The problem is that the author is trying to use his prediction as evidence, to make a wider point about innovation.
No he's not. He's simply using it as an example. The supposed reluctance of Detroit to cooperate with Google, as they naturally don't fancy seeing sales of cars plummet, if everyone goes to a different ownership model. Whether this is true in this case doesn't matter, they may eventually cooperate, sales may not drop, all that matters is the discussion of the motivations.
I was having this discussion yesterday. We have a niche product that is close to unique, but quite expensive. It's technically more complex than our competitors, in order to achieve a smaller size. That, and the fact that we don't manufacture in bulk, makes us more expensive.
However several companies have recently attempted to copy us, and mostly failed. It took a lot of testing to get this thing working, some of them even buy from us, so they can keep the customers but sell our product when nothing else will fit.
Should we make it cheaper? We've tested with a cheaper major part, which will give us an even smaller product for little loss in quality. But it will cost tens of thousands to re-tool, re-design, re-certify etc. Or we could sell as a new product into a different market.
However if we do either of those, guess what happens to the sale of our more costly product?
The new smaller one won't cover all use-cases, so we'll be left with loads of engineering and design costs, 2 incompatible product lines and therefore extra warehousing and stock to pay for. And sales costs to push the new product in a new market we don't currently address.
So our alternatives are to do nothing. Move to the new product and hope we can increase sales to cover our losses (maybe, but impossible to tell), or maybe dump the old product and lose the high end sales that the new one can't address. Sadly these are of course the most profitable ones...
This would be an innovative and disruptive product in the new market (that we don't currently address), although it's only an incremental improvement in ours. But if some new company came along, with none of our baggage and existing costs, it would also be disruptive to us.
The reason others tried to copy us of course, is that we were disruptive when entering our current market, because we could do something that none of them could. And this product was originally designed for yet a third market, where we used to exclusively operate, and with only a slight re-design got into our current market.