Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Who Will Make the iCar?

Today, all the media seems to focused on Silicon Valley and advances in moble technology but it’s the greening of the auto industry that may be more exciting.  Furthermore, they represent the early days of a revolution in how we view cars and the energy it takes to power them.

I consider the Priuses, Volts, and Leafs just the early stages of this new auto revolution we are witnessing.  Cars before the hybrids were like regular cell phones.  Single purpose.

Hybrids came along.  The mobile parallel would be like the old 3COM’s personal digital assistant, the Palm Pilot.  You can do a bit more.

As we go down this road, it’s tempting to call the Telsa all-electric cars the iPhone of the auto industry but I don’t think we’re there yet.  Maybe the Telsas are more like Blackberries.  Because the Telsa cars are expensive, only a few can afford them.  Just like the early days when Blackberries existed mostly in the corporate world.

The true “iPhone” vehicle, iCar is still sitting in someone’s lab or possible garage waiting to roar onto the road.  And who will make this “iPhone” car?

For the record, I doubt it’ll be Apple in case you’re wondering.  I don’t think it will involve any of the tech giants except for perhaps Google.  The auto industry is a vastly different market after all.  I do believe that this iCar will encompass all the characteristics that has made consumer products so desired.

Sleek design, revolutionize the one or two things that makes a car a car and how we operate it, and provides features that we did not previously know we wanted.  It would revolutionize personal transportation not seen since the saddled horse.

Maybe we’ll have to look to George Jetson for inspiration in this area. Oh wait, doesn’t Google already have a self-driving car?  Or does Apple have what it takes to disrupt another market?  Also magine Google Now- or Siri-controlled vehicle that can plot out an efficient course for you based on your workday and dinner plans?

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