The attack by technology firms on the auto industry

The global auto industry with hundreds of years of age is taking steps to change history, under strong pressure from emerging technologies.

New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data (Big Data), Cloud Computing (Cloud Computing) and Internet of Things (IoT) not only contribute to reshaping the industry. This traditional industry, but also makes products “dream” closer to reality.

It can be said that when representatives of the German car manufacturing industry such as BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen are trying to “adapt” to electric cars, the American electric cars of Tesla have rolled on their children. Sugar in Germany, posing a great challenge to the industry is considered one of the symbols of this European country. Moreover, self-driving cars and mobile services will bring unprecedented change and this traditional industry can be “disrupted”.


The North American International Auto Show took place last January in Detroit, the “capital” of the American auto industry has become the catwalk for future technologies of the automotive industry, especially the public. self-driving car technology.

In Detroit this year, it is not difficult to see new products of self-driving car technology present, from automatic navigation radar systems, to unmanned buses. Not only automobile manufacturers and technology circles, but also emerging startups (startups) are also actively present in the self-driving car segment of the exhibition this year.

Photo: mybusinessfuture.

The invasion of technology firms

The size of the self-driving car market is forecast to grow strongly over the next several years as technology gradually reaches perfection and meets the requirements of commercialization. Therefore, this will continue to be a fertile and potential market for technology companies to try to squeeze in.

Currently, not only car manufacturers are interested in self-driving cars, many technology companies including Samsung, LG, Intel, Google, Apple, Microsoft and even Facebook are also very interested. However, each firm decided to find its own strength to attack in this market.


If technology firms from the US focus on self-driving car systems and hardware, Korean technology firms look to develop ecosystems and auxiliary parts for self-driving cars. In which, Samsung and LG are the two leading candidates.

According to information from technology forums, Samsung Catalyst, a venture capital fund under the Samsung Center for Innovation and Strategy (SSIC) and joint venture Softband Venture Korea (a subsidiary of SoftBank in Korea) have jointly invested. $ 73 million for the company Innoviz Technologies, an Israeli startup that is working on new LIDAR technology for self-driving vehicles.

Unlike radars that use frequency detection, new LIDAR technology uses laser light to measure the distance, speed and physical properties of an object. This is an important technology that allows self-driving cars to be able to perceive their surroundings.

Not only car manufacturers are interested in self-driving cars, many technology companies including Samsung, LG, Intel, Google, Apple, Microsoft and even Facebook are also interested.

Innoviz Technologies was founded by an Israeli military engineer in January 2016. The company also received a $ 82 billion investment from Delphi Automotive PLC and Magna International. These two companies are planning, through Innoviz Technologies, to launch development platform models for self-driving cars this year, and then continue mass production of self-driving cars from 2019.


In September last year, Samsung Electronics created a $ 300 million Automotive Initiative Fund and announced a $ 89.69 billion investment in TTTech, a premium driver assistance systems (ADAS) development. ). Not only that, the Korean electronics company even set up a new business division responsible for self-driving technology and ADAS.

Another Korean technology company, LG Electronics, is determined not to lose to Samsung in this fierce race. LG is expressing its ambitions in its self-driving car apps business.

Most recently, the University of Michigan, USA has announced a list of 11 companies including LG Electronics, Delphi, DENSO, Ford, General Motors and Honda that are investing in self-driving car research and testing facilities at Mcity, a simulated city of 130,000 square meters on the university campus. Over the next three years, the companies all pledged to spend an additional $ 1 million on this research program.

Technology experts believe that LG will successfully realize its self-driving vehicle approach through technology exchange. Joining the Mcity Leadership Circle alliance will allow LG to master self-driving car technology sooner than rivals like Samsung. LG is currently planning to acquire a company specializing in manufacturing automotive lighting systems called ZKW Group in Austria. The deal is expected to cost up to $ 896.86 million. However, an LG official said he could not disclose any information at this time.

Even knowing the race of self-driving car technology will be very expensive and difficult to win when there are too many experienced car manufacturers ahead. However, the advantage of many technology firms like Samsung or LG is the learning of their predecessors. That is not to mention, the orientation to enter the self-driving car market of both is very different from the US technology firms.

Photo: Autoevolution.

A threat to an age-old industry

One of the most important contributions of artificial intelligence technology and the Internet of things is making cars safer through the ability to communicate with each other (Vehicle-to-Vehicle). – V2V) helps reduce accidents and increase communication between people and vehicles.

However, the overwhelming advancement of technology is again threatening the traditional car industry. It is predicted that electric vehicle models can account for 20% of the market in 2019 while automakers are slow in this new field.

Elon Musk’s Tesla must be a lesson for carmakers because its achievements in a short time can threaten the centuries-old history of many carmakers around the world.

But now people are not only mentioning Tesla because Google is experimenting and is rushing to commercialize its own unmanned vehicle. Chip maker Qualcomm also announced that it is jumping into the automotive sector and manufacturing processors in electric and self-driving cars that help cars connect with each other. In October 2017, Apple confirmed it was developing software that would allow cars to drive autonomously based on machine learning.

In addition, in the context of AI is a competitive game of the auto industry, a series of new alliances have also been formed. Most businesses in the auto industry are looking for partnerships to leverage AI and not fall behind in the industry.

It is predicted that electric vehicle models can account for 20% of the market in 2019 while automakers are slow in this new field.

IBM announced a partnership with BMW on a project to invest over $ 1 billion to develop artificial intelligence for cars. Audi will also use AI to build self-driving cars in 2020 based on NVIDIA’s latest supercomputers. Or new alliances like GM-Cruise Automation, Uber-Volvo, Ford partnered with Baidu … to compete in the battle of self-driving cars.

As application software is a new battle for the auto industry, car manufacturers understand that cars are no longer “impenetrable territory” for Ford, GM, Honda, Daimler, Toyota. , Jaguar Land Rover or Volkswagen. With the onslaught of tech companies, automakers are starting to change, and in 2017 the innovation wave has never been so strong. The major shift in manufacturers has brought the smart cars closer to reality, even though these models have yet to appear in the auto showroom.

Not only shaking hands with technology manufacturers, auto brands have started spending more money on research and development (R&D) to bring smart cars closer to consumers. In-car AI is taking huge strides and making cars more than just means of transportation.

Toyota has spent more than $ 1 billion (over five years) on its Silicon Valley research facility investigating visual computing, machine learning, robotics, human-computer interactions, and systems. Smart, natural language processing. In 2017, Toyota called its artificial intelligence the name Yui. With the cameras and sensors on the car, Yui “studies” the driver’s shape, gestures, and moods and shapes his / her behavior with the driver or the passenger. Even, Yui can “disinherit the driver” of the driver and take control by himself if it detects abnormalities. It is expected that these features will be applied in Toyota models before 2030.

But Toyota is not the only car manufacturer to recognize the strengths of AI, a series of other names such as Honda, Ford, BMW, Nissan, Volkswagen are also rushing to race about it. Volkswagen invests more than $ 40 billion over the next five years in new technologies with an ambition that by 2025 will lead the world in electric cars, with the company focusing on the development of hybrid electric cars. electric cars, self-driving cars, new transit services or digitization. Meanwhile, the American automaker GM has also confirmed that it will introduce a car-sharing service using these own self-driving cars in 2019.

Ngoc Anh
* Source: Saigon Economic Times


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