Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is a marvelous experience. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook said so this week. There’s no need to take my word for it. The chief executive added his voice to the chorus of EV excitement seen over the last few days. This week had no shortage of activity surging through the electric car scene. Focus landed particularly on the rise of autonomous driving projects. Tesla’s reputation in the industry was bolstered yet again while the Elon Musk auto business gears up for its next big electric car. However, how long can the Tesla brand remain synonymous with “great electric cars”?
If dominance in the electric car market comes down to price, then Tesla Inc is no match for this Chinese company. CHJ Automotive plans to dive deep into the affordable car market, much further than GM or Tesla’s $35,000 Model 3. The start-up wants to roll out a compact vehicle sometime in 2018. It will be 2.5 meters in length and 1 meter wide. Better yet, the incoming CHJ Automotive vehicle will only sell for around $7,800. This was confirmed the Kevin Shen, the Chinese corporation’s CEO.
The “ultra-compact” vehicle will be powered by two batteries. Both batteries will be replaceable, which means it won’t need to be docked for too long at charging stations either. Interestingly enough, the software run on the CHJ Automotive car will be Google’s Android Auto.
Google’s name grows closely associated with self-driving cars, too. The prospect of building the auto industry’s future motivates the best tech companies out there. Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc, sent is Waymo business to partner Lyft and Fiat Chrysler. The venture will help all three companies expand their vehicle automation expertise in order to get innovative products and services out onto the market.
Apple and Google’s parent want car market fame, too.
Tim Cook admitted that Apple Inc is also working on self-driving car projects. This has long been apparent, though it was not until recently that the tech firm confirmed its intentions. In an interview with Bloomberg, the CEO confessed that Apple is getting ready to enter the electric and autonomous car market. The focus is on “autonomous systems” right now, he reported. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”
The automation and electrification of transport continues to grow in popularity. Most major tech corporations and automakers pour resources into making a name for themselves in both these emerging markets. They have good reasons for this too, profitable reasons. A study endorsed by Intel Corporation calls this market the “Passenger Economy”. It will rake in several trillions per year in decades to come.
Google and Apple are playing on the same field for now and won’t pose much of a direct threat to Tesla in the near to mid-term. Apple was initially set on building its own Apple Car, cook admitted. Yet sometime into the project the firm diverted its prospects a bit. Now the makers of the iPhone seek to be the best producers of the software and technology needed in the electric cars market. The same goes for BlackBerry, Intel, Qualcomm, NVidia, and a host of other tech giants. Even auto industry legends like BMW and General Motors have work spaces set up in Silicon Valley. These offices seek to recruit promising autonomous vehicle start-ups.
Is Tesla also ready thethePassenger Passenger Economy?
Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies like them are securing more appeal worldwide. The widespread adoption of these services points at an incoming generational shift in how people and businesses view transportation. It is also ironic that many carmakers have resorted to offering competitive car-sharing services to boost utilization rates. Intel’s commissioned research claims that urbanization, costs and time efficiency will push people and corporations towards the conveniences offered by the Passenger Economy.
Tesla staying at the fore of autonomous driving
Tesla Inc is best recognized for making headway in the realm of electric and autonomous vehicles, as well. Not only has the company secured effective and widespread infrastructure to support long-distance travel, it breaks new ground in autonomous driving innovations time and time again. Tesla made news of its latest autopilot update this week. The luxury car maker’s Enhanced Autopilot software went out this weekend. There is no need to take your Tesla in for servicing, though. The company will deliver the upgrade to drivers via an over-the-air service.
Drivers are offered a host of new safety and detection features with the upgrade. These include Auto Lane Change, Parallel and Perpendicular Autopark, Summon Autosteer and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. Features like Forward and Side Collision Warning, “and more advanced safety features” also come standard with the upgrade