Interview Transcript

Do you think the OEM's still create value in manufacturing the vehicle? And they are going to provide financing, which is obviously a profitable business for them. Who do you think is going to own the vehicle?

I was talking to somebody at Renault the week before last, I had a coffee with him. They are really convinced that robo-taxis are going to be a big part of future transport options and they’re working very hard on robo-taxis.

They told me that one of the things they found very interesting is the Tesla Model 3. He was asking if I had driven it and unfortunately I haven't because you can't really get one of those in Europe. There’s some around in the dealerships but I haven’t been able to drive one here yet. He was saying he had driven it and what impressed him the most about the vehicle - obviously it's a very sporty electrical vehicle, but there are a number of sporty electrical vehicles on the market - what impressed in the most was the interior design, which was very minimalist. He said that it means that when you get back into a traditional car afterwards, after the Tesla 3, you suddenly feel like, “I'm going back in time a little bit here.” The Tesla 3 seems to be way forward, in terms of the display panel and things like that. I think we’re going to see changes regarding what the car looks like in the interior. In fact, the CEO of Faurecia this morning said that new technology like display panels allows us to give a better customer experience at a lower cost. It's actually cheaper to put a display panel in than the electrical mechanical bits and bobs that they had before.

Someone still needs to buy this vehicle right? Whether it’s a Tesla or it’s a Mercedes EV, eventually someone still needs to buy it and take care of it. Who’s going to be doing this?

A point I was going to make is the robo-taxis will be made by vehicle manufacturers and then they will just be sold or leased to a company that is operating them as robo-taxis. So this morning, Faurecia even talked about having specific interiors having specific vehicle interiors for Uber or for Lyft. They may want to have their own vehicle interior to give a specific customer experience that they believe their particular service users look for.

Just thinking of how that would work, do you think Uber would lease their fleet from the manufacturer and that the manufacturer would finance that for Uber?

Well, the model today is that their individual drivers own the vehicles. Uber doesn't actually own the vehicles. They'd need a lot of money, a lot of cash, to start running the vehicles themselves. I'm not sure they'd change that. You'd have to ask Uber. I'd be surprised if they'd want to change that.

If they’re self-driving then that cuts the driver out.

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