General Motors is the largest US automaker and the third biggest in the world and its chief executive officer Mary Barra has hinted the company is now renewing its focus towards built-in car connectivity, expanding the car-sharing business, delivering increased driverless features and services that tap smartphone apps.
Barra is preparing for the upcoming meeting with investors and analysts scheduled for October 1 and said in a recent interview with Reuters the “goal is to disrupt ourselves, and own the customer relationship beyond the car. ” By harnessing the technology built into cars, the executive explained, a driver of a Chevrolet Malibu upgrading to a Cadillac CTS could have the luxury car import all the essential preferences of said person by simply using a smartphone application. It would turn into “a hop, skip and a jump” for GM if the company is able to deliver extensive car sharing services, while the autonomous driving feature – called SuperCruise – would also employ high-speed data connections in the cars as it makes its first appearances starting next year.
Barra added increased connectivity and more applications would allow the automaker to see what drivers are doing with the cars and how they use features such as automatic braking or hands-free highway driving and she added that while technology giants Apple and Google are seriously interested in owning the dashboard displays through their proprietary software, “we have the platform” of the vehicle itself. Gm has also been one of the fastest automakers to deliver high-speed, 4G LTE data connections in its model lines, with the company seeing around $350 million before interest and taxes earned from connectivity related services between 2014 and 2018.