Google & Apple Muscling in on Motor Industry

While at the Geneva Motor Show, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne commented on Google and Apple’s move into the motor industry, noting that each of the US companies are “incredibly serious” and that it would be foolish of other companies to not take them seriously as competitors. In particular, he recognised the advantages they possess in producing the next generation of vehicles that will incorporate driverless technology and electric powered engines. While recognising that competition will be good for the industry, he couldn’t help but see the advancements of these “disruptive interlopers” as a putative threat to Fiat-Chrysler’s sales. Ultimately, though, he is confident that the significance of brands like Ferrari to consumers will never be redundant and that their place in the market will remain secure.

Apple are putting a lot of resources into their car project, which they’re calling Titan. Google have already developed and are trialling a driverless car. These advancements also inspired Volkswagen boss, Martin Winterkorn, and Toyota’s Europe leader, Didier Leroy, to comment, each recognising the unique perspective that these companies have and how it will allow them to enhance the sorts of cars everyone makes. Digital gadgets are taking a bigger part in cars every year and it seems fair to predict that their role will continue to grow. Soon enough, digital tech may well be the determining feature for most consumers when deciding which car to buy.

A popular analogy for this shift in the industry is to say that as cars become more intelligent, their bodies become a less important feature than their brains, which will be able to achieve more. Soon, the capacities of the various cameras fitted to our cars may be more important to us than the capacities of their engines.

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