Ever since Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) came out with its ‘Google Self-Driving Car’ project, the Auto Industry has been taking a keen interest on its developments. Nissan Motor Co., which is considered by some as the leader in technological innovation in the auto industry, it seems, has recently stopped taking much interest in the development of its own driver-less technology. This makes us question if the auto industry is relying on the likes of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) for technology innovation.
Bloomberg’s contributing Editor Edward Niedermeyer and Bloomberg’s Detroit Bureau Chie, Jeff Green discussed the lack of technological innovation coming from car makers and Nissan’s strategy on green auto technology on today’s edition of ‘In the Loop’.
“I would say he [Carlos Ghosn] is not keeping up with the really rapid pace that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) appears to be trying to set in the race towards driver-less cars and that’s surprising from Nissan because of all the traditional auto makers, Nissan really has been the one that has tried the hardest to push the envelope technologically speaking. I mean, the evidence you have seen of that is the Nissan Leaf, the electric car. No other automaker made the investment in electric car production globally that Nissan did, but I think that sort of also shows that there is a penalty of leadership there. Where investing in new technology can get a lot of accolades but a lot of times the business realities of that are not shaken out,” Niedermeyer said.
Mr. Niedermeyer feels that the Nissan Leaf is not a perfect car only because it’s the first generation and any first generation technology has some issues. The problem, according to Niedermeyer, lies in the fact that auto makers can’t get into new technologies and make them commercially viable in the short-run, at the same time.
“There is a big problem with autonomous cars, as there was with the electric cars. You need charging stations for electric cars. So, you can make all the electric cars you want, you need the infrastructure. Autonomous cars multiply that by ten […],” Green added.