Reading the Washington Post article, ‘The Next Big Battle Between Google an Apple is for the Soul of Your Car’ by Christopher Mims (http://bitly.ws/v4ea), set me wondering why Automotive OEMs would choose a car OS from Apple or Google over developing their own? Sure, it’s easier to choose Apple or Google, but what are the possible consequences to the OEMS?
My top five reasons for OEMs developing their own car OS are:
- As software is an increasingly important player in delivering the car driver and passenger experiences, it’s critical that the OEMs can differentiate through designing and developing these experiences. After all they know their customers better than anyone else.
- If you’re Ford, Toyota, Mercedes Benz or VW, you want your vehicles to be known by your brand, so customers align with you and not Apple or Google cars
- What if the third-party 3 years down the road finds the Metaverse more interesting than the car space and slows its pace of in-car development?
- Apple, Google, and even Amazon, will be future competitors thanks to their investments in ride-sharing companies. Is choosing a car OS developed by a competitor a wise decision?
- For the future it’s critical that OEMs keep control of in-car data – something that’s only going to get harder if you choose a car OS from a third-party who’s very foundation is based upon deriving revenues from consumer data.
Now, given that I work at ACCESS, a supplier of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, it’s clearly not in my best interests that OEMs choose a car OS that includes entertainment services. However, I would add that for years the automotive industry has built cars through utilising a network of interconnected suppliers that all have the best interests of the OEM and the car industry in general at heart. Companies like ACCESS, Harman, Bosch, Visteon, Tata, Denso and an ecosystem of many more all benefit when the OEMs succeed, driving further development and innovation. My concern for the OEMs is that, if they sign Faustian car OS pacts with incredibly powerful companies whose aims are not aligned with their own, then the future automotive cockpit experience may well be a restrictive and frustrating one for car owners, with little differentiation between OEMs!