With the sudden and dramatic rise of COVID-19 across the globe, individuals and organizations are facing unprecedented levels of uncertainty. During these foggy times, the future of one of the largest economic engines of the world — the automotive industry — is as unclear as ever. This uncertainty is amplified by the fact that the industry is going through an historic transformation: from total reliance on internal combustion engines to growing acceptance of electric and hybrid electric vehicles; from driven to driverless cars; from vehicle ownership to vehicle sharing and pay-for-usage ride-hailing, and everything in between. For the last four years, we have been studying this transformation using crowdsourced forecasting tournaments in collaboration with Good Judgment Inc. (GJ), an organization that excels in designing and implementing such tournaments, based on the pioneering research by Philip Tetlock and colleagues. Led by John Paul MacDuffie and Rahul Kapoor, its objective was to learn more about the likely trajectory of these emerging technologies by harnessing the wisdom of the crowd.
Much of the present research on forecasting tournaments is centered on efforts to predict economic and political outcomes. It is our continued belief that there is a real opportunity in exploring the use of this tournament design for the purpose of understanding the patterns of disruption in industries. We have been working with GJ since October 2015 to design and host forecasting tournaments focusing on the emerging technologies and innovations within the automotive sector.
The 2020-2021 Challenges
We simultaneously launched our 2020 Vehicle Innovations Challenge to explore near-term questions, as well as our first Long-term Vehicle Innovations Challenge to investigate long-term questions resolving by end of 2022. Like the previous challenges, these two challenges tracked developments in technology, automaker strategies, the competitive landscape and the regulatory environment to inform forecasters about these new issues while involving them in a global crowdsourced effort to anticipate the trajectory of an industry in upheaval.
Both challenges are now closed. Please check back for future forecasting updates.
About Good Judgment Inc.
Good Judgment Inc. runs forecasting tournaments on a variety of topics by combining clusters of time-limited, specific questions to identify important long-term trends. It is the commercial spinoff of the Good Judgment Project, a successful research project run by Wharton professors Phillip Tetlock and Barb Mellers, demonstrating how forecasting tournaments could harness the wisdom of crowds. Most of the previous challenges have focused on geopolitical events; the disruptive vehicle forecasting challenge was Good Judgment’s first to focus on technology forecasting.
For more on Mellers and Tetlock’s research, and the initial Good Judgement Program, we recommend these stories in Wharton Magazine and Knowledge@Wharton, as well as Tetlock’s recent book (with Dan Gardner) Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Production.