Leonard, professor of mechanical engineering at m.i.t. and an expert on connected cars.
How, exactly, would this work?
The alliance between google and the carmakers?
They are basically trying to get android on the dashboard?
It has been said to me that the dashboard is the fourth screen.
If you have your laptop, your television, your computer, there is this thing where you could view things in your car that you would normally view at your laptop or your desk.
Your favorite apps, the music you like to listen to, all in one place?
Like your phone on your dashboard?
One of the key things is the data coming from the car, so potential for things like map information and the state of the car.
There is the whole question of how this interfaces with the straka driving and perhaps self driving cars one day.
It is clear that there are a lot of opportunities here to connect data sources from the car into the mobile infrastructure.
Speaking during this conversation, unfortunately i do not drive a tesla, so the mapping system is behind.
Trying to connect my phone to my dashboard.
Why are apps so behind?
Is this really going to help?
This has been historical, they design the cars five years ahead of the market.
The technology is always lacking.
Especially with what comes down to smartphones and ipads.
Car manufacturers have always been behind the times with expensive navigation systems that were not as good as something that you could essentially get on your smart phone, so there has always been this pressure for car manufacturers to do this, but they really want to control the relationship with the driver, not something that google is that interested in sharing.
Obviously i want to talk about apple, google's biggest rival.
Last year they announced in june that the ios mobile operating system would be compatible with cars.
Different manufacturers have been working to make this a reality.
We are starting to see connected cars really hitting the road.
Can you compare with -- what apple has done with what google is trying to do?
Is one more ahead than the other?
I do not have a strong sense that one is ahead of the other.
One thing i would watch closely, ford has a system that creates easy interface through android.
I think that the potential for the alliance is this idea of broad dissemination across different cars, sort of an exciting vision.
But it is hard to say what the relative status is.
Which brings me to another point.
You mentioned that ford has its own set of apps, so to chevrolet as well, part of gm.
Gm is now a partner with google.
Apple is doing things with automakers and partnering with google.
Is this going to be a disintegrated experience?
A disparate experience?
Or can they find this -- find a way to make this a solid and unified experience, mark?
One of the battles that has been going on for a number of years that will continue, i do not think this will change, is who controlling the user experience and relationship with the driver.
Google, primarily, is in the map as this.
-- matt business.
-- map business.
They want to drive that model.
Which is a very disruptive business model from what some of the other people in their might want to do.
In many spaces, especially maps, is coming in to disrupt the business model.
There is a certain amount of risk for these incumbents on a business model basis.
There you are looking at their driverless car, which has yet to hit the road.
What about samsung?
They are announcing this week the samsung connected home, one at to connect your devices.
--app to connect your devices in your home.
Samsung has relied on android and google.
Where does this leave samsung and all of this?
They want to decrease their reliance on android, can they get in the cars?
A great question.
One of the objectives here, i do not know how specifically i can answer, but there is this notion about how long you keep a car versus how long you keep the phone.
When your phone becomes obsolete, you can plug it right in.
The ideal scenario is open competition, where players like samsung could, by having the best phone, be in cars and be connected.
One last question.
We talked for a long time about how long it takes to connect the car to the road for the average consumer.
Mark, how far out is this, really?
How long before average people have a car that works with their phone, their life, essentially?
That is the thing.
Things are coming closer.
Carmakers, years ago, they kind of cracked on their demand to control the center console and started bringing in people like google and others, who have better experience.
I think that will be the thing that accelerates.
You have got to get the hardware in the car, which might last for 13 years, with software that evolves every six months.
That is the challenge.
I think we are a couple of years out.
It will be evolving.
But i think it will clearly get
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