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Robotaxis: can automakers catch up with Google in driverless cars?
January 31, 2019 | Financial Times | by Patrick McGee.

A new network of small tech companies could allow the car industry to compete with Waymo.

The automotive industry is among the most capital-intensive in the world: If the economy sours, assets turn into liabilities overnight as factories churning out thousands of cars begin to haemorrhage cash. So when toxic mortgage securities blew up in 2008, causing a recession, banks performed terribly — but carmakers fared even worse.

That is what makes auto consultants at Bain so worried. They fear that carmakers are about to be hit with a one-two punch: first, they project a US recession in the next 12 to 18 months. Then, increasing numbers of baby boomers will retire, causing a structural decline so big that, they warn, US car sales could shrink from more than 17m last year to just 11.5m by 2025 — the same level seen in 2008-09, which caused GM and Chrysler to go bankrupt and Ford to suffer a $14.6bn loss.....But there is hope. If carmakers play their cards right, they could be saved by what GM has called “the biggest business opportunity since the internet”. The potential saviour is the rise of shared, driverless “robotaxis”, which Bain expects to become mainstream in some large cities in six to eight years. This new market, virtually non-existent today, promises to be huge. ... Intel projects a “passenger economy” worth $7tn by 2050....Car brands typically earn $2,000 from a vehicle sale. That is just $0.01 per km over the lifetime of a vehicle, whereas for robotaxis “the potential is 20 to 25 cents per km”,...To realise this potential the industry will need to update its entire business model. The challenge for carmakers is to gain the expertise in self-driving algorithms, in-car entertainment, streaming services and fleet management for ride-hailing that will be central to this new era......Luckily, there has been an explosion of small companies developing the skills and technologies that carmakers can make use of. .......Waymo, the Alphabet self-driving unit that began as a Google project, is widely seen as the leader in this new landscape....it has built a commanding lead since its founding in 2009. And with at least 600 of its vehicles driving more than 25,000 miles a day, it is perfecting its algorithms in a way that could blindside the competition. Last year UBS projected that Waymo “will dominate” the operating systems for autonomous vehicles, taking “60 per cent of the total projected revenue pool in 2030”.......The threat of Waymo is not that it will build better cars. It has no need to. Instead it is ordering vehicles from Chrysler and Jaguar — effectively turning them into suppliers — and then fitting them out with self-driving software and hardware built in-house. But its potential goes beyond superior self-driving capabilities. Once robotaxis are mainstream, Alphabet can collect data from Google Maps and Search, entertain with YouTube and the Play Store, offer advice through Google Home smart speakers and use its software knowhow to manage fleets. Aside from the vehicle itself, Waymo is a vertically-integrated “closed system”........Carmakers are responding by partnering up like never before and making big investments to acquire new expertise. Volkswagen has linked up with Ford, while arch-rivals BMW and Mercedes have pooled their mobility efforts. In 2016 GM paid $500m for a stake in Lyft, the ride-hailing group, and it spent more than $1bn to buy Cruise, a self-driving company.......These deals, however, are merely the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the car brands, an entire ecosystem of niche companies has spurred into existence. Known as the “data value chain”, these groups specialise in the software, sensors, data processing and navigation needed to make autonomous cars a reality. None has the willpower, resources or vision to take on Waymo. Instead, they are forming clusters, exercising “swarm intelligence” to independently work towards the same collective goal of creating a safe, driverless experience......The implications of this ecosystem are profound. It suggests the carmakers can catch the likes of Waymo up without being the best-in-class in the new technologies. They merely need to be competent enough to know who is best — and then partner with them.
Alphabet  automotive_industry  automobile  autonomous_vehicles  Bain  blindsided  capital-intensity  GM  Google  large_markets  partnerships  supply_chains  Waymo 
january 2019 by jerryking
The Korean Health Club: A Cultural Trial by Fire, Ice, and Nakedness – BLARB
When I brought up the hot tub conversation later with Garam’s family, they laughed and assured me that he must have said “mo-shid-da” (멋있다) , meaning “handsome,” a difference of just one vowel, easy to mishear without context. A whole lot better than “delicious,” I thought, but still a weird thing to say in the hot tub.

I reflected in disbelief on the fact I had survived, and to a degree enjoyed, this wonderful and completely embarrassing experience, and left the helseu with my body clean — and my privacy violated as never before.
fun  korea  gym  gaijin  bath  bain 
october 2018 by aries1988
IoT Market Predicted To Double By 2021, Reaching $520B
"The combined markets of the Internet of Things (IoT) will grow to about $520B in 2021, more than double the $235B spent in 2017. Data center and analytics will be the fastest growing IoT segment, reaching a 50% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2017 to 2021. System integration, data center and analytics, network, consumer devices, connectors (or things) and legacy embedded systems are the six core technology and solution areas of the IoT market. The following graphic compares the CAGR of each area in addition to defining the worldwide revenue for each category."
business  featured  posts  technology  software  trends  &  concepts  bain  internet  of  things  forecast  (iot)  iot  louis  columbus 
august 2018 by jonerp
How Agile Teams Can Help Turnarounds Succeed
Agile turnaround leaders typically take five actions:
o They communicate — even over-communicate — the strategic ambition to a broader range of people.
o They serve as coaches, not commanders
o They strengthen lines of communication among the teams
o They accelerate learning loops, emphasizing progress over perfection
o They shift measurement and reward systems to larger teams
agile  team_management  turnaround  crisis_management  Bain 
july 2018 by tom.reeder
The chemistry of enthusiasm
“In our view, too many companies try to raise engagement by launching disconnected initiatives like wellness programs. Such initiatives might improve employee morale slightly and serve other purposes, but they’re detached from customers’ priorities. They lack the specific mechanisms that lift employee engagement the most over a long period and link directly to customer advocacy.”
nps  performance  morale  callcenters  cases  feedback  charts  bain 
april 2018 by cote
What B2B Buyers Really Care About
our B2B model sorts the elements into the levels of a pyramid, with those providing more objective value at the base and those that offer more subjective value higher up. The model traces its conceptual roots to the hierarchy of needs that the psychologist Abraham Maslow first described in 1943. Then on the faculty at Brooklyn College, Maslow argued that human actions are motivated by an innate desire to fulfill needs ranging from the very basic (security, warmth, food, and rest) to the complex (self-esteem and altruism). Our elements of value approach extends those insights to people in corporate roles and their motivations for buying and using business products and services.
b2b  brain  bain  value  branding 
march 2018 by JohnDrake
How vulture capitalists ate Toys 'R' Us
“Just before the buyout, the company had $2.2 billion in cash and cash-equivalents. By 2017, its stockpile had shriveled to $301 million, even as its debt burden ballooned from $2.3 billion to $5.2 billion. Meanwhile, Toys 'R' Us was paying $425 million to $517 million in interest every year. This enormous cash drain probably made it impossible for the company to invest or innovate even if its trio of buyers had been up to the challenge.”

Debt is its own disruption.
pe  toys  bain  numbers  retail 
march 2018 by cote

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