Driverless cars will become like your iPhone: Carmakers – CNBC

Posted: Monday, January 25, 2016

The driverless car will become like your mobile phone: Something that you’ll much rather own than hire, leading carmakers told CNBC as they face the threat that ride-sharing apps such as Uber could disrupt the autonomous car space.

Last year, Uber, the world’s most valuable start-up, announced it was developing autonomous vehicles. If you could order a self-driving taxi at the tap of a button, why would car ownership be necessary?

But two major auto giants aren’t worried and said that while Uber will enjoy great success, the connected car will become a consumer device that people will want to own.

“If you think that you have a car only for mere cold transportation, then you can take bus, you can take a taxi, and Uber is going to develop the taxi system…then yes, right, you don’t need to buy a car,” Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of Renault-Nissan, said during a CNBC technology event at Davos last week.

“But people use a car for many other things and with the connectivity coming, the car is going to become a kind of working space, it’s going to become a living space. Because if in the car you can connect, interface, video conference… it becomes your own space, you’re going to have your own photos, your own email, your own music, your own calls, your own everything, it becomes like your iPhone, you want something belonging to you.”

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