It’s becoming increasingly clear that the future of the automobile is less about the vehicle itself and much more about the technology, the software, and the services offered.
While the Detroit Auto Show has often been known as the pinnacle of auto shows, it seems that the event in Geneva and the CES in Las Vegas are now getting much more attention. This is not because the Detroit show is lacking, but instead because the “other” shows are refocusing the emphasis on premiering EVs, charging systems, and autonomous technologies.
Auto enthusiasts are beginning to prove that they are less interested in the traditional “car show”. Instead, they come to see what the future holds. This has always been true of the many concept cars premiered at shows like the one in Detroit. But now, the “concepts”, regardless of the car, is pulling more weight.
Three “concepts” gaining the interest and momentum are:
Add to this that the three work together in unity, and the way in which each supports the other, increases the success of the concepts. Recode reported:
“Increased adoption of any one of those technologies increases the value of the others: A Shared network is cheaper and better if Autonomous, and even more so if Electric. A Shared network has a higher utilization capacity, meaning the long payback for Electric today is shortened dramatically. An Autonomous car can be more easily charged than filled with gas.”
Due to these future concepts, there are many new challenges facing automakers, and they have little to do with actual “automaking”. Now the baton is being passed to the likes of software engineers, computer technicians, cloud-based companies, and app designers.
Tesla is a perfect example of these trends. The public’s opinion was displayed a few weeks ago when the company unveiled its new Model 3. However, thus far, Tesla is the only new OEM that has found any marked success since Chrysler entered the market over 90 years ago. One can only assume that others will follow suit, especially now that there is some verifiable proof.
Whether it’s new startups or established automakers, shifting the focus to the future of electric, autonomous, and shared will benefit the industry and change life as we know it. Some established automakers are still resisting the concepts, or trying to go at it alone. Recode shared:
“Automotive executives often forcefully and convincingly contend that they will not become handset makers to companies like Apple and Google, who want to own the “brains” inside the cars. The reality is they have a choice to make: Would they would rather be BlackBerry, which continued to try and own the hardware and software in a walled-off OS to the detriment of its customers (market cap $4 billion) or Foxconn, which is now a key manufacturer of the iPhone (market cap $89 billion)?”
Hopefully, as the Apple Car comes to the forefront, there will be a whole new level of unmatched advancement to raise the bar and compel others to get on the bandwagon.