Neil Cybart, writing for Above Avalon:
We are quickly approaching a pivotal moment in Apple’s history as technology and mobile are on a collision course with the automobile. While most would conclude Elon Musk’s Tesla and a few of the strongest automakers are the leading contenders of this new automobile era, Apple and Uber are the two companies best positioned to rule the new era of the automobile.
This is a long read, but fascinating all the way through. At the heart of this discussion is the question of what drives (excuse the pun) today’s (and tomorrow’s) automobile purchase.
On one hand, people want simple utility, a safe way to get from point A to point B. Uber delivers this at a reasonable cost. If you live in an urban or suburban area, this model works well. Though some people care about arriving in style, most people just need a ride and are OK getting there in a compact car, as opposed to a black SUV. This utilitarian outlook is especially strong in harder economic times, when tighter pursestrings push luxury further into the background.
On the other hand, there’s the quest for personalization:
Having a car be able to adapt to whoever is sitting in it, which makes more sense in a world where car ownership is on the decline, will be one of the most revolutionary developments the automobile has ever experienced. We are used to a certain level of customization in automobiles such as different seat positions, but personalization will add much more in the way of software to customization to produce an entirely new experience. A family with four kids and luggage has different needs than a commuter headed to work. Having a car that can adapt to both of these users in terms of seating, amenities, and not to mention technological needs and luxuries will be much more important than having a car that has fast acceleration or longer driving range.
And few companies can deliver as elegant and personalized an experience as can Apple.
There’s lots more to the article (notes on history, self-driving cars, Tesla, CarPlay). A terrific read.