The complicated web of companies that will determine the future of cars

With fully autonomous vehicles expected to hit the road by 2020, automobile manufacturers and ride-hailing rivals have become unlikely allies.

The common bond is a vision of a driverless ride-hailing future, in which margins rise for ride-hailing companies and automotive companies avoid destruction as consumer sales drop.

“They’re being driven together by common risk,” said Max Wolff, chief economist at Manhattan Venture Partners.

These partnerships are up against well-known technology companies with more in-house artificial-intelligence knowledge and data, but some think the winner will come down to whomever has the biggest consumer brand.

By the year 2030, global car sales are “basically going to fall off a cliff,” said Tasha Keeney, an industrial innovation analyst at ARK Investment Management.

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