We, here at BMWBLOG, as well as every other motoring publication, talk constantly about competition between different automakers. Whether that be BMW and Cadillac or Mercedes or Audi, there is always competition between companies. At the moment, Caddy and BMW seems to be the hot one, with Cadillac calling out BMW specifically as its target with each new model. However, could all of these car companies be overlooking different competition from Silicon Valley?
Known for pretty much every technology start-up in the past few decades, Silicon Valley houses every techno-giant in America. It’s the home of two of the biggest corporations in the world, Google and Apple. While companies like Google and Apple have never been into making cars, instead they focused on small-scale items like mobile phones, they seem to be getting into automaking now. And that could be a big problem for existing automakers.
Whether you like it or not, the automotive landscape is changing dramatically and the need for increased connectivity, electric cars and autonomous cars is growing at an incredible rate. With watches that can control cars, smartphone apps that can find your car no matter where it is and even car infotainment systems being integrated with Apple’s CarPlay, it only makes sense for these tech giants to get into the business of making cars.
Cars are the last real mechanical device we depend on. The typewriter was replaced by the computer, the telephone by the mobile phone and eventually the automobile as we know it will be replaced too. The automobile will always exist, but it’s just another technology that will change and be updated to these modern times.
It’s already happening. Google has been working on autonomous cars for years now, Tesla is working on it, Uber is as well, and apparently Apple is too. Even Samsung, who actually has a past of making cars with a partnership with Renault, has more automotive patents than any other tech company, though most of them are for battery technology, as Samsung supplies the batteries for many electric cars. Autonomous, electric and connected cars are the way of the future whether we like it or not.
While making a car was never a feasible option for tech companies before, it seems as though now is the perfect time. And the companies that have the means to do so are striking while the iron is hot. So despite the rivalries between different automotive giants, I think they should be keeping their eyes on Silicon Valley more.