Would self-built vehicles further Big Tech’s position in future mobility?

Freddie Holmes investigates some of the scenarios in which a tech giant might deem vehicle manufacturing a useful venture

The industry’s incumbent automakers have never faced greater competition as new start-ups come to the table. And with leadership in the internal combustion engine (ICE) no longer necessary to succeed, opportunities are opening up to grab early market share in the next generation of electric and autonomous vehicles.

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With established brands and unrivalled financial backing, it would seem reasonable that familiar names from Big Tech could also enter the fray. There are already examples where established tech companies have delved into the automotive space.

Amazon recently acquired self-driving car company Zoox for nearly US$1.3bn, which in December showcased a sleek new prototype that appears far closer to commercialisation than the original ‘golf-buggy’ vehicles used previously.

Then there is Project Titan, Apple’s mysterious self-driving car project. Very little has been publicly stated about the programme since rumours began in 2014, but the focus appears to be on the autonomous driving system as opposed to building a self-branded vehicle. Reports in December 2020 indicate that…