Technology Bulletin

    • Uber Is Entering Japan with One Small Step at a Ti...
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • After facing protests in the UK and Germany and learning from other companies like OLA, Uber has realized the importance of partnering with government bodi... View More
      After facing protests in the UK and Germany and learning from other companies like OLA, Uber has realized the importance of partnering with government bodies and local taxi companies. Uber’s strategy in Japan is a retreat from a “standalone rapid expansion” to a slow, partnership-based expansion, based on market understanding.  This is the right approach from the new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who cannot afford to risk $16-$17 billion Japanese taxi market, among the largest in the world, especially after Uber’s exit from China and other Southeast Asian countries. Starting small will also help Uber to understand local customers well, a skill mastered by Grab. Dara Khosrowshahi’s enthusiasm for Japan echoes with that of Brooks Entwistle, Uber's Asia head, who commented that Japan would be the major focus for Uber in 2018. This is a turnaround from previous CEO Travis Kalanick, who largely left the country’s business in the hands of a country manager. Sony, Nihon Kotsu, and Didi Chuxing are the major competitors of Uber in Japan, all offering some variations of taxi-hailing services in the country. - Aman Madhok (Source: Travel Trade)
    • EVs to Get a Boost in India
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • The government has formulated a list of non-fiscal incentives (yet to be released officially) to ensure that the EV sales in the country reaches 15% of the tota... View More
      The government has formulated a list of non-fiscal incentives (yet to be released officially) to ensure that the EV sales in the country reaches 15% of the total market by 2023. Electric car incentives in India includes concessions in GST, coupled with around $1,700 as subsidy. Despite these benefits, an electric car in the country is twice as expensive as an equivalent conventional car.  In addition to proposed non-fiscal benefits, the government should increase the fiscal subsidy on electric vehicles, given the price sensitivity of a typical Indian buyer. Considering additional challenges such as lack of charging infrastructure and battery manufacturing, the above-mentioned government’s target can be difficult to achieve.  Given the policy framework, market maturity and charging infrastructure; the Chinese government’s target of 7 million EV sales by 2025 (accounting for 15% of total market by then) seems more realistic to achieve. Nevertheless, the Indian government incentives would help in increasing the penetration of EVs in the country. According to Counterpoint’s EV tracker, the EV (passenger car) sales in the country is expected to reach 238,000 units by 2025, accounting for around 7% of the total market. - Aman Madhok (Source: Reuters)  
    • Autonomous Vehicle Startup Udelv Inks Grocery Deli...
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • Autonomous Delivery Vehicle (ADV) startup, Udelv has partnered with Narnia Road and Esperanza Real Estate Investments in Oklahoma City, USA to supply supermarke... View More
      Autonomous Delivery Vehicle (ADV) startup, Udelv has partnered with Narnia Road and Esperanza Real Estate Investments in Oklahoma City, USA to supply supermarkets with fleets of autonomous vans. The startup aims at the first round of Level 4 capable 10-vans deployment as early as Q1 2019 to transport perishables from grocery stores such as Uptown Grocery, Buy For Less, Buy For Less Super Mercado and Smart Saver. The company aims that these modified EV vans from GEM eL XD with estimated range of 60 miles, will undertake 40 deliveries per charge. The vans can fit upto 700 pounds of item in 18 compartments of four sizes. The cost per delivery is not out yet but it would be interesting to see how different grocery stores charge for same day vs next day deliveries. On similar lines, the retail giant Kroger partnered with the startup Nuro for deliveries and is expected to charge end users $6/delivery. We estimate O2O sector to be a hot bed for autonomous vehicles and expect a series of partnerships moving forward. - Neil Shah (Source: Venture Beat)  
    • Renesas: An Auto Industry Semiconductor Powerhouse...
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • Since its reformation from a JV between failing chip divisions of NEC, Mitsubishi and Hitachi, Renesas Electronics has come a long way and has climbed to become... View More
      Since its reformation from a JV between failing chip divisions of NEC, Mitsubishi and Hitachi, Renesas Electronics has come a long way and has climbed to become a top semiconductor components supplier for the automotive industry. Adding to its recent acquisitions of German ZMDI and US Intersil in 2015 and 2016, Renesas has acquired US based IDT for US$6.7B to expand its portfolio and position in Germany; as IDT's automotive subsidiary is based out of Germany with strong relationships with premier German auto OEMs. This puts serious pressure on the likes of NXP, ST Micro and others to shop for similar players to become bigger players in this M&A race going on in the semi industry to drive scale. Automotive Semi is a multi-billion dollar opportunity, bigger than smartphones and hence the M&A activity is hot for this sector. - Neil Shah (Source: Reuters)
    • Hyundai Invests in US Based Migo
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • As automotive ecosystem continues to evolve, traditional automakers are concerned about their future role. They fear a “Nokia scenario”, where they ... View More
      As automotive ecosystem continues to evolve, traditional automakers are concerned about their future role. They fear a “Nokia scenario”, where they would be outcompeted due to technology evolution or a “Foxconn scenario”, where they would become a volume manufacturer, with price as the sole differentiator and a limited role in the value chain. OEMs are not willing to accept either of the above scenarios and are investing heavily in all the pillars of the new ecosystem – shared mobility, autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles – to stay ahead in the future value chain. Investments in car sharing services will also help automakers to push their EVs and autonomous cars to these service providers, who are expected to become the major consumer of vehicles. Hyundai has become aggressive in shared mobility space since last year in a bid to catch up with BMW and Daimler. In 2018 alone, Hyundai has invested in car sharing start-ups in India (Revv), Australia (Car Next Door) and United States (Migo). - Aman Madhok (Source: The Investor)
    • Apple’s Autonomous Vehicle Fleet Swells 27% in Fou...
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • Over the period of eighteen months, Apple's autonomous vehicle fleet has gone from just three to almost 70 and now has the third largest fleet following GM ... View More
      Over the period of eighteen months, Apple's autonomous vehicle fleet has gone from just three to almost 70 and now has the third largest fleet following GM Cruise and Waymo. While Apple is struggling with its maps; a key element to autonomous driving systems; it is building maps in-house and from ground-up now. The growth in autonomous fleet provides some evidence that Apple is serious about rebuilding high quality maps, with major motivation being autonomous cars rather than just iPhones. With a recent leak of more than 5000 strong teams working on it and hiring of Waymo's senior engineer Jaime Waydo, it remains to be seen how soon the world's richest company can leapfrog its rivals. A space to closely watch. - Neil Shah (Source: Tech Crunch)
    • LG Partnering With Automotive Vendors - To Shift F...
    • Sep 7, 2018
    • Amidst of falling LCD prices and a slowdown in smartphone market, LG plans to offer premium core products to maintain profitability, invest in R&D and ... View More
      Amidst of falling LCD prices and a slowdown in smartphone market, LG plans to offer premium core products to maintain profitability, invest in R&D and generate revenues from new technologies such as AI, connected cars and energy storage systems. LG is utilizing its existing expertise of its affiliates - LG Chem (Battery), LG Innotek (LED modules), LG Display (touch screens) - to develop cutting edge automotive components. In 2017, LG acquired ZKW, an automotive LED lighting company. LG is also utilizing its expertise in communication technology in automotive industry. In 2017, the company partnered with HERE Technologies for self driving cars and Qualcomm for 5G technology. In IFA 2018, LG CEO hinted that the company wanted to partner with NVIDIA to develop applications for self driving vehicles. LG formed its Vehicle Components division in 2013 and since then, has posted significant YoY increase in revenues. However, the division still remains in losses due to heavy investment in R&D. In long term, LG looks to bring the division in the black and increase its share in total revenues. - Aman Madhok (Source: The Investor)
    • Volkswagen, Signs MoU With Nigeria To Turn The Cou...
    • Sep 7, 2018
    • German automaker VW has signed MoU with Nigeria government to make Nigeria an automotive hub for West Africa market which comprises of more than 17 countries an... View More
      German automaker VW has signed MoU with Nigeria government to make Nigeria an automotive hub for West Africa market which comprises of more than 17 countries and population estimated to cross 400 Million by 2020. The deal aims to build a robust ecosystem from training, manufacturing and dealer to service network. This move is great for Nigeria, the largest economy of the African continent which is heavily dependent on import of used cars. The stabilization of political climate post ongoing elections and newer favorable automotive policies will be critical to accelerate this initiative. This move from VW should attract other automotive OEMs to rethink and accelerate their African strategy. - Neil Shah (Source: The Cable)
    • NXP Semiconductors To Become A "One-Stop-Shop" Sol...
    • Sep 7, 2018
    • With the acquisition, NXP has become a one-stop-shop for automotive Ethernet, adding high bandwidth Ethernet IP for 100BASE-T1 and 1000BASE-T1 standards, i... View More
      With the acquisition, NXP has become a one-stop-shop for automotive Ethernet, adding high bandwidth Ethernet IP for 100BASE-T1 and 1000BASE-T1 standards, in its already existing portfolio of Ethernet switches and PHY Transceivers. Ethernet, being a new technology is used only in some premium cars. However, this technology will enter mass-market in the next few years, due to increasing electronic content and growing need for fast communications between vehicle systems. By becoming a one-stop-shop for Ethernet, NXP will be able to address the mass-market in a better way - by maintaining costs, introducing customized products faster and simplifying integration of Ethernet technology in its product portfolio, adding to its competitive advantage. - Aman Madhok (Source: NXP)
    • UK Car Buyers Embrace EVs
    • Sep 7, 2018
    • The market in August is typically quiet in the UK as new registration plates start in September. Nevertheless, car buyers took advantage of attractive offers pu... View More
      The market in August is typically quiet in the UK as new registration plates start in September. Nevertheless, car buyers took advantage of attractive offers pushing the market up by almost a quarter YoY. However the most notable rise was in sales of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles. These rose by 88% YoY and accounted for 8% of all car sales - the highest level achieved so far. This was partly due to rising fuel prices and a growing mistrust of diesels, but more positively the increasing range and quality of hybrid and electric vehicles is also drawing in both private and fleet buyers. Expect the ratio to continue rising. - Peter Richardson (Source: SMMT)

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