note: hunting cloud after tesla and Google, apple will also be involved in automotive field, continuous multiple messages recently exposure has formed a large number of work team has a secret. The economist magazine recently the article points out that the relative traditional auto makers, apple, Google and other companies because of the lack of relevant technology and experience, so in the matter of automobile industry in the future for the final victory may be established car makers. The following translated by sina science and technology full text:
no one would question apple attainments in the design of portable consumer electronic products, it can always produce a cuddly equipment. But this week there were rumours that the company also plans to produce a move the user to hold the new equipment, the electric car.
apple plans neither clear nor unconfirmed. But according to some media reports, the company has recruited hundreds of people to develop on a par with tesla’s products – the silicon valley company has developed quickly and luxury electric cars. Others believe that apple will develop driverless cars.
in fact, the car has been more and more interested in technology company. Announced in February, limousine service Uber in Pittsburgh to set up a lab, developing unmanned driving a taxi. SONY has also recently to recapitalise the ZMP unmanned entrepreneurial companies. At the same time, Google for years have been developing driverless cars.
silicon valley are focus on automotive industry, mainly comes from two reasons: first is the technology, the electric car, driving assistant system and driverless cars have brought industry change. Followed by auto makers to increase in the number of problem itself – mainly derived from chronic overcapacity, legacy costs are high, and a series of destructive recalls.
due to the importance of intelligent technology in automobile industry is not big, so no matter where the car is headed, the old vendor’s position will be hard to shake. although once critical reputation gradually give way to the popularity of emerging technologies, but most of the large carmakers in electric motors and other power resources design methods. Ford and nissan even specially built in silicon valley, the research and development center.
the mitsubishi UFJ Haroon Hassan thinks, although technology caused widespread attention, but automakers are also powerful innovators, and they have a better understanding of auto industry.
start with electric cars. Apple and other technology firms may not know much about the piston and the design of the gearbox, but the real challenge in the electric car industry is the battery. battery-powered car has many advantages: can charge at home, use cost is low, and there are no emissions. But pure electric car market is very small. Expensive increased the cost of car batteries, and a limited range and the lack of charging infrastructure also makes the most of the driver.
although as the world’s best selling electric cars, but nissan Leaf only attracted 40000 buyers last year, well below the company had 250000 expected. Although tesla intends to enter the mainstream market, but because still in dealing with the battery problems, therefore is still confined to the field of luxury cars. Oil prices plunged and the prospects for electric cars.
in addition, due to the electric motor current prices high, so to save money is not the main selling point, contribution to environmental protection has more people’s attention. In the future, really can not to increase the competitiveness of this kind of car prices, but the battery costs lower, because the charge cost is far lower than the fuel cost. This has become a top priority: to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of battery to achieve enough economy, can eventually led to the electric car revolution.
for championing the electric car industry enterprises, the key of the hope is that: because of the large car manufacturers to invest heavily in internal combustion engine, so don’t want to turn the electric engine. But it seems a little too optimistic. Even if the battery chemistry breakthrough can enhance the competitiveness of the electric car than fuel cars, but the big auto makers are completely have the ability to adapt to industry changes in the short term trend. These enterprises mostly have made progress in the field of pure electric vehicles. In January this year, for example, in the form of concept cars Chevrolet Bolt is expected in 2017 officially released on the road, the price is $30000, range 200 miles (322 km).
if apple’s ultimate goal is to develop the driverless cars, from the perspective of the electric car will not bring its special advantages. Both fuel and electric drive, the performance of the driverless cars will not be affected. But for technology companies, development and testing complex for unmanned vehicle control software, and the design process of daily electronic products more similar.
but the point is, they first need to catch up the old car makers, which is also actively recruiting software talents, and provide more complex in the existing models of auxiliary driving function, such as automatic parking and adaptive cruise, etc. Auto makers still investing heavily in driverless cars of other key technologies, including network communication function and monitoring traffic flow of road infrastructure.
apple also need to catch up the pace of Google. The development of the Google driverless cars are already in the public road safety driving long distances, but the company will not be able to develop driverless cars can adapt to the cold winter rain and snow weather. Although Google has said its driverless cars will be on the road, in 2017 but since then no longer mention launch date.
but Google self-driving car director Chris Urmson (Chris Urmson) thinks that traditional incremental development pattern of car makers will slow down their pace, instead of directly to self-driving car technology can be faster to achieve results. However, even if his remarks can be set up in the technology, this kind of product will still need to overcome other barriers: regulatory approval and the nerves of the driver itself.
auto makers should not only adapt to the huge amounts of regulation, also face many lawsuits. Once they are involved in the accident, driverless cars will encounter a lot of problems, although this kind of product of accident rate is far lower than someone driving a car, but the accident is still inevitable. For driverless cars, step by step is probably a better model of development, it is easy to persuade road participants and lawmakers approved the advantage of this technology.
the Boston consulting group said in a pessimistic forecasts, even to have limited the function of unmanned vehicle, its sales accounted for no more than 25% by 2035, and the true driverless cars that year’s market share to reach 10%.
technology companies may be able to speed up the development of automobile industry in the future, but no matter what happens in the future, it is a difficult to break through the industry. Google hopes to one day can be on-demand production to replace the old car makers, but not surprisingly, no one really recognized that vision.
apple has $179 billion in cash, enough to build their own car manufacturing sector, and to build their own factories. But the lack of manufacturing technology company culture, and does not have the key to marketing, distribution and after-sale skills – these business in automotive industry, and science and technology industry is very different.
overall, technology companies may be more than the auto makers are good at developing unmanned vehicles use software, also be better at ascending range and reduce the cost of battery. In the automotive industry, supply of key components often than assemble cars more profitable – even if your logo does not appear on the hood. The car of the future will be changed, but the car brand, may not change too much.