Delphi Automotive PLC has entered into a trio of partnerships aimed at making the company a leader in the collection — and sale — of information culled from self-driving and connected cars.
Delphi, a maker of autonomous driving systems, and its rivals have identified data collection as the next major frontier in mobility. It’s considered lucrative: Last October, research firm McKinsey & Co. estimated “the global revenue pool from car data monetization could be as high as $750 billion by 2030.”
Vehicles that will one day be connected with other vehicles, people, infrastructure and the surrounding environment are expected to produce all kinds of useful information. A key hurdle has been how best to collect that information from on-board the vehicle, how to process and share that information with cloud-based storage, and how to sort that data into a product.
This week Delphi has announced agreements with three companies offering key technologies for that process:
■Valens, based in Israel, specializes in high-speed semi-conductors, or “chip-to-chip” technology producing connectivity speeds six times faster than the current industry standard.
■Rosenberger Hochfrequenztechnik GmbH & Co., based in Germany, specializes in data transmission and ethernet connectors.
■Otonomo, based in Israel, develops marketplaces for the automakers collecting data.
Delphi has purchased minority stakes in both Valens and Otonomo, and has struck a strategic partnership with Rosenberger.
“Increasing vehicle complexity is driving demand for more data connectivity, active safety and greater vehicle automation,” Delphi said in a press release. “This in turn, is driving a requirement for best-in-class signal and power distribution capabilities, along with a robust data management strategy.”
The short version of Delphi’s strategy with its new partners is to harness the information vehicles can collect, move it as quickly as possible and put it into a format that can be sold. For vehicle owners, Delphi officials said this kind of data sharing can open up a whole new world of personalized services for them.
Mary Gustanski, Delphi’s vice president of engineering, offered the example of a car broken down on the side of the road where the driver has called a tow truck. Data from the car would allow a company to identify the problem of a dead battery and send a van along with a new one.
Delphi, a global company with its Michigan base in Troy, has redefined itself in recent years. The former parts unit of General Motors Co. has worked to position itself as a technology company under a strategy it calls “safe, green and connected.”
Last year, Delphi entered into a partnership with Israel-based Mobileye NV and Intel Corp. aimed at creating a self-driving car platform by 2019. In January, at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Delphi and Mobileye showed off Audi SQ5s equipped with their system.
In a study released this week by Colorado-based Navigant Research, Delphi ranked ninth — the highest supplier — among 19 companies for leadership on automated driving.
“Delphi has narrowed its focus significantly in the past several years, spinning off many of its own units and leaving fuel systems, electronics, electrical architectures and automated driving as the core businesses,” Navigant said.
This week’s acquisitions move Delphi further into the data collection arena. And as the high-tech capabilities of vehicles increase, the company’s focus is shifting from the vehicles to the information they can provide.
Glen De Vos, Delphi’s chief technology officer, said: “With connectivity, you have more value being created around the car, not in it.”