The future of the car isn't about propulsion

Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 3:40 AM

How to connect the network I’m impatient to look breakthroughs in cars. I have high expectations for what Apple will do and respect for what Tesla has already done.

The future of the car isn't about propulsion

Mike Hoefflinger is an Executive-in-Residence at XSeed Capital and was previously at Facebook and Intel.

How to connect the network

I’m impatient to look breakthroughs in cars. I have high expectations for what Apple will do and respect for what Tesla has already done. I consent with Peter Thiel on the we-were-promised-jet-cars-but-got-140-characters thing, and with Larry Page, who worries that Silicon Valley doesn’t toss the ball down the field enough.

So, with all the speak of the Chevy Bolt Tesla-killer, the will-they-or-won’t-they joint venture of Google and Ford, the Tesla Model three March unveil, the plot around Apple Car, GM’s unicorn acquisition of the 40-person self-driving car-kit maker Cruise Automation and $4 billion of federal monies for self-driving cars, it’s a grand time to take stock.

First see at the competition

GM: Somehow these lovable goofs in Detroit snatched triumph from the jaws of beat with the Chevy Bolt arriving this year (as Wired pointed out, they killed EV1 and sold a mere eighty.000 of the hybrid Volt in five years), acquiring Cruise’s self-driving technology ingredients and betting $500 million on Lyft doing ground traffic control of the autonomous fleet down the road.

Tesla: After ten years of Elon Musk predicting precisely this showdown for the Model three, it'll finally be time for him to compete in the brutal business of $30.000 cars with someone who’s been to that end-zone before (Mary Barra and GM) and figure out how he'll create demand for 10x as many vehicles per year as he sold in two thousand-fifteenth.

Apple: By two thousand nineteen (and possibly two thousand twenty if the issues with the internal Jony Ive review this Jan cause delays), Tim Cook will be three years behind Mary (and two behind Elon). While that’s not been a fundamental problem for Apple in the past, he’ll necessity to ship a v1.0 of Apple Car that’s more love v1.0 of iPhone than v1.0 of Apple Watch.

Google: To be honest, after the non-announcement announcements and non-denial denials, I’m confused about whether they’re building cars with Amazon or with Ford. Or both. Or neither. In the meantime, they’ve driven the most autonomous miles of anyone. By far.

All the electrics are screwed

Then it hit me: At sub-$30 oil (a quarter of two thousand eight levels), they’re all screwed.

$2-per-gallon gas is so toxic to (at minimum U. S.) electric vehicle demand that sales in two thousand fifteen actually went down year-over-year (to declare nothing of their utterly anemic 1.4 % share of the market).

As gas prices eased, America’s consumers returned to buying Dodge RAM trucks with the 6.4L HEMI V8 (which is why Chrysler is crushing it). Turns out Mary’s astonishment victory, all of Elon’s tough work, those one hundred acres Tim bought in San Jose so he can cover them and do Project Titan R&D beyond spying eyes and all of Larry’s millions of autonomous miles driven are all pointless, because we just wish to drive trucks.


It’s not about the propulsion

But, wait. Don’t despair at the prospect of more of the same. This will be the disruption you seek.

However, the coming upheaval in cars won’t be about metal, drive-trains or batteries (or even specific autonomous systems). It'll be about the experience inside.

For all but the car enthusiast, a car is not about the car. Or even about the act of driving. It's about getting somewhere in a way that does not suck. If Uber’s meteoric rise has taught us anything, it’s that if you could've someone (or something) drive you, you would.

For more than one hundred years, driving has been mostly about handling the car, some about your consolation and a tiny bit about your cabin experience.

In the following 5-10 years, as we are increasingly  —  and eventually entirely —  relieved of having to handle the car, driving will be nearly one hundred % about the cabin experience. Whether you're being moved by fossil fuels or electricity will be incidental (beyond Ben Thompson’s excellent point that electric vehicles are a playing field reset that enables the disruptors love Tesla, Google and presumably Apple).

In the cabin, beyond your seating comfort  —  which has been commoditized —  content, connection and physical and digital interfaces will create all the difference.

Sound familiar?

The car will be an accessory to the most favorite device in our lives: the phone.

When in the hands of Silicon Valley’s user experience experts, this will be so much more than large displays in the dashboard featuring the content, apps and interfaces a billion of us are already familiar with extended to the context of the car.

It'll be a re-imaging of the all interior experience in which we'll eventually consider things love windshields without wall-to-wall integrated transparent displays according to and entertainment as anachronistic as physical keyboards on our phones (don’t scoff, your windshield is smaller than a 65″ TV, 4K versions of which are already down to $1.500 today, and millimeter-thin transparent displays of that size have already been shown by LG, Panasonic and Samsung), and ponder where mixed reality glasses have been all our lives.

That —  pardon the terrible category name  —  is a bright car.

A second see at the competition

Recollect that unpleasant 2015 market share picture for electric vehicles?

Replace “electric vehicle” with “bright car” and the picture may well be very different.

I’ll admit to a lazy comparison, given the greater than 10-100x disagreement in price between cars, PCs and phones, but there is number reason that two thousand nineteen bright cars can’t be to cars as two thousand seven smartphones were to PCs: The beginning of a large share shift (although total vol will not go up as it did with smartphones and PCs) that will  —  in many segments  —  threaten incumbents.

Not wholesale displacement (e. g. Nokia, Blackberry, Motorola), but a negative impact in desirable and profitable segments similar to what happened to PCs, which are predicted to stabilize at thirty-second % lower vol than their two thousand eleven peaks. That could imply millions of vehicles less annually for incumbents.

In the context of that shift, here’s another see at the players:

GM (and other OEM incumbents): See at the interfaces interior your car. Do you like them? Turning the rearview mirror in the Bolt into a screen that shows the rear-facing camera is a kind touch, but the incumbents are bringing butter knives to an interface railgun fight in the segments of the market that'll be driven by cabin experience. Low-end, trucks and performance will be spared, but the luxury badges necessity to watch out.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: Can the incumbents rescue themselves by turning a screen over to the apps we know? I’ve used Apple CarPlay and it’s a sad-face shadow of an Apple experience. Not quite Motorola ROKR bad, but not the winning move.

Google: Responsible for 80 % of our smartphones and boss in autonomous car systems. Presumably the supplier to everyone who will not build a totally vertically integrated smart car. May win on volume, but love Android, will lose on profits. That’s a success for them here.

Tesla: The best in-cabin experience today (by a country mile). May become Google’s biggest future customer, beating all but …

Apple Car: Never obtain involved in a land war in Asia. Never tangle with a Sicilian when death is on the line. And never, ever obtain into a user experience battle with the hardware/software integration  —  not to mention velvet handcuff ecosystem —  of Apple. While they admittedly show up to be lost other large pieces of the smart car puzzle, including manufacturing, autonomous systems and retail and service, you simply cannot bet against them with three-ish years to go and Tim Cook seemingly prepared to play Santa Claus.

In the profitable segments, Apple wins. Google supplies the rest — although a few will attempt to roll their own.

Dating website to open secret island resort for married would-be cheaters

Dating website to open secret island resort for married would-be cheaters

IllicitEncounters. com is a dating website for married people, and ithas confirmed that it'll be buying an island for the explicit utilize of those having affairs.

CA Women Can Obtain Birth Control From Pharmacy Without Prescription

CA Women Can Obtain Birth Control From Pharmacy Without Prescription

A law that allows CA pharmacists to directly allow prescription contraceptives went into effect Friday. The new law gives pharmacists the authority to dispense hormonal contraceptives that women can administer themselves, including transdermal, vaginal,...

Rockets to assess GM Daryl Morey, interim coach J. B. Bickerstaff after season

Rockets to assess GM Daryl Morey, interim coach J. B. Bickerstaff after season

B. Bickerstaff below the microscope, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN that the Rockets believe every aspect of the organization -- coaching staff, front office and, of course, their roster -- should be subject to a thorough review in the wake of Houston'south...

Airmen Killed in Murder-Suicide at Lackland Air Force Base Identified

Airmen Killed in Murder-Suicide at Lackland Air Force Base Identified

S. air base in San Antonio Texas. Tech. Sgt. Steven D. Bellino, forty-one, and Lt. Col. William A. Schroeder, thirty-nine, were found deceased Friday around 8:50 a.