Regardless of the speed of technological advancements, regulations, and even consumer demand, the self-driving future is definitely coming sooner or later. Numerous car makers are already investing billions in the development of driverless vehicles but it's mostly tech companies like Google and Apple that are truly expected to drive innovation and growth in this emerging industry. Not surprisingly, large automakers aren't thrilled by the fact that they soon might have to compete with Silicon Valley and they also aren't willing to sit idly and let the tech giants take them by surprise, so to speak.
As reported by Reuters, this week's Paris Motor Show heavily hinted at a collaboration between several notable car makers interested in developing autonomous vehicles and related technologies. This can be concluded based on several deals announced during the event in the capital of France. Among other things, Dutch navigation service TomTom revealed that it has united Volvo and the Volkswagen-owned Škoda which will now share traffic data with the service and each other while Volkswagen, General Motors, and Nissan announced a separate partnership on crowdsourcing and sharing traffic videos recorded by their customers. Speaking of crowdsourcing traffic data, that's pretty much what Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler AG have agreed to on Monday when announcing new HERE services which are set to debut next year.
While a lot of the aforementioned names are fierce competitors in certain markets, they've been ones for decades and know pretty much everything there is to know about each other. On the other hand, the likes of Google, Apple, and Uber are almost unknown entities for traditional automakers. It's reasonable to presume that twenty years ago, these companies probably weren't expecting to ever have to compete for market share with people who made an Internet search engine and a computer. But that's technological advancement in a nutshell. The future is coming, autonomous vehicles are an inevitability, and car manufacturers have consequently found a new desire for collaboration and sharing. However, the Silicon Valley has been working on driverless technology for years and has quite a head start on traditional automakers so it remains to be seen whether these partnerships were agreed too late or just in time.