Is it the car you want to buy or is it the cameras, software and sensors on board you are after? Plenty of choice at the Detroit Motor Show
Mercedes- Benz has decided such developments should not be the preserve of the luxury models. Their new mid-sized E-class can park itself by smartphone with the driver directing outside the vehicle through an app.
“The most fascinating indicator of the superior intelligence of the new E-Class is it simply knows more of what is going on. It exchanges information with other cars on the road and with infrastructure. This way it can look further ahead and better anticipate road conditions,” Dieter Zetsche CEO Daimler AG told reporters.
That is the theme with many of the makers at the show. Ford for instance unveiled its new mid-sized model the Fusion which includes lane-keeping features. But should each individual company carry the cost of such development?
“We’re now living through the same type of hype about connectivity and autonomous driving and everything else as if all these things are going to come effortlessly and without a cost. But we will end up in the same place. And in the interim we will have continued to commit capital separately for a common venture that could have been standardized and communized in the most cost-efficient way,” opined Sergio Marchionne CEO, Fiat-Chrysler.
Self driving vehicles are in the back seat at the moment, software now rules.
The shift to putting high tech in lower end cars reflects the pressure on car makers to keep their models on the technological edge.