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Does Tesla want to develop a connected-car platform to challenge Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto?
It's an increasingly relevant question now that the automaker has hired Chris Lattner, a veteran Apple executive best known for creating the Swift programming language beloved by iOS app developers, to be VP of Autopilot Software.
By bringing on Lattner, who's something of a rock star among software developers, Tesla could be signaling that the Autopilot technology package will expand from its current focus on autonomous driving into a full-fledged mobile platform with greater connectivity and an improved user interface. Since it would be exclusively available on Tesla vehicles, it could expand their appeal if it provides unique, can't-miss features.
If Tesla is indeed pursuing such a strategy, it may come to resemble Apple, Lattner's former employer. Bringing in top-end talent, controlling both the design and manufacture of its products, and making its brand the exclusive means of experiencing those products are all moves straight out of Apple's playbook.
Here are some other major developments this could presage:
- Adding Lattner to the Tesla team could jump-start Tesla’s Autopilot team. Lattner is a well-known and highly respected figure in the software-development community. His appointment could help attract much-needed coding talent to the company just when that firepower is needed most. CEO Elon Musk has stated that the company is looking to accelerate its autonomous development, conducting a coast-to-coast self-driving test in the US before the end of 2017. Lattner’s presence at Tesla could catalyze this development and help realize Tesla’s autonomous ambitions in the near term.
- Tesla might try to develop a framework for intelligent routing for autonomous vehicles. As Tesla looks to deploy fully self-driving vehicles, one critical factor will be improved routing. An autonomous car requires highly detailed maps, including key information such as road width, speed limits, and entrance and exits points, among many others. Critically, if an autonomous car is to drive a passenger from point A to point B, the car’s software needs to know where at point B it’s supposed to stop. A user wouldn’t want to ride in an autonomous car that drops them off on the wrong side of the street or the wrong corner, for instance. Lattner and his team may be tasked with building up a framework for Tesla to tap into open sources of this mapping data while also creating open protocols through which users and businesses could contribute to it. Better maps and intelligent routing could give Tesla a key leg up in the race toward fully autonomy.
Over the past year, there has been a significant uptick in the number of connected cars on the road. And as internet integration becomes more commonplace, the automobile as we know it will transform.
Over the next five to 10 years, this internet integration is expected to change the car ownership model, create a new platform for consumers to access content, lead to fully autonomous vehicles, and revolutionize the auto industry.
The market position of the car today is similar to where the smartphone was in 2010 — it's just taken off and is ready to explode.
BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on the transformation of the automobile that examines the transformation of the automobile. It also analyzes all areas of the changing automotive market, including the market size for connected cars, automakers benefits and connection strategies, market leaders, consumer demand, and more.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- Over 380 million connected cars will be on the road by 2021. The market has seen a significant increase in automakers plans to connect the majority of the vehicles they sell and as a result, we've increased our 2015 forecast.
- Automakers are connecting the vehicles they sell because the connection offers clear business opportunities.
- Consumers are adopting the connected car faster than expected. We identify the 3 factors that causing the increase in demand.
- Tech companies will play a major role in the future of the automotive market. The big question is whether tech companies will eventually manufacture cars?
- Fully autonomous cars are only a few years away. Technological, regulatory, and consumer adoption hurdles still remain, but there have been many strides towards a car that can drive itself from point A to point B with little to no human interaction.
In full, the report:
- Forecasts connected car shipments
- Identifies automakers strategy for connection
- Analyzes consumer interest in the connected car
- Examines Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Discusses the potential changing car ownership model
- Describes the evolution of the self-driving car
- Identifies top connected car and fully autonomous car barriers
To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:
- Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
- Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT
The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of connected cars.
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