Nimble-tech companies need to adapt, just as promised, the self-driving revolution hits speed bumps

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – As Silicon Valley in the Phantom was formed in 2017. that was one of the many software vendors are hitching their fortunes to a self-driving car, as well as the confidence that the fleets of robotaxis would be the use of the technology within a few years.

But with the delay in the mass deployment of autonomous vehicles, the Phantom is now, it’s hard to find clients out of the way to the curb with the delivery of the robots.

The Phantom is not the only one. Faced with the harsh reality that an autonomous future is further away than the original one that had been promised by the global car manufacturers, and technology companies such as General Motors Co. (GM.(N) Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.And there are many other smaller companies in the self-driving ecosystem are now turning to alternative applications of the technology. Some of them may turn up to the delivery of the robots, while in others, it will help to deploy the autonomous vehicles, companies, construction sites, and airports.

Robotaxis will still be considered to be the industry’s “huge opportunity” in the words of the Phantom, the co-founder, Elliot Katz, but rather a shift to new methods for the implementation of additional features ensures an instant income during the long struggle for autonomous vehicles hit the roads en masse.

The large-scale deployment of robotaxis, once you are connected to the industry, the analysts have a $2 trillion dollar industry by 2030, it will now be seen as a further distance, due to a variety of barriers, including cost, complexity, and the unresolved legal and regulatory issues.

In the meantime, a more modest rollout of self-driving vehicles are typically more limited in a number of areas, with defined boundaries.

The shift in the expectations of the management of the players, big and small, and to think about strategies and the re-evaluation of the financial risks involved. On Monday, the automotive technology supplier, Aptiv PLC (“APTV.(N) said it has agreed to put its self-driving vehicle, a unit in a joint venture with South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co(005380.ME). Hyundai will contribute $2 billion to the company. Rival automakers Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG in July, has agreed to combine the autonomous vehicle operations.

In the Phantom’s case, it is the outside work-technology, which allows a human operator is miles away from the autonomous vehicle to take control if the car is out of whack, it can be used for the less safety-critical tasks.

Postmates, a San Francisco-based goods to the delivery company, the Phantom of the technology at the heart of the fleet of more than a hundred sidewalk in front of the robots as they navigate sidewalks and crosswalks to provide lunches, snacks, or other merchandise to customers at the beginning of next year.

“We had to find out what it is that the autonomous technology can be deployed today,” Katz told Reuters. “It’s about * * * * the right time, in the short-term, medium-term and long-term.”

Egil Juliussen, research director for automotive technology at IHS Markit, said that the use of the same technology for non-automotive applications, such as robotics, it is a simple way to in the market that can be tap on to the start-ups’, an artificial intelligence technology.

A self-driving car is on display at the Silicon Valley headquarters of the vendor, the Phantom of the Car is in Mountain View, California, USA, September 13th, 2019 at the latest. REUTERS/Alexandria Sage

The French, the autonomous shuttle is the manufacturer and operator, Navya SA NAVYA.DAD), put her on financial targets in July, and unveiled a new strategy of selling the technology to others.

The catalyst was the ongoing uncertainty about the regulation, which is in danger of anticipated fleet orders placed by customers in the previous year, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Jerome Rigaud told Reuters. This has led to missed, 2018, with sales forecast and the removal of Navya, the company’s founder and chief executive officer.

Navya still has plans to test its self-driving shuttles without a security driver at the beginning of next year, but for now, will see new opportunities in areas in which the regulations will be simpler to use: the transport of goods, airports, industrial sites, and construction areas at very low speeds, in limited areas, and in the agricultural sector, said Rigaud.


Evangelos Simoudis, a managing director at Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Synapse ners, which is investing in autonomous technology, start-ups, said the System to recognize the full drive it will make a lot more money, time, and recover from a 10x return on their investment of $5 million to $ 50 million, which is typical for the industry.

In the meantime, small businesses are on the line.

“If they are able, that they will be able to rotate it, and move on to something next to or in the radical in order to survive, but there will be a period of significant change,” Simoudis said. “It will be best to have a high mortality rate.”

The sweet spot is for companies to look for alternative ways to make use of the self-driving technology, software in connection with access to the real-time simulation, data annotation and data management, Simoudis says.

Companies are in a better position to change than that of the hardware, experts say. There has been some consolidation in the crowded field of lidar, a key piece of hardware, with the help of laser light pulses to help the vehicle “see” some businesses are struggling to raise new funds. Digital mapping is another area ripe for consolidation, Simoudis says.

Automobile manufacturers and others have caught up to it start-ups in the past few years, including the Flash, Lidar, and Princeton Lightwave, which has been obtained in 2017, General Motors, and the Dream of AI, respectively. Today, AI has a majority ownership of Ford Motor Co (F. N). Earlier this year, self-driving, and the start up of the Aurora is purchased, Blackmore Lidar.

Last month, the food delivery company, DoorDash purchased the start up, Scotty Labs, a competitor to the Phantom, is also involved in the remote operation of autonomous vehicles. The loss of Scotty’s most significant customer, customer, Travel, operating small fleets of self-driving vehicles in an enclosed residential community, and the difficulties in raising funds have led to the sale, two sources told Reuters.

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Leaders to Overthrow a holding to which the lidar technology is also to be found in the Postmates’ of the robots, and said that it was a conscious decision from the beginning to avoid focusing exclusively on the automotive lidar.

Instead of diversifying, a lot of companies have been focused on the pot of gold at the end of the day,” said Raffi Mardirosian, the Expulsion of the vice-president of corporate development, making them vulnerable to challenges in the widespread deployment of autonomous vehicles.

“If you are in an investor’s meetings, such as,” I am, “they say,” Show me the contract. Show me the revenue,'” said Mardirosian. “The fact that we will be able to, that is something that is going to help us stay in business.”

Reporting by Alexandria Sage in San Francisco; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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