough for typical everyday use offering little opportunity for differentiation.

Car commoditisation will only accelerate with the transition to electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are much simpler mechanically and easier to make, which opens the gates for new players, including such electronics and Internet services players like Apple, Google, LeTV and even Acer.

It’s also notable that Tesla ‘open-sourced” their electric vehicle patents in 2014 pledging not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, uses Tesla’s technology.

It’s still too early in the game to say which companies will dominate the future transportation market. One thing is a safe bet: The future transportation ecosystem will look very different from the existing automotive industry. It will resemble modern technology ecosystems with their platform business models, permissionless innovation by developers, and domination of software-centric companies.

Self-driving cars are about platforms, not about cars

Yes, soon enough owning cars will be all about status.

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