Since the TV became the “first screen” in our lives, along came the personal computer in all of its forms, and today the mobile phone/tablet captivates most of our lives. Due to companies like Apple, Google (Alphabet), and Tesla, among others, our vehicles are quickly becoming the fourth screen in our busy lives.
Morgan Stanley recently reported that self-driving cars will lead to this fourth video screen emergence. This is not to say that there aren’t already screens in many autos on the road. Cars are coming readily equipped with DVD players, wi-fi connected screens, and tablet style center console internet and cloud based navigation systems, to name a few.
It is being noted that with autonomous applications, the screens and connectivity will become a necessity and an integral part of daily driving life. Also, once the vehicles are officially “driving themselves”, avenues open for users to multi-task while on the road. “Drivers” will be able to check the Internet or watch videos while NOT driving. The report said:
“The automobile is being increasingly viewed as a potential smartphone on wheels. The car is effectively the 4th screen for media content consumption after PCs, phones and TVs. In our view, this is what the Silicon Valley will be targeting by leveraging the (autonomous) utility. Silicon Valley is interested not only in the utility aspect but more importantly in the potential multitrillion-dollar opportunity selling data, content and experiences unfamiliar to today’s auto firms.”
Autonomous car technologies are developing and coming to market quicker than was previously expected. Much competition is pushing to the forefront. Tesla has proven itself as a key player in the field, with semi-autonomous features already on the road, and fully autonomous technology reportedly near ready to go. Although infrastructure updates and government regulations may not coincide with the rapid developments. GM, Ford, Daimler, and many others are already attempting to follow close behind.
As reported recently, Joint Development Agreements between automakers and tech companies are occurring on a much more regular basis, all in an effort to keep pace. This comes due to the reports of the upcoming Apple Car and also Google’s (Alphabet) testing of autonomous car technologies.
Even if Apple does not bring a car to the public market soon or ever, or if Google doesn’t officially partner with one specific automaker, both companies can and will benefit from the hardware and software side of their efforts in autonomous technology. Morgan Stanley concluded:
“Driving has long been seen as synonymous with personal freedom. But among the costs of this freedom is what we estimate to be approximately 400 billion hours of non-productive time gripping a steering wheel and trying to concentrate on the road ahead. What if the future of automotive transportation afforded consumers with all of the traditional benefits of personal freedom of mobility while using that precious hour per day for other activities?”
Source (Investor’s Business Daily)