Access to self-drive technologies drives Silicon Valley takeovers
【Summary】Silicon Valley has new visitors: the bankers working for automakers that specialize in acquiring or investing in companies that enable self-driving cars and improve battery-powered vehicles.
Silicon Valley has new visitors: the bankers working for automakers that specialize in acquiring or investing in companies that enable self-driving cars and improve battery-powered vehicles. Automakers have snooze-you-lose concerns that the number of tech companies at the leading edge is finite, and if you don't lock them up, your competitor might.
Investment groups are looking for providers of radar, lidar, cameras, sensors, night vision, and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications, plus the algorithms and software that tells rocks from cars and people from telephone poles and decides when the car ahead edging into your lane goes from sloppy driving to serious hazard. They may also be looking at infotainment companies controlling the center stack.
Business is booming already
In the past decade before 2015, the value of all deals between automakers and suppliers averaged $18 billion a year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That figured climbed to almost $75 billion in 2015 and 2016. If an automaker buys a key supplier, it also restricts access from competing automakers. That's why some suppliers would rather strike non-exclusive deals, or take investment dollars, rather than sell off the company: There may be more money for them in the long run.
Here's an example: When Ford this month said it would have self-driving cars (with no steering wheels) running about as urban taxis by 2021, it announced four deals:
Investment (along with China's Baidu) of $150 million in Velodyne, the Silicon Valley leader in LIDAR (light detection and ranging) systems;
Purchase (outright) of SAIPS, the Israeli company specializing in image and video processing algorithms;
License (exclusive) with Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC, founded by Weill Cornell Medicine professor Sheila Nirenberg (Silicon Alley rather than Silicon Valley), whose work on blindness led to machine vision algorithms that interpret when optical sensors see;
Investment in Civil Maps of Berkeley, CA, for its efficient, scalable high-resolution 3D mapping capabilities.
In just the first week of August, according to Bloomberg, several automaker-tech deals went down: ZF (originally a maker of transmissions and last year the purchaser of TRW for $13 billion) to acquire Haldex AB (braking systems) for $515 million. Then it took a 40% interest in radar system maker Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH. The same week, Samsung was in talks to buy Italy's Magneti Marelli (telematics, lighting, infotainment) from Fiat Chrysler for $3 billion, according to Automotive News. Chinese automakers are also interested in tech component makers as a way to jump-start their auto-building efforts, putting them in competition with other automakers from Asian, North America, and Europe.
Automakers invest to take back the center stack
While Fiat Chrysler might sell off its control of Marelli, there's greater investment potential going in the other direction: Automakers gaining control of infotainment providers. Car companies are concerned Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (with their user interfaces that look the same on every car) mean somebody else controls the look and feel of how driver and passenger interact with navigation, entertainment, and connected phones.
Infotainment companies that could be in play might include Harman International, Visteon, and Delphi Automotive. It's likely an automaker might shed some parts of the acquired company that isn't core to the automotive mission or that causes conflict. Harman, for instance, includes 20 brands such as Harman/Kardon, Infiniti, JBL, Lexicon, Mark Levinson, and Revel, all with speakers and/or head units in different cars. It's unlikely Lincoln, which switched to Revel audio, will be happy if any automaker other than Ford controlled that brand.
It might sense for the existing auto components suppliers to strengthen themselves through acquisitions. They could then offer the same core technology to different car companies, but with different interfaces. The same product might also feature touchscreen interaction when sold to one automaker in one guise, while another automaker goes with a control wheel, and a third high-end automaker offers the technology with touch, gesture, and control wheel support.
resource from: Extreme Tech
LeEco raises 1.08 Billion to develop its own electric vehicle
Uber's new selfie check helps make sure riders get the driver they're promised
Cruise has around 30 self-driving test cars on roads right now
Vinli tops the car apps market, adds Meineke and Cox for distribution
Volkswagen and Anhui Jianghuai in talks on building EVs for China
Missouri court rules against Tesla selling at its own dealerships in the state
Watch a Volvo executive play chicken with a self-driving truck in an underground mine
AAA says that its emergency electric vehicle charging trucks served “thousands” of EVs without power
- Panasonic Announces Multi-Year Agreement to Supply Electric Vehicle Batteries to Lucid Group
- Ford Raises the Prices of the F-150 Lightning Electric Pickup Due to Rising Raw Material Costs
- J.D. Power Study Finds That EVs Are More Problematic Than ICE Cars
- Automakers Urge Consumers to Buy an EV Before Tax Credit Changes
- Volvo’s Electric Vehicle Brand Polestar Reports $1 Billion in Revenue in the First Half of 2022, Adds 6 New Global Markets
- Munro and Associates Offers a Detailed Look of How the Front Seats of the Tesla Model Y Are Bolted to its Battery in New Video
- BMW to Test a New Battery in the iX Electric SUV Developed By Michigan Startup Our Next Energy Inc. That Can Deliver 600 Miles of Range
- Volvo is Building a New EV Service and Training Facility at its U.S. Headquarters in New Jersey To Fast Track its Electrification Plans
- Federal Tax Credit on EVs Still Applies to American-Made Vehicles
- AI-Powered Computer Vision Perception Developer StradVision Closes on $88 Million Series C Funding Round