Detroit and Silicon Valley aren’t just 2,000 miles apart – they’re on different planets, culturally speaking.
One is the home of America’s automotive industry, a heavily regulated, ultra-conservative sector focusing on high-volume, low-margin sales. The other houses companies that deal in high-margin information and digital services, acting first and begging forgiveness later. They are also in competition to own what some are calling the next personal computing platform: the car.
The recent focus is less the embedded systems that run vehicles – Linux won that battle – and more the data connections to deliver so-called “infotainment” to those inside and beam diagnostic data back to the manufacturer. Gartner reckons on a five-fold increase in such units globally by 2020 to 61 million.
With those units come opportunities. Now, the sale isn’t just about the car; it’s about the subscription revenue.