Thursday, 10 July 2014

Jaguar Land Rover and the self learning car

I saw this today and my initial response was enthusiastic. It is great to see such innovation from Jaguar Land Rover. This is the sort of thing we expect from Google but not a UK automotive company.

There is lots of context aware solutions personalised to the individual and informed by different data sources and sensors. Great, the future is just around the corner, type of stuff. But it highlights a problem with the mass automation of products. Brands will want to develop their own solutions to demonstrate forward thinging and add USPs, (although they in five years they will be a requirement and mainstream). Each tailored to the features of the product but based on information about the individual and their usage patterns. 

This could lead to a world where we have loads of different automated systems offering advices and context aware decisions making. Sometimes we may get multiple products offering similar options to use. Google Now, an automated car, a smart heating system, a tailored diary system etc all acting on our behalf because we are running late due to traffic congestion. 

Obviously each system can be tailored and its ability to act on our behalf will be set by the user. But it seems that there will be so much duplication. Google and Apple are pushing one home automation system - or ecosystem to rule them all, and consequently bind users closer to their brand. They are also offering in car solutions. So far these are in car entertainment and connectivity but there is good reason to expect this "self learning car' approach will be rolled into the offering. 

The cost of making concepts such as the self learning cars a reality is not small and it takes a level of digital expertise many companies do not currently have. The Apple and Google options allow brands to avoid doing the heavy lifting and concentrate on the things they know well and can do best. If jaguar Land Rover put this into production will be be self grown or will they pay their shilling to the big boys? Time will tell but from a user perspective a unified solution has an appeal over a collection of disparate solutions.

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