A new innovation ecosystem? Cooperation between companies for the new automotive mobility

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Carrillo, J.


Gerpisa colloquium, Brussels (2023)


A new innovation ecosystem? Cooperation between companies for the new automotive mobility

The objective of this document is to identify the forms of strategic cooperation associated with the new automotive industry: autonomy, connectivity, electrification, and shared use (called ACES). These technological trends are considered disruptive and are shaping a different ecosystem where technological giants, start-ups, OEMs and global providers intermingle. Tech titans are investing aggressively in mobility innovations¹ and traditional manufacturers² (OEMs and global suppliers) are raising their technology stakes and forming alliances with various specialized companies. Some consultancies companies like McKinsey forecast radical changes in costs, expertise, safety, environmental impact and business models.

According to Dhawan et al. (2019), current shared mobility and real-time navigation systems already represent the crest of the first wave of mobility innovations. Electric and autonomous vehicles, intelligent and interconnected road networks, and new services and interfaces with customers are some of the imminent transformations that are giving way to a second wave, where vehicles will become productive data centers and ultimately into components of a larger mobility network.

This paper is based on the review, from 2016 to February 2023, of bulletins and platforms specialized in news from the automotive sector. 200 news items referring to new international cooperation associated with implementing new technological trends were detected. Cases of cooperation between automotive and other sectors companies were selected. Obviously, the sources used do not represent an exhaustive review of all existing cooperation, but they account for the phenomenon we are studying here. As  reports, there's so much buzz and new fixes that it's not even possible to keep track of them.

With the information collected, it was possible to build a database that includes the companies involved, the reason for the cooperation, the details of the expected product or service, and in some cases, the place and duration of the link. These data allowed us to classify the cooperation’s according to the ACES.

To understand where the automotive industry is heading in the face of the irruption of new technologies, we sought to be as open as possible to account for both intra and intersectoral "automotive cooperation’s": a) between automotive OEMs, b) between OEMs and automotive suppliers, c) between automotive suppliers; d) between automotive companies and other sectors, above the telecommunications and computer industry, but also others such as chemicals, mining or energy, and e) between non-automotive companies.

In general terms, the news collected refers to the first rapprochements between the companies, which is why it documents the emergence between these cooperation’s and the complex industrial network that is being formed. This process comes to confirm the term coined many decades ago that the automotive industry is the "industry of industries," but at the same time, it accounts for the complex ecosystem of innovation that is being established.

Finally, the database allows for a detailed analysis of the variables associated with new technologies, which makes it possible to influence the direction that automobile manufacturing is taking, the latest products and services that are being discovered, and the new forms of cooperation that are emerging between companies to attend to the 'car of the future.'

Rajat Dhawan, R., Hensley, R., Padhi A., and Tschiesner, A. Mobility’s second great inflection point. McKinsey. February.

¹An analysis of the start-up and investment landscape developed by McKinsey identified that more than $200 billion has been invested in ACES technologies since 2010.

²According to Mackinsey, OEMs and Original Equipment Suppliers invested close to $125 million in R&D in 2017 alone.

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