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Technology Development Strategy Driving Waymo's Innovative Business Models, 2020

  • Company Profile

  • 51 Pages
  • November 2020
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • ID: 5203933

Waymo’s In-house Technological Innovations and Strategic Partnerships Will Continue to Upend the Traditional Automotive Industry

By the beginning of this decade, the term 'autonomous vehicles' had become familiar to the layman. Since the global COVID-19 pandemic, the automotive industry has been in a state of dichotomy. There is a clear realization that past predictions of launching fully autonomous vehicles by 2020 will not materialize; however, collective milestones in the industry have been achieved and need to be applauded.

While the underlying goal of autonomous driving has always been customer comfort and driver safety, additional social, economic, and technological factors are disrupting the industry. These factors include shifting customer preferences, urbanization and congestion, and regulations on reducing carbon footprints. All these factors are leading to the convergence of four themes: connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE).

Waymo, the self-driving car subsidiary unit of Alphabet, is the leader in the autonomous driving domain. The company uses a connected fleet of hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivans and electric Jaguar I-Pace vehicles as part of its automated ride-hailing service: Waymo ONE. In this regard, Waymo completely meets every aspect of CASE and is considered one of the leading mobility participants in the autonomous driving ecosystem.

Waymo caters to the passenger segment and is also testing its logistics business under the brand of Waymo VIA, which will include autonomous trucks for long-haul logistics and minivans for local deliveries.

Unlike traditional OEMs, Waymo, being a new entrant in the industry, had the freedom to build its technology while considering changing dynamics and future scalability. This also allows Waymo to develop its technology in-house, a trend visible across other participants such as Tesla. Building the technology in-house ensures seamless integration of hardware and software and allows Waymo to modify components and customize them as per internal requirements. Additionally, the company remains immune to price fluctuations in the market.

Through these developments, Waymo is already competing in the shared mobility sector but also has the potential to compete against other technology developers by licensing the technology to OEMs. Currently, Waymo has multiple partnerships across different segments, notably with FCA for hybrid Pacifica Vans, JLR for I-Pace SUVs, Volvo for L4 platform development, and Magna for developing chassis for future fleet.

This report explores the autonomous technological capability of Waymo while understanding its strategy and comparing it with other participants present in the autonomous driving ecosystem. It also delves into Waymo's various business models and the future potential of monetizing those business models.

Furthermore, the report explains various strategic partnerships and how they will serve in progress towards industry dominance.

Key Issues Addressed

  • How has Waymo's sensor suite evolved for current vehicles?
  • How does Waymo's open dataset fare against other autonomous datasets?
  • Which are the planned business models, and how can Waymo's technologies be used to create new revenue streams that will enhance its future growth potential?
  • With whom does Waymo have partnerships, and how will these partnerships help in Waymo's future progress?

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary
  • Waymo’s Progression
  • Autonomous Vehicle Development and Partnerships
  • Business Models
  • Key Conclusions

2. Strategic Imperatives
  • The Strategic Imperative 8™: Factors Creating Pressure on Growth in the Autonomous Driving Market
  • The Strategic Imperative 8™
  • Impact of Strategic Imperative 8™ on the Autonomous Driving Market
  • Growth Opportunities Fuel the Growth Pipeline EngineTM

3. Scope of Analysis and Competition
  • Waymo’s Strategy Within Autonomous Driving Industry
  • Key Competitors for Waymo

4. Autonomous Technology
  • Company Progress
  • Sensor Suite Strategy
  • Hardware Development Strategy
  • Waymo’s Autonomous Trucks
  • Software Capability
  • HD Mapping Process
  • HD Mapping Capability
  • Testing and Validation Methods
  • Software Simulation
  • Public Road Testing
  • Waymo Open Dataset

5. Business Models
  • Business Models: Ecosystem
  • Business Models: Waymo
  • Business Model: Shared Mobility
  • Business Model: Hardware and Software Licensing
  • Business Model: Logistics Services
  • Business Model: Data as a Service

6. Partnerships
  • Partnership Strategies: Ecosystem
  • Partnership: Fiat Chrysler Automotive
  • Partnership: Volvo Cars
  • Partnership: Jaguar Land Rover
  • Partnership: Magna
  • Other Important Partnerships

7. Growth Opportunities
  • Growth Opportunity 1: Early Commercialization of Waymo ONE and VIA will Give Waymo the Necessary Traction for Success

8. Next Steps
  • Your Next Steps

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Jaguar
  • Telsa
  • Volvo
  • Waymo