Well, that was a twist. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, thinks Google won’t compete with Tesla but Apple will. Why Google will be less of a competitor than Apple is a simpler, easier, and more accurate analysis than you might think.
Google tinkers with technology while Apple builds products.
Assuming that premise to be true we can expect Google to continue to do what it does best. Tinker with technology but never ship a hardware product worthy of mass adoption. Oh, and continue to collect user data and sell advertising. Google is the ultimate one-trick pony that disguises itself as a technology company.
Shhh. Wall Street doesn’t know that yet.
On the other hand, we can expect Apple to continue to do what it does best. Design, develop, and build hardware products in secret, then announce what everyone expects anyway. Oh, and it will be different than expected and the market will go wild.
Google’s done a great job at showing the potential of autonomous transport, but they’re not a car company. So they’d potentially license to other companies.
Chrysler-Fiat seems interested. Although, that company’s presence in electronics is the most anemic of all major car makers.
I wouldn’t say they’re a competitor.
Yeah. That’ll be more direct.
Musk recognizes what should be obvious to everyone on Wall Street but is not. Google tinkers with technology. Apple is serious about building and shipping products.
Because Apple actually ships products the company must remain secretive about directions, designs, product roadmaps, and everything associated with building supply chain and manufacturing. From very outward signs, everyone knows Apple is working on a car, but what we don’t know are the details.
Will Apple Car be electric? Unless the company has come up with a way to drive an automobile or power an electric motor with light from street lamps and the moon, probably.
Will Apple Car be fully or semi-autonomous? In other words, will it drive itself? Yes. And no. Already you can summon a Tesla from the garage, and a number of cars are somewhat semi-autonomous in that they can park themselves (I’ve only seen parallel parking, not diagonal parking) properly with little driver intervention.
Remember, Apple is a hardware company. That’s the bread and butter. That’s where the profits are. But Apple differentiates products by integrating their own software– OS X, iOS, watchOS, tvOS et al. That means we can expect Apple to Think Different™ with an unexpected approach to Car; perhaps hardware, but certainly software.
Regarding semi-autonomous electronic vehicles what can we expect from Google?
Google will do what it always does. Tinker. The company may be forced into a partnership with a weaker car maker, but Google just doesn’t have the resources to do what Elon Musk did with Tesla.
Apple builds and ships. Google tinkers, publishes press releases and promotional videos, collects personal data, and sells advertising.