The rise of AV Network Operators

Exploring the mobility as a service value chain (part 2)

Mohsen Khalkhali
Jul 3, 2019 · 3 min read
High level AV value chain

The disruption by Autonomous Vehicles has a very large footprint. It affects manufacturing, insurance, travel, retail, logistics and even urban planning. At its core, lies the vehicle manufacturer who traditionally owned the largest portion of the value chain and more importantly the end user relationship.

In the previous post, we saw the four massive trends that are affecting the future of mobility and transportation. Vehicles are becoming:

  1. Connected
  2. Autonomous
  3. Shareable
  4. Electric

The focus on of this article is on autonomy. There is a race to autonomy within the innovation community. In this race, these are the three groups of players as shown in the title image:

  1. Service providers (e.g., ride-hailing, ride-sharing, rentals)
  2. Technology providers (both hardware and software)
  3. Automobile manufacturing

Group 1 is concerned with building and running the “retail” network. These are new industry entrants who will most likely own the end user relationship.

Group 2 builds the vehicle software and smart hardware. The successful ones will eventually become large suppliers to winners of the autonomy race.

Group 3 integrates the vehicle hardware and software at scale. These are the traditional industry giants who are either winning or losing in the race.

Capabilities of connected vehicles will evolve in four stages. These are Monitor, Control, Optimize and Autonomous. Each builds on the preceding one; to have control capability, for example, a vehicle must have monitoring capability.

Let’s work on Uber as an example.

Uber ridesharing and ride-hailing is at the monitor stage. Uber collects data while delivering a transportation service. There is not much more than monitoring at this level.

Source: Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE)

Once Uber drivers drive partially autonomous vehicles with all the sensors and insight (L2, L3), Uber will be able to control the network and send “over the air” commands.

Moving on to L4, Uber will be able to optimize the network of connected fleet and the driver will become a customer success (like a call center operator) and a regulatory necessity.

Final stage of L5 will mean vehicles that are fully autonomous and Uber will only need to remotely operate and service the passengers onboard.

The unifying element in this expansion of vehicle capabilities is data.

Arguably, whoever controls the end to end servicing of this data and owns the end user relationships at the same time, will own the most valuable part of the smart mobility value chain. We call this the AV Network Operator. By definition, a network operator has all the data that is required to service the network at the highest possible service level.

This is one scenario. What other scenarios can you think of?

This is the second in a series of articles exploring the value chain in Smart Mobility. Caliber AI is a design and deployment partner for AI Pioneers in Smart Mobility, Legal & Compliance and Utilities & Resources. Start building your AI here.

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Creators of SceneBox: the intelligent data discovery platform for machine vision

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