The auto industry is on the brink of a revolution (Smart Car). This isn’t an overnight revelation, and in fact, an Accenture report back in 2013, had revealed how the next-gen in-car technologies could help shape the future demand for sales and bring a sustained revenue stream to the automotive industry. It has been touted that drivers, even in emerging economies, are likely to choose a car based on in-vehicle technology over its performance.
Looks like, Google and Apple have been quite attentive and geared up to leverage on the auto tech segment. From driverless cars to connected cars, everything seems like a part of this plan. After all, technology needs to evolve! The longevity of the smartphone era depends upon what goes on around it, which will ensure it doesn’t meet the same fate as the tablet. The reports about stagnancy in market and prediction about Apple’s first ever dip in iPhone sales has made them sit back straight and take notice of the foreseeable future.
Now, we are aware of the whole transformation that Tesla Motors and Elon Musk plan to bring in the auto space. You may argue that Electric cars form an almost negligible part of the auto market, but there is no denying that slowly yet steadily the perception is changing. In fact, there is a herd following in the tech industry, especially when the innovation is triggered by Apple. Now, several reports have been pointing at Apple being in talks to build an electric car. Need we say more?
On the other hand, Google has been testing its autonomous car since 2009. The driverless or self-driving car has been tested for millions of miles, so far. Technologies like IoT and Artificial Intelligence, penetration of Internet, rise and popularity of smartphones, cloud have altogether contributed to believing tech and auto are in an invincible part of each other. In the past, both Google and Apple had put their best foot forward to get to drivers ‘dashboards. We already have seen Android Auto and Apple Car Play, with interfaces echoing their respective OSes. From maps and navigation to audio streaming and messages, they bring it all.
Probably, that’s not enough! The idea could have always been starting with some in-built tech controls and then eventually building their own cars. On the other hand, automakers are also looking to leverage the mobile growth and bring some additional, lucrative features to attract audiences. Smart car investments have begun galore, be it Samsung, Baidu or Nokia. And, both Google and Apple want to ensure they get the biggest bite of the pie.
In January 2014, Google along with partners Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia, formed the Open Automotive Alliance, a coalition aimed at bringing the Android platform to the car. Google has formed a separate division for a smart car under the Alphabet umbrella, and also plans to add more partners. Apple released Car Play at the Geneva International Motor Show the same year. While both have been active in the auto space since then, there is no denying that at the end the decision, to a great extent, relies on automotive manufacturers if they want to side with Google or Apple, or simply play their own terms. This clearly means the next battle is winged in the car as Google and Apple try to get to the driver’s seat.