Autonomous, shared and electrified. Three buzzwords that once heralded the future of transportation. But, seemingly overnight, new mobility initiatives have moved into the crosshairs of an industry whose profits and forecasts have been blown up by the coronavirus pandemic.
Advanced technologies, such as those companies were promoting at CES less than four months ago, promise a future of cleaner air, safer roads and an all-around better consumer experience. But they cost billions to develop, and companies in a sudden, deep contraction must prioritize survival and focus on restarting profitable core businesses.
The headwinds are evident: Ford Motor Co. postponing its autonomous vehicle commercial services until 2022; General Motors shuttering its Maven car-sharing service.