News about car companies not named Tesla

Like we currently have lots of software options for phones? IIRC in the US 99% of everyone has either Apple iOS or Android. Lots of apps, but just two OS options, basically.

Mike

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The OS is what will differentiate the car companies. This is why I think the OEMs are in trouble if they can’t produce good software.

Within the OS, the apps are what will provide a large and growing range of consumer options that the consumer can modify throughout the lifetime of the car.

The consumer doesn’t really care if there is one or a thousand Operating systems. What matters is how much functionality can be added within an operating system.

Sure they do

  1. Just ask a few people to switch from Apple to Android or vice-versa
  2. It matters because apps have to be written for a given OS, whether on a PC, phone or in a car. If you have the wrong OS you might not be able to get the apps you want because too few customers for that app developer to support you.

Mike

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I am very confused about this constant talk of ‘options’. Can you be more specific on what you are talking about as to ‘options’? I want a gas pedal, a brake, a steering wheel, maybe some mirrors, an odometer, and a blinker light! Headlights would be a nice option! My first car had no gas gauge so I’m good.

JimA

Last December, GM announced they are phasing Apple and Android support out of their cars. GM claims “for safety”, complaining that using the systems is too distracting for drivers. I suspect it may be more a matter of GM paying licensing fees for incorporating Apple and Android support in their cars, and they would rather add that money to profit. Some other automakers have floated the idea of making Apple and Android support a “subscription service” so you have to pay for the life of the car to use it.

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After they spend a billion dollars with little to show for it, they will reverse that decision. Alternatively, the leadership in that division will change before that and they will reverse the decision and save most of that billion dollars.

Sounds like some BS to me. From the article:

To that end, GM’s “Ultifi” infotainment software features a suite of fully integrated Google apps like Maps and the Google Assistant, plus popular apps like Spotify and Audible

So they have all the same apps that distract drivers, but the apps aren’t on your phone. They are on GM’s device, so GM gets to harvest the data.

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The definition of most US corporate management “ability”…

There are already multiple OS for cars out there. GM has one. Ford has another. Stellantis has a third. Hyundai and Kia share yet another. Volkswagen has a different one, which is also uses for other badges under the VW umbrella: Audi, and with Ford in Europe.
And obviously, there’s Tesla. (There may be more, I just haven’t read about them.)

The idea that these are going to shrink down to one or two is folly, with a caveat or maybe a couple. Most of these OS’s are based on Linux or Android or Windows, so there is already some interoperability, and it would probably be trivial for a manufacturer to switch, should they for one odd reason need to. But more important, the idea that the mother OS will shrink down to just a couple choices follows the model of the phone (or computer), but that’s probably wrong.

The phone and computer are tasked with doing many things: spreadsheet, games, word processing, flashlight, shopping, social, and so on. It was (near) impossible for Microsoft to launch a phone because phones need apps and apps run on the OS, and app developers didn’t need another OS and didn’t want to write for yet another one with no payoff.

But it seems unlikely that cars are going to need a wide variety of apps - those already exist on the phone (iPad, etc.) It seems crazy to think that we’re going to be doing word processing on the dashboard, or shopping at Amazon, or reading Reddit, or posting on Facebook - given that we already have all that functionality in our hand, which is vastly easier to deal with than “on the car.”

Yes, there surely will be some apps; there already are: GPS, notably. And someday, self-driving. Music & video - already got ‘em, and so hopping them to a larger screen via AirPlay or Android Auto is easy.

(Woe be unto the CEO who thinks they can force users to give that up so they can load on extra subscription fees or data vacuuming - just one of the reasons my opinion of Mary Barra has plummeted.)

Anyway, cars sill be differentiated by software, but not that much, “self driving” excepted, which would be huge. The rest of it: windshield wiper control and cabin comfort and twinkly lights on the dash will be a who cares, except for the styling points they may engender.

Yeah, because there’s such variety today, and only a handful of badges. Sure.

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Keep in mind that I am talking about a future in which autonomous driving has happened and cars will have an enormous amount of computer power. Currently, subscription options mostly center around different levels of connectivity and infotainment. Tesla’s subscription connectivity package also includes its Sentry security program where the cameras remain active when parked. When alerted, the driver can see what is happening, talk to whoever is there, and sound the alarm if necessary. There are lots of rumors that Tesla will establish a robotaxi service. Wouldn’t be surprising if Tesla allows private cars to join the fleet for a subscription fee or percentage of the earnings.

I can imagine a lot of other possibilities but it is all speculation. Ultimately the market will decide what features can be sold by subscription. I don’t mean to be vague but the tech is moving so quickly that it is difficult to come up with specifics. This article provides some insight into how the car concept is changing and one can imagine consumers having the option to add on a Party Mode, Sleep Mode, or even a reduce car sickness mode all for a low subscription fee. https://www.motortrend.com/news/future-car-interior-autonomy-technology/

They are all still years behind Tesla. Tesla’s superior software is a big reason why people who own a Tesla will far more often than not buy another Tesla. Industry leading brand retention because the Tesla software experience with stuff like OTA is way better than the competition.

image

The CEO is a dingbat to think that way. Pay her more. The BoD needs to know.

I would caution that such a poll, while interesting, is probably not as meaningful as it looks (although I am not saying there is no validity to it.) That’s because until the past year there has been no meaningful competition in the EV space, and EV users - and especially early adopters - are quite taken with the technology and much more loyal to the EV platform than to switching back to a gas car.

So a Lexus or Toyota owner has 30 other brands from which to choose, while an EV owner, until very recently, had one.

Expect the Tesla numbers on this poll to fragment over time as there are more options in the EV world. I consider this more a poll of “satisfaction of EV owners” than of “Tesla owners”, although there is surely a decent amount of overlap.

Not sure why you think Tesla owners wouldn’t consider going back to ICEs or hybrids if they had a dissatisfying experience with their Tesla.

Seems to me that Tesla is competing with the same group as Lexus and Toyota.

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