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Published on December 5th, 2017 | by James Ayre


Delphi CEO: The Aim Is To Cut Self-Driving Car Costs More Than 90% By 2025

December 5th, 2017 by  

The auto parts supplier Delphi Automotive — currently in the process of changing its name to “Aptiv Inc” — is aiming to reduce the costs of self-driving cars by over 90% by 2025, the company’s CEO, Kevin Clark, revealed in a recent interview.

Or, in a somewhat clearer way of explaining the company’s goal, the plan is to cut self-driving car costs down to only around $5,000 or so within 7–8 years.

In relation to this goal, the name change to Aptiv Inc — and the spinout of a firm focused on traditional engine components (Delphi Technologies) — represents a clear statement of commitment. The firm is essentially banking its future on the eventual large-scale rollout of cheap self-driving cars.

The plan is apparently to “help automakers rethink the way vehicles are engineered and built and make money on the data generated by autonomous electric vehicles,” as explained by Reuters.

Here’s more from that coverage: “While current estimates for the cost of a self-driving hardware and software package range from $70,000 to $150,000, ‘the cost of that autonomous driving stack by 2025 will come down to about $5,000 because of technology developments and (higher) volume,’ Clark said in an interview.”

“One of the biggest opportunities for cutting costs, Clark said, will come as automakers, working with companies such as Delphi/Aptiv, begin to re-engineer their basic vehicle platforms specifically to accommodate electric motors, batteries and self-driving sensors.

“‘We’re working now with our customers to optimize’ current platforms, Clark explained, but we’re also working with them to redesign future vehicle platforms as well — ones with fewer components, but more software and more safety tech.

“‘Looking 5 to 10 years out, given the amount of software going into the car, the complexity of (self-driving) systems and infotainment systems, the basic architecture of the vehicle needs to be rethought,’ he continued.”

As you may remember, Delphi paid around $450 million just a few months back to acquire the self-driving car firm nuTonomy — a further clear statement of commitment to the tech and future market. The company is apparently still on the lookout for acquisition opportunities in the sector, the CEO revealed, but there are no targets immediately in mind.

Notably, the CEO doesn’t expect fully self-driving systems to make it to the consumer car market (in high volumes) until at least 2025, owing to high system costs. The commercial market, on the other hand, is going to be very interested regardless of high costs.

“You’re going to see more acceptance and more deployment in the commercial market, where there’s economic incentive” — because fleet operators “are in a better position to absorb that cost” than auto manufacturers are, he concluded.


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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