Posts Tagged ‘google’

Privacy and data protection as a competitive advantage?

Porsche’s 911 sport cars are incredible driving machines. And the automaker’s upcoming 2017 model is no exception. High-end sports car like this one usually not only offer great driving performance, but also spoil its owners with latest connectivity and entertainment technology.
Interestingly, according to a Motor Trend Article, Porsche decided to not integrate Google’s Android Auto into its latest car, and only offers Apple’s Car Play in their head unit instead. There is not really a technological reason behind this decision, but Porsche decided based on privacy and data protection concerns.

 

As part of the agreement an automaker would have to enter with Google, Porsche said certain pieces of data must be collected and transmitted back to Mountain View, California. Stuff like vehicle speed, throttle position, coolant and oil temp, engine revs—basically Google wants a complete OBD2 dump whenever someone activates Android Auto. Not kosher, says Porsche.
13 Cool Facts About the 2017 Porsche 911

 

Although Google disputes this statement, it did not provide a full list of collected data to further clarify the situation. It might be that Porsche made its decision to a time “when Google initially approached automakers concerning Android Auto, it requested a deeper data set than what is currently required”.

Nonetheless, Apple might be on the right track here in regards to privacy and data protection. Ultimately, Apple earns the majority of its revenues and profits with products and not with your data, providing a fundamental difference to the Google strategy.

 

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.
Tim Cook – CEO Apple

 

Apple Car Play

Apple Car Play – theverge.com/2015/9/4/9258013/apple-car-play-review

 

Different approaches towards the (fully) automated car

Google Chauffeur patent - source: Reilly Brennan https://twitter.com/reillybrennan/status/643846750718033920

Google Chauffeur patent – source: Reilly Brennan https://twitter.com/reillybrennan/status/643846750718033920

The race towards the fully automated car has only just begun. Car makers and their new potential competitors from the Tech industry have different views on the best approach for a driverless future.

While car OEMs like BMW or Daimler (and even newcomers like Tesla) are adding more and more driver assistance features such as lane-departure warning, brake assist, traffic jam assist, or parking pilot, in order to increase automation step by step over the next years, Tech industry companies like Google think of “leap-frogging” to as much automation as possible.

There are good reasons for both approaches. The classic step-by-step approach is very much in line with technology development and refinement, and with the slow moving other stakeholders such as governments and insurances. Ultimately a fully autonomous car would challenge the existing regulations and insurance schemes intensively, bringing up many unsolved issues of liability. What happens, for example, if a malfunctioning autonomous car hits a pedestrian? Driver or car maker liability?

The fully autonomous car, though, has the potential to be much safer than a car steered by a human, so naturally there is some incentive to go to as many automated functions as fast as possible. Especially as there are some indications that drivers in a only partly-automated car might be too slow to take over control in a situation that the partial automation cannot handle. As Chris Urmson, Head of Google’s Self Driving Car program, said in a recent article: “The better the technology gets, the less reliable the driver is going to get.”

 

Depending on the level of automation and intensity of alert, some drivers took an average of 17 seconds to respond to a takeover request and regain control of the vehicle, in a study just released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and supported by Google and several leading automakers and suppliers. In that time, a car traveling at 60 miles per hour would travel more than a quarter of a mile.
Automakers, Google take different roads to automated cars

 

The Tech Industry’s Interest in Cars is increasing

Google Self Driving Car - google.com

Google Self Driving Car – google.com

 

Tech Industry players, such as Apple, Google, Samsung, Baidu, or Alibaba, are increasingly looking for potential future growth opportunities in the automotive industry. The activities are manifold, ranging from providing data services to even building a (self-driving) car.

 

Increase in patents from tech companies in automotive area - forbes.com

Increase in patents from tech companies in automotive area – forbes.com

Forbes magazine had a close look on the innovation / patent side of this development. Interestingly, if looking at the number of new patents in the automotive area that are filed by tech companies, we can observe two things. Firstly, the number of new patents did not really take off until 2013. Secondly, the overall number is still low compared to the thousands of patents from car manufacturers and suppliers which are filed every year. The increase in patents since 2013 shows quite well the increasing interest in the automotive market, though.

The biggest contributors to the increasing number of patents were Samsung and Google, followed by Microsoft and Apple.

 

But in terms of who has the biggest war chest in patents so far, Samsung far exceeds all its competitors. For automobile-related patents filed in the past 10 years, Samsung leads with 510, Google GOOGL -1.70% with 308,Microsoft MSFT -0.98% with 222, and finally Apple AAPL -0.47% with 83, according to patent numbers pulled by SmartUp Legal.
Samsung Amasses Largest Patent War Chest Among Tech Giants For Cars Of The Future – forbes.com

 

Samsung obviously contributes with a lot of patents from its batteries division, however we can see as well patents for HMI components such as a transparent Head-Up-Display, which would make Samsung compete with Tier-1 suppliers such as Continental. On Google’s and Apple’s side Forbes notes down the main interest in digital data processing and navigation, as well as autonomous driving (Google) and User Interface / Interaction (Apple).

 

 

G is for Google, A is for Alphabet

Google has announced major restructuring of their company structure. The new holding company Alphabet will be the parent company to the different Google businesses, including Google itself. Larry Page will run Alphabet as CEO, with his partner Sergey Brin as President. They will have a “strong CEO who runs each business” under Alphabet, most notably Sundar Pichai as CEO of the Google business.

 

Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. This newer Google is a bit slimmed down, with the companies that are pretty far afield of our main Internet products contained in Alphabet instead. What do we mean by far afield? Good examples are our health efforts: Life Sciences (that works on the glucose-sensing contact lens), and Calico (focused on longevity). Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related. Alphabet is about businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence.
Official Google Blog: G is for Google

 

From startup to fully corporate mode with individual business units under an umbrella holding, Google has come a long way. They will have the common funding and resource allocation, combined with a greater independence of unrelated businesses for more flexibility. It will be interesting to see what will be added to the Alphabet umbrella in the future.

Inside the failure of Google+

Mashable reports on the current state of Google’s Facebook “Killer” Google+. Four years after the launch in June 2011 it is unclear what the future will bring for Google’s Social Network. The situation makes it obvious that without key differentiation it is pretty tough to establish a new product – even for giants like Google.

 

“When it launched we were like, ‘This looks just like Facebook. What was the big deal? It’s just a social network,'” a former Google employee not on the team recalls thinking after seeing the product for the first time. Says another Google exec who did work on the team: “All this fanfare and then we developed something that in the end was quite ordinary.”
Inside the sad, expensive failure of Google+

 

With Bradley Horowitz as its new executive manager, the service will now very likely to see further changes.  In a blog post – suitably titled ‘Everything in its right place‘ Horowitz indicates that not everything will be at its place for long. Google+ profile will not be needed anymore to access Google services, and core elements of Google+ seem to get carved out into own applications.
Horowitz’ title as “VP of Streams, Photos, and Sharing” seem to indicate already that we might see very distinct individual products instead of an overall Google+ service.

 

At the same time, we’ll also move some features that aren’t essential to an interest-based social experience out of Google+. For example, many elements of Google+ Photos have been moved into the new Google Photos app, and we’re well underway putting location sharing into Hangouts and other apps, where it really belongs. We think changes like these will lead to a more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+.
Everything in its right place

 

The Future of Driving is Non-Driving

Autonomous driving is a hot topic and will re-define our Automotive industry. The industry projections in regards to numbers are still early, though.

 

The Boston Consulting Group estimates driverless cars could make up 10% of global vehicle sales by 2035, worth about 12 million cars per year, while the market for driver-assistance systems could be $42 billion by 2025.
Get Your Portfolio Ready For The Future Of Nondriving – Forbes.com

 

And of course we shouldn’t forget the massive effect more autonomous driving could have on accident rates and the subsequent economic impact.

 

While these remain, a more compelling factor is driving innovation. Road accidents are the eighth leading cause of death globally, with 95% of road accidents caused by human error. Xavier Mosquet, who leads BCG’s Global Automotive Practice, puts the total cost to society of road incidents in the U.S. at $948 billion per year, or 6% of GDP. That includes the direct cost of damage to vehicles and acute health treatment as well as the lingering cost of disabilities. Environmentalists are excited about the impact driverless taxis could have on air quality and congestion in cities.
Get Your Portfolio Ready For The Future Of Nondriving – Forbes.com

 

In addition we are looking at potential new entrants of tech companies into the automotive space. It is not just about the market for components. Companies like Apple or Google might eventually try to build their own car, if they can find an profitable angle to that industry.

 

The market is gigantic: According to Morgan Stanley, annual new-vehicle sales total $1.6 trillion, versus $400 billion for smartphones and $266 billion for PCs.
Get Your Portfolio Ready For The Future Of Nondriving – Forbes.com

 

Everything combined we might look at the most fundamental shift in the Automotive industry ever. New technologies, skill sets, and an open mind for innovation will be necessary and crucial.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Market Value to grow over 38 bn US$ by 2020

ITS Overview. Source: www.etsi.org

ITS Overview. Source: www.etsi.org

 

Growing number of vehicles and increasing population has led to the need for effective traffic management. An Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) integrates the transportation network with ICT (Information and Communications Technology) to improve performance, enable multimodal transport and help alleviate road accidents and optimize fuel consumption.

(…)

The global intelligent transportation systems market was estimated to be valued at USD 14.59 billion in 2012 which is expected to reach USD 38.68 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 13.0% from 2014 to 2020.

Grandview Research

 

The car – and other modes of transport – are just at the beginning of their digitalisation. It is not just about to make transport safer and more efficient, but the prospects of having a bright future in selling software, hardware, and services, which attract the various companies into the market. Classic automotive players such as OEMs and suppliers will have to face serious competition from the non-automotive tech companies such as Apple, Google, Alibaba, Huawei, etc. in the future.