Some say the ‘race for the robotaxi’ peaked in 2018, with developers since delaying their launch plans due to a range of technical, social and financial challenges. However, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led many to reconsider the definition of safer, ‘driverless’ mobility.
Due to its high dependency on complex technologies, the dynamics of the robotaxi value chain will be drastically different from the automotive value chain we know today. We identify six main decision points where players have begun taking different approaches to robotaxi development, from funding structures through to deployment strategies. Ultimately we expect these different approaches to converge around a limited number of robotaxi ‘archetypes’.
Regardless of which archetype dominates in future, it is clear that the path forward will involve high levels of competition and collaboration between organisations, and a number of bold plays when it comes to these decisions.
The COVID effect