Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, September 2020

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, September 2020

The State of ACES – What’s up with autonomous-connected-electric-shared?

What has been going on in ACES (autonomous – connected – electric – shared mobility) lately? Not so much? It seems things have lost steam, or at least attention has shifted. Autonomous driving used to be the hot topic, but lately EVs – cars and trucks – have been getting a lot of media interest, regulators’ attention, and certainly business activity.

In this Chart of the Month I am a bit “reading the tea leaves” as I analyze Google Trends as to how much interest there has been in those mobility topics. One actually finds that electric vehicles as a topic has been steadily increasing for the last five years, while autonomous driving has had a few peaks here and there, but has not really built up much more momentum since summer 2016.

Now, this is not a scientific analysis and not real data indicating technology progress. But taking it all together, it reflects in my mind where future mobility as a hole stands – it might be just the calm before the storm…

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, August 2020

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, August 2020

Reverse merger, SPAC, TSLA – Observations around recent financial activity of mobility firms.

There is a lot of activity, talk, and maybe hype around SPAC, reverse merger, and in particular EV companies going public through that route at the moment. But what is behind this, how does it work, and what is the broader picture here?

This month’s video discusses the definition, process, and history of reverse mergers through a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) and suggests that this might need to be seen in context of Tesla’s unprecedented and apparently unstoppable stock rally. While newcomer EV companies might aim for additional funding opportunities, there could also be an opportunity in becoming part of the frenzy that seems to be currently going on at the stock market related to electric mobility.

What do you think? What is happening here and am I missing anything?

Disclaimer: this is not a financial or investment advice. It is the observation of a layperson and solely intended for informational purposes.

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, July 2020

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, July 2020

Chart of the Month by Silicon Valley Mobility for July 2020 – Shared mobility is here to stay

A client recently asked if it is about time to drop the “S” in “ACES”. The underlying question was if shared mobility actually has a future in light of the 2020 crisis with people concerned about sharing and no one traveling anywhere. So here is my answer:

As the chart summarizes, analysts still see double digit growth for shared mobility in recently updated revenue forecasts for 2025. The market is largely driven by ride hailing, i.e. services like Didi, Gett, Uber, etc. Micro mobility (scooters and bicycles), which operate with relatively low fees, have surpassed car sharing in global revenues in 2019. While ultimate conclusions should be done with caution, it seems possible that car sharing might not remain in key market through the 2020s.

Such trends emphasize that consumers increasingly appreciate mobility “access over ownership”, i.e. services are key. That does not however automatically mean “sharing” as e.g. ride hailing is not really a shared trip.

Given those observations, one might want to use “commoditization” instead of “shared mobility”. In that sense – yes, we might drop the “S” in “ACES” and replace it with another “C”. That would make it “ACEC”, which does not roll off of the tongue nicely.

Thoughts anyone?

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, June 2020

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, June 2020

Deciding between keep or cut.

This month we review recent news about mobility related ventures that got impacted by the pandemic. While there are quite some bad news, it should also not go unnoticed that there’s good news as well. Seemingly, it is not about “all or nothing” but about “the right” thing.

The question becomes how to decide what tasks, projects, investments etc. to keep and what to let go.

The key to success is to prioritize the portfolio from the top using a metric that is unique to one organization and also to let gut feeling play a role to make sure the result is the right thing. Communication matters a lot in this as the team needs to be coached in a potentially different situation, and therefore it is important to motivate.

While we do know how long past downturns lasted, no one can tell how long this one will take. Competitors also don’t know and are probably asking the same question. However, one thing is for sure, that a crisis will be over at some point and it is important to get through a challenging situation with a streamlined portfolio and a motivated team.

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, May 2020

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, May 2020

Happy anniversary Silicon Valley Mobility! It’s been 3 great years and with that about time to review how it has been going and what the firm actually is. Therefore, as many have been asking about details and specifics, here’s “Silicon Valley Mobility by the Numbers”.

Just recently the 50th client found its way to the firm and most engagements last 12 months or longer. About 20% of the project volume is from speaking engagements, which says that most engagements are non-public consulting projects with clients that are not advertised on the website. And there have been thus far 6 advisory board positions at startups that are also an important part of those engagements and learning.

Silicon Valley Mobility also has a network of almost 100 on-demand domain experts who are ready to team up for projects as needed. Finally, also the vast connections on LinkedIn help to mutually seek and give advice with colleagues.

Thank you all!

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, Apr 2020

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, Apr 2020

“Don’t go where the puck is, go where it is going to be.” – this famous saying from hockey also applies to the mobility industry, innovation strategy, and also crisis management. There are many examples where a startup aims to be “the next” of something, e.g. “the next Tesla”. Or we might say in this current crisis that “sharing is a thing of the past”.

But what we do all too often is connecting just too few data points and extrapolating from them under the assumption that things will evolve linearly. We much rather need to account for all the twists and turns that those developments might take and therefore we should not aim to be “the next” of something but to create our own future. We need to envision what it will be, and then think backwards how we will have gotten there.

Some food for thought, definitely applies to the thinking what autonomous, connected, electric, and shared mobility will be in the future and how they might be affected by the current crisis.

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, Mar 2020

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, Mar 2020

A slightly different analysis of the California DMV 2019 Autonomous Vehicle Disengagement Reports that looks deeper into the narrative of where and why disengagements were encountered in 8,885 cases over 2.9m miles covered by 652 vehicles operated by 28 companies. One finds for instance that companies describe potentially similar cases in different terms and varying level of detail. And also, companies focus on different locations for testing, such as some report mostly disengagements on highways and others more on city streets. All this shows that the disengagement reports must not be used as a competitive analysis, let alone “ranking”, of companies. But the reports might serve as an indication how far the industry of autonomous driving has come as a whole, with challenges still in negotiating situations with humans, especially in what is called by some companies “aggressive” or “reckless” behavior. And also, the analysis of a vast number of disengagements shows that quite often the “planner” seems to have problems, which might be an indication that stand-alone planning might not be the only way toward automated vehicles in public and a more collaborative approach might be in order.

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, Feb 2020

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, Feb 2020

Quo vadis, autonomous driving? What can we say with near certainty and what only with some probability about autonomous driving? I have made two very interesting observations this month: (1) an investor told me “the days of burning money in a parking lot are over” and (2) the first Waymo test vehicle outside my house. Both observations taken together lead me to believe that funding for (at least early stage) AV companies is dwindling and Waymo might get really close to a “real” public launch now. Watch my video and join the discussion – what do you observe and what do you think?

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, Jan 2020

Silicon Valley Mobility Chart of the Month, Jan 2020

Here we are in 2020 and where are the flying cars and where are the self-driving automobiles? At the beginning of a new decade I review my own forecasts from the past 10+ years and highlight things I got right and those that were a bit off. I also recommend that “forecasting” should rather be done as “projections”, i.e. one is at some point in time now and projects into the future. This should be done in different categories, such as events / innovations that are “certain”, “probable”, or simply just “possible” to happen. Either way, this makes for a interesting self-reflection that I can only recommend to everyone in the field of new mobility and future thinking. It is always good to look back “… what was I thinking?!” I hope you agree this deserves a 7:42 min video. Let me know what you think…

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