On the second day of the Financial Times Car Summit, the CEO of Volvo Cars, Håkan Samuelsson, announced that their next-generation infotainment system would be developed with Google. However, SEAT and JLR are taking another route: they plan to develop their infotainment systems in-house and thus maintain ownership of the user data. They may even develop their own app ecosystems and use the data for their advertisement platforms inside these ecosystems.
The critical issue is whether a car company can hire a computer engineer (specializing in AI and machine learning) from Apple, Facebook, Google or UBS. Usually these companies offer very generous six-figure pay cheques. Can a car company pay an AI machine-learning coder at the same level as Google?
I think it will be a serious challenge for the car industry to attract people from the tech industry. As Apple and Google are generating more revenue than the car companies, the budgets of the car companies may not be able to accommodate the necessary costs.
Therefore, it is a reasonable decision to work with Google, or alternatively Apple, on these infotainment and self-driving technologies.