Travel / Hospitality

Smarter cars: Big Data, meet Big Brother

02nd Nov `13, 01:32 AM in Travel / Hospitality

I recently had a conversation with Dieter Zetsche, the Daimler CEO. He had arrived at a social event…

BDMS
Guest Contributor
 

I recently had a conversation with Dieter Zetsche, the Daimler CEO. He had arrived at a social event in Frankfurt in the back seat of a driverless car. It was the new S-Class Mercedes in a demonstration of autonomous driving.

I said to him, “You can load all this self-driving technology into an S-Class because they sell for a $100,000-plus, but will this stuff ever reach the lower-priced cars?” He looked at me as though I had a screw loose and said, “Yes, easily. It’s only code.” Pause. “You know, software.”

Writing code is a lot cheaper than bending metal. Zetsche is a man accustomed to spending huge amounts of money. The price tag to develop a new vehicle starts around $1-billion and can run to five or six times for an all-new platform with new powertrains. You can have rooms full of software developers in their propeller beanies and not notice the cost in a game like this.

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