Car Honking: The Alarm Clock of Days Past?
Vivek Wadhwa of the Huffington Post wrote:
“Just as the horseless carriage threw horses off the roads, these [self-driving] cars will displace us humans. Because they won't crash into each other as we humans do, they won't need the bumper bars or steel cages, so they will be more comfortable and lighter. Most will be electric. We also won't have to worry about parking spots, because they will be able to drop us where we want to go to and pick us up when we are ready. We won't even need to own our own cars, because transportation will be available on demand through our smartphones.”
Currently, Internet giants Amazon and Google along with automobile competitors Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW are in the self-driving car industry. Google has never been a traditional Internet competitor – it has its hands in industries from venture capitalism to medicine. It’s no wonder that this Internet giant has taken an interest in self-driving cars. But how trustworthy are these self-driving cars anyway? Will people actually buy them and trust them to carry them around the roads? This is the dream but can it become reality?
Amazon, Google, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW are all known for being Forward-Thinking and Top Performing. These are front-runner brands in the automobile industry and beyond. But being ahead of the category doesn’t necessarily translate into greater sales. Especially with a self-driving car – are they even trustworthy? Can I really close my eyes while my car drives me to my destination?
Internet competitors Amazon and Google outperform the automobile competitors on being Reliable and Trustworthy. However these scores are based on the brands’ performance as Internet competitors – Google for returning reliable search results and Amazon for its trustworthy delivery services. Can these two competitors really enter the automobile industry and steal a substantial portion of the market share away from traditional competitors? This all depends on how Amazon and Google market their self-driving cars – they need to give potential customers all the information and statistics they need to feel comfortable taking their hands off the wheel. Time will tell.
As for the traditional automobile competitors, BMW scores the highest on Reliable and Trustworthy – suggesting that it will be the top competitor to watch out for.
With all these companies releasing self-driving cars, it appears the automobile industry is sectioning off in a new way. Previously the industry was divided by luxury, sports, and value/convenience cars. These days with almost all non-luxury competitors releasing more expensive models, the industry is now divided by those companies releasing self-driving cars and those who are not. Porsche is one such company that will not be entering the rat race. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said, “One wants to drive a Porsche by oneself.” So it seems that the question for all future car-purchasers will be…
Do I enjoy the driving experience and thus want a manually-driven car?
Or do I just want to get from point A to B safely?