As a lover of tech from back in Palm Pilot days, like you, new tech excites. The endless possibilities, research and development these companies are doing to make our lives better, safer and convenient is surely welcomed. But, is there a line of demarcation, not to be crossed? Cars…Let’s take a moment to reflect, with a bit of humor tossed in.
Since the 1908 Model T became available to many, cars have evolved greatly. They’re sporty, luxurious and down right a necessity. The 1900s also saw technology begin to be a serious player in the auto world. Global Positioning System (GPS) and Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) are a couple of those early innovations. We know what GPS has done for travel in vehicles and EFI overtook carburetors using fuel to power the engine by pumping it forcibly by using high pressure through a small nozzle or valve. One issue EFI resolved, no more flooding, sweet.
There’s plenty of other important tech intro’d to the automobile like hybrid, all wheel drive, airbags and computers built in to aid diagnostics etch. However, that tech is not the focus of this article. Let’s fast forward to the self-driving car from Google and the new race among other tech giants to follow suit. Now, I fully understand that such research at times extends to other areas often improving existing or in development of new. That said, just where is this heading? What’s the end state?
When Google went public with their self-driving car, I thought OK, cool. The many possibilities pulsed throughout the brain, impressed early, but as time passed, much caution reared. So, why the feeling of caution? Well, its mostly related to the players jumping in the race, Apple today, which will no doubt will be followed by Microsoft and, you know, Samsung will not sit idle and be left behind. The future will look like this, Google Car, Apple or iCar, Surface Car and wait for it, Tizen Car.
This is certainly not a call to halt progress, keep moving forward. I’m just wondering, are these the right companies making this a reality. The “Mobile” World Conferences (MWC) of tomorrow would certainly take on a whole new meaning, wouldn’t they. Would we see dealerships or rather the automakers become similar to cell carriers. Can you imagine being frustrated because Ford is months late providing Android update Skittles to your car. I know, crazy exaggeration, but, aren’t you just a bit concerned for the tomorrow direction of the automobile.
Google; OK, to a point you’ve proven the ability to extend beyond and bring awesome outside the box tech to many. Apple; outside the mobile tech, have they shown the ability to within, create such. For how many years have we both heard and have been waiting for an Apple TV? Microsoft; I guess the positive would be that by the time they got into the race, they’d have a universal OS to power all vehicles, just don’t mess with the start button. Samsung; In the end, they’ll probably be most successful, as they’ll take the best from all reign supreme, so long as they don’t use plastics.
Every now and then, it’s good to sit back and put thoughts and eyes onto what’s happening around us. Based on the front seats view we’ve had of the ups and downs, failures and successes of past tech should be enough to warrant cause of tech in tomorrow’s cars.