It is no doubt auto industry is heavily been influenced by the tech industry. The digital swing is not just limited to the tech industry but also becoming a major part of the automotive industry.
The car infotainment display can be seen taken over by the Google and Apple smartphone applications. Also, the new android operating system developed by google became an integral part of the cockpit as a software base.
Waymo can also be seen in robotaxi services and Apple in autonomous driving technology. Sony at CES showered a prototype with Honda in 2026 under the brand name Afeela.
However, so much activity from the tech industry is not making BMW CEO Oliver Zipse nervous. He is not threatened by the tech industry business. As he stated, “ We are not afraid of tech players at all because we work with all of them” at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.
As per Zipse, the auto industry’s future is the connecting task for hardware and software. He stresses that data sovereignty is important for manufacturers. “The car is not an iPhone on wheels.”The vehicles are more complex for the tech competitors.
As per the reports, BMW’s CEO is skeptical of the autonomous driving system. As per Zipse, “A Level 3 system, whether at 60, 80 or 120 kilometers per hour, that constantly shuts down in a tunnel, shuts down in the rain, shuts down in the dark, shuts down in fog – what’s the point? Doesn’t buy a customer.”
He is not interested in taking risks where the manufacturers misinterpret a traffic situation in the liability phase such as handing control back to the driver, “We don’t take that risk.”
Whereas Mercedes, already started selling level 3 systems in some models from 2022 onwards. The vehicle takes over the control and liability on a highway at a speed up to 60 kilometers per hour till the driver takes back control when it is prompted.
Well, it’s interesting to see the opinions of different powerful position holders in the companies and their thoughts on taking on risky tasks. Not every manufacturer may be interested in autonomous vehicles as the other competitors are. And also same goes for the tech industry.
An autonomous vehicle is still an uncertain market where a very limited number of services can be seen. But will that be worth the present time, is still unknown? It is still doubtful how many companies are willing to take that risk and not jump into the AV market. BMW is a big brand and with that comes the responsibility of its brand name, so it is interesting to observe its line of actions and strategy to handle current peer pressure or the competition of a new line of segments.