Alright, let’s start with a recap of the current playing field and the characters that occupy this space:
Proving that Detroit still has steam left in the system even after the mild failures of Volt and others. The Chevy Cruz comes equipped with various advanced driver assist features that we expect to see grow in the coming years. GM’s place in the self-driving car market will likely fit in a lower end category while the luxury brands battle out the spot for the top.
In the announcement of the Model 3 in March, Elon Musk states his 200-mile range electric car will have a price range of under $30,000 after tax incentives. Musk also confirmed the Model 3 will come equipped with the necessary hardware to support self-driving or autonomous features. Some speculate this may put Tesla ahead of the competition. Although you can’t expect to ride in one of these bad-boys until the official release later this year, you can pre-order your very own for a small $1,000 deposit. So far nearly 400,000 have been reserved making it the most successful launch in Tesla history.
Although they have driven the most autonomous miles, it’s unclear what their plan is. Unlike the others, Google isn’t admitting to producing cars in the future. In fact, they’re not admitting to a whole lot of anything.
While they appear to be missing out on many of the small battles won by Tesla and others, Apple is set to win on all design and user experience fronts. The in-dash experience is something many companies are talking about, but Apple has been dreaming theirs up for years. Sadly we shouldn’t expect to see much in the public domain for another 4 to 5 years.
Perhaps the leader in commercial uses for autonomous driving, Volvo recently took part in a cross-country trucking competition. They successfully “platooned” three trucks that traveled together alerting one another of changing road conditions. This could be the future of trucking, removing the restrictions and errors that come with human drivers.
Other luxury brands like Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW seem to be launching more driver assist features in today’s models. For example, the latest Jag XF-S includes traffic sign recognition, parking-spot assist, or queue assist that helps you move in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
If your car drives itself to work, what do you do with all that extra time? In-dash experience, connected cars, and mobile workstations are poised to reach new heights as we’re able to free our hands and focus our attention elsewhere during our commutes. With this we expect to see in-dash ads, integration with beacon technology and other geofencing technologies. Maybe we could partner up and be the first to explore some of these new frontiers in mobile advertising.