Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) are revolutionizing the way cars are made, and shaping the future of the automobile industry. The Internet giant has announced that it will build about 100 prototypes of its self-driving cars and test them on city streets later this year. Elon Musk-led Tesla is also working on the driverless car technology, and plans to launch the vehicle in the next few years. The electric vehicle maker has reportedly partnered with Israeli company Mobileye to develop vehicle safety systems for its self-driving car.
A Google-like car doesn’t fit in with Tesla’s image
However, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is never going to produce a driverless, all-electric car that has a top speed of just 25mph, says Paul Ausick of 24/7WallStreet. That just doesn’t fit in with Elon Musk and Tesla’s image as makers of high-performance, cutting-edge cars with attractive looks. Its Model S has eco-appeal, performance and glamour.
In contrast, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s self-driving car has several design flaws. It raises multiple questions. How will you ask the car to go faster? How will you tell it where you want to go? Can you urge it in certain direction? Can you dictate a specific route, speed or driving style? Of course, Google may let computers control everything. But people are skeptical to give over so much control to a machine.
Tesla’s car to have a perfect blend of autonomy and control
Elon Musk knows that these shortcomings can’t be overcome without ceding some control to the driver? Because in certain circumstances, it will need human interference. How can a driver interfere in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s car which has no steering wheel, brake pedal, accelerator or other control systems? In contrast, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has said it’s driverless car will drive autonomously 95% times, but will need human interference about 5% times. Such a blend of control and autonomy could easily overcome consumer skepticism.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) is less of a carmaker than Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), and probably has little aspiration to become an automobile company. There are two ways Google can generate money through its self-driving car technologies. One, by selling or licensing its technology to other automakers. Two, every car with driverless technology will have a full-time Internet connectivity. So, it could serve advertising on the car’s dashboard.