IT boffin Prof Walter Brenner says if the car industry adapts it won't be crushed by Silicon Valley start-ups

> IN NEW YORK City in 1900 there were only horse carriages. Today there are a lot of cars, but still around Central Park some horse carriages. That’s my idea of the future: there will always be mixed traffic but the percentage of automated and - somewhere in the future - autonomous traffic will rise.

I cannot imagine any scenario where we only have autonomous driving.

> WE ARE only at the beginning of this development. Today hardware is the limit. We will see better hardware, better storage, better processors.

> THERE WILL always be risk - there’s no technology without risk. Road signs have to be upgraded, road markings have to be improved. The less maintained the road is, the more difficult it is for the car to do the right manoeuvres.
IN SINGAPORE they have the concept of separating automated and autonomous traffic from typical traffic. They can build a second public transportation infrastructure completely separate from classical buses and cars.

> IN SOMERVILLE, a suburb of Boston, they are planning a whole new part of the city where they think from the beginning of automated and autonomous driving. They have special parking garages and special lanes, always in combination with e-mobility. This is a fantastic idea if you want to increase the competitiveness of the city.
THE CAR industry’s big players have realised something is happening. They’re trying to change strategies, they’re investing, they’re making a good job of digital transformation.

> COMPETITORS LIKE Google and Apple are focusing on software and the computer hardware parts. We have the Tesla phenomenon, but if you analyse the software sensors they are not far ahead of the competitors. Today, the classical automotive industry are not far away from pole position.

> BEING INNOVATIVE is one thing. Rolling out millions of cars, and taking responsibility for them, is another thing. Companies like Ford, GM, and VW know how to do this because they sell millions of cars already.

> THE BIG jump [for companies such as Google and Apple] is going from testing and being innovative to rolling out this technology. And there regulation plays a key role. Today you can test what you want, but on European roads only Level 2 autonomy is allowed. The main thing is not being innovative but to stick to regulations and be part of the political process.

> AT A CLASSIC car show I spoke at in Switzerland recently there were lots of Lamborghinis and Jaguars, and it was a great thing. Those people can relax. There will be a wonderful co-existence. I think we will see those cars for another 100 years on the road.


FRESH THINKING Moving beyond postcodes
Pinpoint your location for medics (and Amazon drivers)

What's wrong with postcodes all of a sudden?
They're just not very precise, which can be inconvenient if a delivery driver is struggling to find your front door - but lethal if it's a case of the emergency services not being able to locate you.

OK, but I don't live in a remote African village...
It's an issue much closer to home, as highlighted by
Land Rover recently visiting 2000 homes on the Isle of Mull to deliver plaques showing their what3words addresses.

Their what?
It's a clever - and very user friendly - way of turning precise GPS mapping coordinates into a memorable three-word phrase. The British mapping boffins at what3words have divided the globe into a grid of 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares, and then given each square a three-word name. It's built into some cars, or you can get it as a phone app.

So for example...
The CAR office GPS coordinates of 52.553294, -0.322869 become order, price.port. But walk 50 paces along the corridor to Garden Answers and you're in the realm of push.trains. gazed. Hours of fun.    

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