As Cars Go Robo, Their Makers Find New Partners

The race to develop driverless cars is reshaping that relationship. As cars learn to drive themselves, they require components from new sorts of companies, many of them startups. “The entire value chain is now screwed up, we’re seeing something different happening here,” says Dennis Nobelius. He’s the CEO of Zenuity, a joint venture focused on self-driving software, formed between safety equipment supplier Autoliv and Volvo, and which also has partnerships with Nvidia, TomTom, and Ericsson.
This setup—which sounds like the business equivalent of an interpersonal arrangement made at Burning Man—is typical of the new ecosystems being created. They are replacing the traditional hierarchy of car builder and tier one, two, and three component makers that a supply chain.