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Anticipate a bumpy ride

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Finally, the go-to-market dynamics in the autonomous vehicle industry are a fascinating story of tugs and pulls between market demands and technology innovation. The players are all adopting strategies without being able to know at this stage what will actually work. Google, the competitor with the deepest pockets, has built a huge R&D effort and made big strides with the complex technology and its integration, but so far has adopted a very conservative go-to-market strategy. Tesla, on the other hand, the startup, is pushing hard into the market, even with limited effectiveness in the technology, seeking to gain first mover advantage, with little traditional business to defend. As is Uber, GM, Ford and Mercedes, etc., the incumbents in the auto industry, are all over the map on disruption versus fast following strategies, on buying or building the technologies involved, and other strategic considerations.

In cognitive computing, we see a similar array of giants with conflicting strategies and startups with vision and passion for specific market spaces or technology niches. IBM has created broad market awareness for the enterprise segment, while Google has taken a very different path, leaving the enterprise virtually on its own. Microsoft is somewhere in between. At the same time, Amazon appears to be generating traction by following the beat of its own drummers. The only thing that is sure is that things will look very different three to five years from now. We have not experienced any governments revoking testing permits on cognitive computing competitors yet (if we leave China out of the discussion), but we can be sure that in this unbalanced world of the early market, it will be a bumpy ride to the cognitive computing future.

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