Seeing Machines has won the contract to supply US carmaker Fiat Chrysler (FCA) with its Fovio chip Driver Monitoring System, as predicted here months ago.
Ostensibly it is a US$6m contract (for Jeep or Ram, I believe) but as we all know the value is likely to end up far higher as DMS is swiftly rolled out across all its various car marques and models.
My estimate for the eventual worth of this deal is nearer to the hundreds of millions of US dollars. FCA produces 4m cars a year. Within 3 years I expect the Fovio chip to be in approximately 50% of them, say 2m cars. At US$20 a pop (volume discount from US$30) that is at least $40m a year. EVERY YEAR from 2022!
As the lifetime of a model is 5 years, my belief is that this strategic contract should end up being worth at least US$200m.
Clearly FCA couldn’t afford to let Ford with its F-150 pick-up outcompete in the premium DMS arena. They just had to have it.
I feel a twinge of sympathy for Smart Eye who at one stage hoped to win FCA. Indeed, as i believe the Tier 1 is Aptiv Seeing Machines are rubbing salt into its wounds — it is the equivalent of your partner running off with your worst enemy.
Unfortunately, Smart Eye don’t have an automotive grade chip, although they are trying to develop one. Unfortunately for them, Seeing Machines has already passed the finishing line where the US premium auto OEMs are concerned. After all it has now bagged FCA, Ford and GM.
In addition the next race has nearly been won in Europe where it will win VW to add to BMW and Mercedes and I don’t expect the result to be any different in Japan (Toyota and Honda are coming I believe).
This latest win brings an eventual bid for Seeing Machines much, much closer. So far as DMS is concerned SEE really is the next Mobileye. Indeed, I imagine the calculations I’ve roughed out will be replicated by many chip companies.
The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines.